Reality Check: Rising fees saddle students with stress, debt

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It should come as no surprise that, in a recent BMO survey, more post-secondary students identified paying for their education as a greater source of stress than their academic success or job prospects. With Ontario leading the way, average tuition increases in Canada have outstripped inflation and the share of university operating funding coming from the pockets of students and their families continues to rise.
 
With average domestic tuition at universities in Canada already around $5,500, and with other expenses pushing the bill to $10,000 per year, a third of respondents had trouble paying their bills, and a quarter are barely able to cover their expenses.
 
Of the surveyed students using loans to finance their education, more than half expect to owe more than $20,000 when they graduate. About 20 per cent anticipate owing more than $40,000. The most recent data from Statistics Canada indicates that members of the class of 2005 who borrowed to attend community college owed over $25,000 in today’s dollars; their counterparts in university undergraduate programs owed over $40,000.
 
The solution? More public funding for universities. We cannot continue to shift the burden of educational costs onto students and their families – they simply can’t afford it.

This article originally appeared in the OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week in your inbox, please subscribe.

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