BC Students on Parliament Hill this week to call for action on record high student debt

VANCOUVER, Oct. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - Student representatives from British Columbia have been meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators this week to pressure the federal government to take action and reduce student debt in Canada.

"Average debt for BC students is $35,000 upon graduation," said Katie Marocchi, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-BC. "With tuition fees being double those paid one generation ago, students simply want the same access to post-secondary education that enabled their parents' generation to succeed."

Over the past 20 years tuition fees in Canada have increased by over 200 percent. High tuition fees have led to record levels of student debt. Collective student debt owed to the federal government has reached over $15 billion through the Canada Student Loans Program - that amount excludes the billions more owed to provincial governments and private lenders. Over 455,000 students last year were forced to borrow federal student loans as the only means to access post-secondary.

"Whether it's the increasing need for campus food banks or the concerning level of financial stress reported by young people, students see the impact of high tuition fees and student debt everyday," said Jessica McCormick, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Addressing these challenges requires federal leadership and the political will to ensure young people are not left behind."

Throughout this week, students from across the country have been meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators to outline a series of recommendations contained in a policy document entitled Public Education for the Public Good, available at www.cfs-fcee.ca.

The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is composed of post-secondary students from 15 universities and colleges in every region in BC. Post-secondary students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organizations since 1927.

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - British Columbia

For further information:

Katie Marocchi, Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students-BC (604) 733-1880
Jessica McCormick, Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students (613) 232-7394

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Canadian Federation of Students - British Columbia

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