Government Write-Off Of $178 Million Student Debt Signals Need For Immediate Change

Latest round of write-offs brings total to more than $961 million since 2012

OTTAWA, Feb. 15, 2017 /CNW/ - This week the federal government announced it will write-off $178.4 million in student loans, bringing the total amount of unrecoverable student loan write-offs since 2012 to $961.4 million. At the same time, high tuition fees across the country have resulted in students graduating with record levels of student debt.

"The federal governments decision to write-off $178.4 million in student loans is further evidence that our post-education system is broken," said Bilan Arte, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "It's time for Canada to turn the page on soaring tuition fees and mounting student debt by moving towards a universal system of public post-secondary education."

For 2016-2017, Canada Student Loans Program projected that 40% of all full-time post-secondary students will require a loan. 40% of these student borrowers will reach the maximum loan limit. It is estimated that this year alone, $2.8 billion in new loans will be issued. CSLP has reported that tuition fees are the primary source of increases in student need, increasing far more than books, shelter, food and transportation.

Earlier this month, dozens of student representatives met with more than 150 Members of Parliament and Senators for the Federation's National Lobby Week. MPs and Senators were presented with students' vision for post-secondary education, which included a plan to meaningfully reinvest in post-secondary education by eliminating tuition fees for all students, including international students.

"No one should be forced to declare bankruptcy as a consequence of pursuing higher education or skill training," said Arte. "We expect more from a government who has both the power and resources to eliminate financial barriers to education".

The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada, representing over 650,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.


SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Emily Niles at or (613) 263-3628 (cell).


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