/R E P E A T -- Federal Budget Ignores Chronic Underfunding of Post-Secondary

OTTAWA, March 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Today's federal budget contains no measures to address record high tuition fees and the student debt crisis.

"Chronic underfunding of Canada's post-secondary education system has resulted in skyrocketing tuition fees and record high levels of student debt," said Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "With a record number of Canadians enrolled in college or university, this budget does nothing to help students and their families afford an education."

Following the economic downturn in 2008, large numbers of Canadians returned to school for education or retraining. While many families' savings were depleted by the recession, tuition fees rose for over ninety percent of college and university students. Despite some steps to restore transfer payments earlier in the decade, federal funding for post-secondary education is roughly $1 billion short of 1992 levels when accounting for inflation and population growth.

Student loans owed to the federal government currently amount to almost $13.5 billion. This figure does not include provincial student loan debt or personal debt such as credit cards, lines of credit, bank loans, and family loans.

"The federal government missed an important opportunity to address the student debt crisis," said Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Saddling students with billions of dollars of debt is not the way to a stronger economy, now or for the future."

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more that one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: For further information: Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson, (613) 232-7394

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