Covering Education Costs


Re: Late fees adding up for area students, Feb. 3.

This Citizen story on the costliness of tuition fees for university students in Ottawa epitomizes the disgracefulness with which students are met by post-secondary institutions for pursuing higher education throughout much of Canada. Despite the several justifications for such a thing, it is still disheartening. Students are relying on fulltime to part-time jobs and OSAP to keep their heads above water while covering living expenses, books, other study material and rapidly increasing tuition fees. While OSAP may provide the capital for students who do not have the upfront financial means to pay for their tuition, it will inevitably be extremely costly to pay back in the long run. Debt seems inescapable. The varying amounts of research grants, scholarships and bursaries can be of great aid, but most students do not receive such help. Even if they do, much of that money is still taxed. Tax legislation is ruthless to many hardworking Canadians and to those seeking the best possible education to increase their future livelihood (through greater employability).

As a PhD candidate, I’m quite sympathetic. Tuition has almost tripled since 1990. Dalton McGuinty’s unjustified consecutive record- breaking tuition hikes have really hurt a great number of students, especially post-graduate students who have completed their course work, with some seeing at least 400 percent increases in tuition. This is a rather frightening prospect considering that there is no guarantee of a good-paying job after graduation. With Canada’s high income tax rates, one can’t help wonder why greater aid is not available, like that of many European countries. Or are there more pressing costs like the expenses of certain senators and government officials?


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