Statistics Canada has released a “new” study, which has revealed the “surprising” news that middle class families are being shut out from post secondary education. University participation among low income families increased due to the expansion of the student loans program, but rates among the middle class ($25,000 to $100,000) dropped. Why? The government is finally recognizing the issue student groups have been pointing out for years…middle class families are expected to contribute an unrealistic amount of money towards their children’s education.
Students in these families are ineligible for student loans, since their parents are expected to come up with a minimum amount of money. What is this minimum?
In Alberta, parents who earn $50,000 a year, with one child, are expected to contribute $6200 a year. This works out to $516 a month!! In Ontario parents earning $78,000 must contribute $7873 a year – $656 a month!! In BC, a family of four with two children in university, with parental earnings of $65,000 must contribute $4017 yearly for EACH child – a total of $669 a month!!
It’s a no-brainer. How on earth can parents come up with this kind of money each month to send their children to university? They can’t. Low income families can access loans and bursaries. Middle-income families cannot. Traditionally low income families don’t tend to pursue post secondary education, simply because they are focused on basic survival. Now middle income families are in the same boat.
Edmonton Journal: Tuition squeezes middle class. October 4, 2003.