Students continue to struggle with debt: Statistics Canada



    OTTAWA, April 22 /CNW Telbec/ - One in three post-secondary graduates
reported difficulty repaying their student loan two years after graduation,
according to a new study released today by Statistics Canada. The study also
found that average student debt two years after graduation was $20,000.
    "This study confirms that there is a very disturbing inequality of access
to post-secondary education in Canada," said Katherine Giroux-Bougard,
National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Students that
cannot pay up front are being driven deep into long-term debt."
    The study, titled Graduating in Canada, tracks the progress of students
who graduated university or college in 2005. Among its findings are that women
earn between $5,000 and $7,000 less than men in full-time work, and are more
likely to be working part-time. The study also found that, while average
post-graduate earnings increase with education level, there is a wide variance
in earnings, meaning that many university and college graduates do not earn
much more than high school graduates.
    On January 21 student loans owed to the federal government surpassed $13
billion for the first time in Canadian history. This figure does not include
provincial student loan debt or personal debt such as credit cards, lines of
credit, bank loans, and family loans. Today's study reports a $3,600 increase
in average non-government debt between 2000 and 2005.
    Since passing $13 billion in January, Canada Student Loan debt has
increased $110 million.
    "Increasing tuition fees and inadequate student financial aid has put a
generation of students in a $13 billion hole," said Giroux-Bougard.
    The Millennium Scholarship Foundation issued a news release today
congratulating themselves for "stabilizing" student debt at 2000 levels. In
2008, the Canadian Federation of Students was successful in lobbying the
federal government to replace the Foundation with a new grants program that
will strive to do better than not making things worse.

    The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest students'
organisation. It is composed of more than 80 university and college students'
unions with a combined membership of over one-half million students.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson,
(613) 232-7394; Ian Boyko, Government Relations Coordinator, (613) 261-7939


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