Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ontario tuition is skyrocketing

Following-up on yesterday's post on the student loan system and post-secondary education, the student newspaper of my alma mater, Carleton University's The Charlatan, reports on a Statistics Canada report that shows Ontario registered the highest tuition increase in the country this year, at 5.4 per cent.
With students struggling to pay their tuition fees, news that Ontario students pay more than anywhere else in Canada has many Carleton students wondering why.

A Statistics Canada report released Sept. 16 found Ontario students faced the highest increase in tuition, at 5.4 per cent for undergraduate students, and paid the highest tuition at $6,307 on average.
To add a little perspective, when I started at Carleton back in 1996, tuition was just over $3000, around $3100 if I recall correctly. Four years later, it was just under $4000. Those were the Mike Harris years, of course, and tuition skyrocketed. Things seem to have gotten little better since though, with tuition now having DOUBLED since I started as an undergrad 14 years ago (ok, now that makes me feel old.)

Have average salaries doubled over the last 14 years? Not even close. It's undeniable that we are saddling students with greater and greater debt loads than we did past generations. It's not smart, it's not sustainable, and it will have consequences.

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Mike said...

The problem is no one wants to have short-term pain (higher taxes) for long-term gain. And unfortunately there's a lot of people who don't have kids in school (or theirs already graduated) and don't want to subsidize somebody else's.
It's just a damn shame that the GST got lowered and no one is willing to consider raising it again.
A 1% cut to the GST I understand cut about $6 billion a year out of federal coffers. That's enough to pay the tuition of 1,000,000 students and that's at Ontario tuition rates using federal money alone (and no I don't think we should be subsidizing kids of millionnaires, so this would be more than enough to cover the rest). So the issue of student debt from tuition could be resolved by going back to a 6% GST, but I'd bet any money no party leader is willing to propose that. So unfortunately for some people who "get the grades" they don't get to go unless they want a mountain of debt to last a generation.

The Pundits' Guide said...

It's "alma mater" (latin for "dear mother").


a fellow raven

The Rat said...

"It's just a damn shame that the GST got lowered"

And here I thought post secondary education was a provincial responsibility. What the Federal government did in lowering the GST was give the provinces the ability to raise theirs. None did. So please don't point fingers at Federal Conservatives for something which both the problem and solution reside with Provinvial Liberals. Talk to McGuinty.