B.C. students work longer than previous generations to cover tuition

High tuition fees push B.C. students to work three times as many hours as previous generations.

VANCOUVER – An interactive tuition fee map released April 15  by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives provides further evidence that it is dramatically more difficult to get a post-secondary education today than it was in decades past.

“Students in British Columbia today pay more and get less from post-secondary education than any previous generation”, said Jenelle Davies, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-BC. “Tuition fees are higher now than they ever have been.”

In 1975, students only needed to work 184 hours, 4.6 weeks of full-time work, at minimum wage in order to pay for a year’s tuition fees.

This year, a student would have to work 552 hours, 13.8 weeks of full-time, minimum wage work to pay for just tuition fees.

Students would also have to find additional ways to pay for books and living expenses.

Some provinces have reversed this trend by freezing or reducing tuition fees. Newfoundland and Labrador has the lowest tuition fees in Canada and, as a result, students there have to work the fewest number of hours to pay tuition fees.

“Students are being squeezed out of school by high tuition fees and skyrocketing student debt,” said Davies. “B.C. could benefit from following the lead of Newfoundland and Labrador by reducing and freezing tuition fees and increasing funding for colleges and universities.”

The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is composed of post-secondary students from 15 universities and colleges in every region in B.C. Post-secondary students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organizations since 1927.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ tuition fee map can be found at apps.policyalternatives.ca.


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