VANCOUVER, Feb. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Students from 24 campuses across BC are taking part in the Canadian Federation of Students' national day of action today. The events draw attention to the record high costs of public post-secondary education and mobilize support for reducing tuition fees and dropping student debt.
"Students and our families are fed up with government inaction," said Zach Crispin, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-British Columbia. "Post-secondary education should be an empowering experience and a ladder out of poverty, not a debt sentence."
The biggest financial barrier to education only got bigger this year in BC. Tuition fees have climbed over $4,800 at BC universities, according to Statistics Canada. For the tenth consecutive year tuition fees in British Columbia have increased, increasing the cost of a degree by more than $10,000.
Without a provincial grants program since 2005, average student debt in British Columbia is nearly $27,000 after a four year program. With compound interest over a ten-year repayment period, that figure balloons to $34,000.
"A system of student loans places an unfair burden on low income and marginalized students by making them pay more for their education. This underscores the pressing need to reduce tuition fees and restore the BC grants program," said Crispin.
Events are happening today in the following BC communities:
- Grand Forks
- New Westminster
- Port Alberni
- Prince George
- Prince Rupert
- Salmon Arm
Last week, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives published a study showing that post-secondary graduates pay more than the full cost of their education in taxes after graduation. This means that students and their families are overcharged for post-secondary education and tuition fees are unnecessary.
The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is composed of students from 16 post-secondary institutions in BC. Post-secondary students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organizations since 1927.
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For further information:
Zach Crispin, BC Chairperson at 604-733-1880
Ian Boyko, Research and Communications Officer at 604-733-1880