MONTREAL, Nov. 30, 2017 /CNW/ - A shocking reality is emerging for many Quebecers hoping to see their children graduate with a post-secondary degree: they might not be able to afford it.
A majority of Quebecers (60 per cent) say post-secondary education in Quebec is starting to get beyond reach, due to the cost.
At the same time, a vast majority (87 per cent) agree it is important to obtain a post-secondary education to succeed in Quebec. The new survey was conducted for CST Consultants Inc. and the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation by CROP inc., just ahead of this holiday season.
Student Debt Crisis
Over half of Quebecers (56 per cent) believe student debt has become a real economic problem in the province of Quebec. Most residents want to see more action on the part of the provincial government, with 86 per cent of respondents saying the province should do more to make post-secondary education affordable. This belief is more common among residents outside of the Montreal and Quebec City metropolitan areas as well as among the younger generation.
Government aid awareness is low
Only a third (33 per cent) of the population surveyed had good knowledge of the two biggest education savings incentives available to parents: the Quebec Education Savings Incentive (QESI) and the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) program. Unbeknownst to many Quebecers, this year marks the 10th Anniversary of QESI. Combined, these two education savings incentives can provide as much as $10,800 per child in funding for families who start a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). While there are no rules on when you can put money into an RESP, December 31st is an important date in order to maximize government grants.
"This survey clearly shows we need to do more to help families in Quebec make post-secondary education more accessible," said Simon Rivard, Chief Marketing Officer at CST. "We were surprised to learn just how little awareness there was in Quebec about the generous investments that both the Quebec government and federal government have made to make post-secondary education more affordable for our children through the various government grant programs parents are eligible for when they start an RESP."
"As one of Quebec's oldest and most trusted RESP providers, with a rich history of advocating on behalf of families, we want to ensure every child in the province that is eligible for these government grants receive them," added Rivard. "That's why we've launched a new campaign called Every Child QESI. We want families in Quebec not to worry about their children getting a post-secondary education and believe that with careful planning the burden of cost or student debt can be eliminated."
More Financial Facts You Should Know
- Right now, 52 per cent of Quebecers are not collecting important government grants like the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), which can provide up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200 into a child's RESP.1
- It could cost $110,000 to send your child to university in Quebec by 2035.2
- 80 per cent of Canada's top 25 jobs of 2016 require a university degree.3
- 3 out of 4 new jobs require a post-secondary education.4
QESI survey conducted on behalf of CST Consultants Inc. by CROP Inc. from October 12-18, 2017 using a web panel of 1000 respondents in Quebec.
1 2015 CESP Annual Statistical Review
2 Projected tuition costs of a 4-year university program are based on the annual average cost of tuition and compulsory fees in the province of Quebec for the previous school year and an assumed average annual increase of 2.5%. Room and board are based on typical cost for residence with an average annual increase of 1.6%. Projection includes the cost of entertainment, transportation and books adjusted using an annual inflation rate of 2%. Source: Statistics Canada 2016 and university websites.
3 Universities Canada, Back to School Quick Facts, August 2016.
4 Looking ahead; A 10-Year Outlook for the Canadian Labour Market 2008-2017, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
About The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation
In 1960, the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation (CSTF) was established as a non-profit, grassroots organization with one role, the advancement of education in Canada including helping families save for their child's post-secondary education. For over 56 years, we have focused on this mission and have been key enablers through our advocacy work of programs such as the Registered Education Savings Plan program, the Canada Learning Bond, the Canada Education Savings Grant, as well as the Saskatchewan Grant for Education Savings and the BC Training and Education Savings Grant among others. CST Consultants Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CSTF who manages and distributes the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plans.
SOURCE CST Consultants
For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact: Edyta McKay, Manager, Corporate Communications, CST, [email protected], 416-445-7377 ext.303