OTTAWA–Students in Canada are graduating university and college with more debt than ever before, according to a study released today by Statistics Canada.
“Massive increases in tuition fees have buried many students in debt,” said Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Saddling a generation of students with billions of dollars of debt will have far reaching implications for Canada’s economy and socio-economic equality.”
According to the study well over a majority of students borrowed to finance their post-secondary education, up almost 10% from a decade earlier. The proportion of graduates with high debt loads (over $25,000) increased by more than 50% during the same period, from 17% to 27%. Recent graduates who borrowed to finance their education were significantly less likely to have savings and investments and to own their own homes. The study did not provide information on students who could not afford to complete their degrees.
“Despite some improvements to financial aid, students are graduating deeper into debt,” said Giroux-Bougard. “Addressing Canada’s student debt crisis requires a national strategy to reduce tuition fees.”
The Canadian Federation of Students along with the Canadian Association of University Teachers have been calling for a Post-Secondary Education Act that would regulate and reduce tuition fees by establishing guidelines for transfers to the provinces for post-secondary education and increasing federal funding for colleges and universities.
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s largest students’ organisation. It is composed of more than 80 university and college students’ unions in all ten provinces with a combined membership of over one-half million students.
Statistics Canada’s full report can be viewed here