The big news this week is what happened in Ontario. With their most recent budget, they’re making it so that people with a low income will have a much easier time getting an education. Families with an income of less than 50k will have an average tuition of free. More importantly for AU, they’re also getting rid of the rule that requires students to enter college or post-secondary within a few years of high school to qualify for the Ontario Tuition Grant, so mature students will now be able to qualify for them. Given the average age of AU students, this should be helpful for many who are in need.
I’ve always been a strong proponent of free tuition. Simply because I read the statistics Canada reports that show how the average post-secondary graduate makes nearly a million dollars more over the course of their lifetime than someone with simply a high-school education.
The extra taxes that person pays on that million, on average, more than cover the entire cost of that person’s post-secondary. But in addition to that, there are all the additional benefits that come with a higher level of education. The OECD, for instance, correlates a 2% increase in a nation’s GDP with every additional year of education the population has on average.
Part of that comes from such things as how we know people with a post-secondary education tend to be unemployed less often, and when they are unemployed, it’s for a shorter period of time. People with a post-secondary education also tend to need to use health-care less often, and self-rate their own health as good or excellent far more than those without post-secondary (no reasons are known for this, but it’s suspected that their better jobs allow them less stress and a better diet.) Then there’s how post-secondary graduates are more likely to start their own business, and of the people who do start their own business, the ones started by post-secondary graduates are more likely to still be operating and expanding five years down the road.
Put all those things together and the question, at least for me, isn’t “How can we afford this?” but rather, “How can we afford not to do this?”
However, getting into this issue, our Feature article is an interview with AU’s own Writer In Residence, Esi Edugyan. This dovetails nicely with the Q&A she recently did for AU. Plus, we have the second part of Scott Jacobsen’s interview with interim President, Mr. Peter MacKinnon, and writer Carla Knipe gives us a very personal view about what Pink Shirt Day means to her.
And that’s just the start, we’ve got a review of the brand new Collective Soul album, a Course Exam of English 373, plus a bunch of other informative, entertaining, and helpful articles all lined up this week.
Enjoy the read!