New Data Suggests the High Costs of Education is Hurting Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OTTAWA, June 5, 2014  – The Canadian Alliance of Student Association released results from a new study on the state of post-secondary education (PSE) families. The survey, conducted by Abacus Data, shows that across Canada families are feeling the impact of rising costs of a college or university education.

The survey illustrates that parents put aside an average of 13.5% of their household’s income to pay for their children’s post-secondary tuition. “PSE families spend as much saving for their child’s education as, on average, they do annually for food. That’s a large commitment that tells us that a significant proportion of parents feel it is their responsibility to help their children pay for PSE,” said Jonathan Champagne, Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA).

The high cost of tuition and housing is not only straining students’ budgets, but it is also requiring major sacrifices on the part of families. “Consequently, the data suggests parents are borrowing more, going back to work, or dipping into their retirement savings in order to financially support their children’s education” notes Travis Gordon CASA Board Chair. According to the findings, 14% of parents have admitted to remortgaging their home, while an alarming 33% of them have dipped into their retirement savings. Families are finding it more difficult to balance their desire to see their children have the best opportunity at success and their own financial health.

Despite a feeling of responsibility to pay, nearly 70% of parents felt government policies shouldn’t force parents to help pay for their children’s education. “This survey illustrates that student issues matter to all Canadians. Students across this country need more support as parents are left wondering how to finance their children’s education while supporting their family”, said Gordon. “The federal government must take immediate steps to better help students and their families with the rapidly increasing costs of education”. 

A backgrounder with additional policy and research is available.

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About CASA Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit national student organization composed of 22 student associations representing 280,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative and of the highest quality.

FOR INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT

Jonathan Champagne, Executive Director

Email: ed@casa.ca

Office: 613-236-3457 ext. 222

Mobile: 613-266-2272