April 21, 2015

Federal budget to put nearly 200,000 students deeper into debt

OTTAWA, April 21, 2015 – Changes to the Canada Student Loans Program proposed in today’s federal budget will leave almost 200,000 students with more debt upon graduation.

“Students are graduating with record-levels of debt and there are already over 200,000 graduates struggling to make payments each month,” said Jessica McCormick, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Weighing Canadians down with enormous debts as they start their careers drags back economic growth.”

The government acknowledges that Canadian students and their families are struggling to pay for college and university, but fails to address the cause of these pressures. The federal budget proposes eliminating in-study income limits and reducing parental contributions for Canada Student Loan assessments, increasing both the number and amount of student loans disbursed every year. The proposed increase to the Canada Student Grants Program will likely only benefit 20,000 people studying in public colleges.

“The government is telling students who have to work or whose parents can’t help them cover school costs to take on more loans with more interest in order to make ends meet,” added McCormick. “By reallocating ineffective tax credits and savings schemes into the Canada Student Grants Program, we could eliminate the need for federal student loans altogether without spending an extra dime.”

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