By Danielle Pinto
Higher Education Fees Overall
I believe we get a great education in Ontario that our government does help support. I also feel we pay a lot less than the United States. However, Ontario pays 29 percent more than the Canadian average. This information was found on http://cfsontario.ca/en/section/207. This website also has a few pdfs that I thought were interesting, that discuss topics such as the impact of government underfunding, the post-residency fees for graduate students, and the radicalized impact of tuition fees. I am curious to hear what others have to say regarding our tuition rates (specifically for university).
If you look at the university fees by province: Ontario has the highest ranging from $2,574 to $8,756.
Another view I have is that as full-time students, there are a lot of added costs that are not fully explained to us and we often pay these fees without questioning them. There are also fees that we are required to pay, regardless of whether we use the service or not. For example, as a Brock University student who commutes to Brock from Hamilton I am required to pay $175 fee for a bus pass that I will not use at all. On top of this fee, I am also required to pay for a parking pass to park my car on campus at Brock. Even these parking fees have increased over the years.
What are some other hidden fees that you have noticed over your years in post-secondary education?
Is the student debt worth it?
Hepburn (2006) writes an interesting article on whether higher fees in post secondary education are still worth the cost. She notes that “According to Statistics Canada, the net worth of Canadians with bachelor’s degrees is 70 percent higher than that of high-school graduates. Those with master’s and doctoral degrees have a net worth 2.7 and 3.5 times higher” (p. 4). I agree with Hepburn’s views that the student debt now will pay off in the long run. Although Hepburn also writes that even families from disadvantaged backgrounds feel that the degree is worth the “sticker price”, she fails to include families from disadvantaged backgrounds that do not enroll their children in post-secondary education. The Toronto Star supports this point, saying that “Cuts to government programs, such as unemployment insurance, combined with increases in post-secondary education costs are making it hard for the lowest income Canadians to compete in the knowledge economy.”
One thing that bothers me however is this notion that currently in our economy there is this big push for higher education. The standard undergrad degree and diploma is not being accepted, but rather employers base how valuable you are on education and experience. I feel that students who aren’t getting the appropriate experience end up back in college or university in another program that is either supportive of their future career, or another career to add to their credibility as a potential employee.
Has your student debt been “worth it” to you?