Parliamentary Budget Officer's Report Confirms User-Fee Model of Public Post-Secondary Education Benefits The Wealthy

OTTAWA, May 5, 2016 /CNW/ - Federal Spending on Postsecondary Education reveals that under the current system, 60 per cent of Canada's postsecondary students belong to the two highest income quintiles. A growing share of federal support has been allocated to administering tax credits and savings schemes, like the Registered Education Savings Plan, that disproportionately benefit these wealthier families.

"When it comes to Canada's post-secondary education system, the Federal Government is plugging holes in a bursting dam," said Bilan Arte, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students, "Many families are still falling through the cracks."

The report notes that in 2013, over $400 million (49%) of Canada Education Savings Grants went to families with household incomes exceeding $90,000. Moreover, $280 million (32%) went to families earning more than $125,000.

The report also shows public funding for post-secondary education makes up less than half of institutions' operating revenues, falling from 54.2% in 2004-2005 to 48.9% in 2013-2014 as costs become increasingly downloaded onto students through tuition fees. Over the same period, the amount of federal student loans issued in a given year increased by more than a billion dollars, from $1.6 billion to $2.7 billion.

"Increasing student loan amounts will not open access to lower income students," said Arte, "The way forward must be a direct public investment in the post-secondary sector to reduce the upfront cost of tuition fees."

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

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