Mmmm student loans

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jrose
Mmmm student loans

 

jrose

This might be more of a babble banter than a youth issue, but I feel the need to vent about my very first student loan payment being automatically deducted from my bank account this evening! $402.00! Seems fitting for it to be deducted on the very same day I suck up my pride and move back into my family home to try and save some cash and start a so-called "grown-up" life in the very near future. $402 a month just seems like an awful lot for somebody who worked 30plus hours a week, while carrying a full course load. But such is the Canadian education system.

Anonymous

Welcome to the nasty world of paying back student loans, jrose!

FYI: You can apply for interest relief for six month periods, if you're not earning enough to make the payments.

Not to make your blood boil further, but I recently saw a report on CBC about how much money is being paid to collection agencies in bonuses to harass those who can't afford to pay.

What we need is a national grant system, which would put an end to private corporations profiting off of our educations.

jrose

This comes from [url=http://www.ousa.on.ca]the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance[/url] website. Scary stuff:

THE FACTS ABOUT STUDENT DEBT

The average debt for an undergraduate student in Ontario with a loan is $22,700. This has increased from $10,800 in 1990 and $14,504 in 1998. (1)

The average undergraduate debt upon completion of four years of schooling at Yale - one of the most expensive and prestigious institutions in the U.S. - is $18,000 Canadian. (2)

The average debt that medical students accumulate at the University of Western Ontario is between $80,000 and $100,000. (3)

The average level of debt for a student with a private loan in Ontario is $7,500. This costs students an average of $108 per month or $1,296 per year to service their debt. Working part-time at minimum wage in Ontario, it would require roughly 5.5 hours per week during school just to cover the interest payments. (4)

A $28,000 loan paid back over ten years will cost a student $42,563 in total payments, with monthly payments of over $350. (5)

Twenty-seven per cent of students with government loans have some form of private debt - an average of $9,200. Nineteen per cent of students without government support have private debt - at an average of $6,300. (6)

Thirty-one per cent of Canadian families have some form of student debt. For these households, student loans represent 51 per cent of their total debt. (7)

SOURCES

(1) Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, 2002.
(2) Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, 2002.
(3) The London Free Press, 2003.
(4) Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, 2003.
(5) Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, 2003. (6) Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, 2003.
(7) Centre for Educational Statistics, 1999.

Michelle

Oh my god, Emma, are you serious? That makes my blood boil too. [img]mad.gif" border="0[/img]

Did you know that in Ontario, if you declare bankruptcy while you owe student loans, the Ontario government will automatically send your account to a collection agency, even if you stay in contact with them and try to make payments to them? It's automatic and you can't do anything about it, and they won't accept your payments, even after you're discharged.

And meanwhile, they're paying these assholes to harass people whose payments the government won't accept in the first place. Just wild.

BTW, I think this is something that can be laid at the feet of Mike Harris, although the McGuilty government certainly hasn't done anything to change it.

P.S. I'm currently paying back a little over thirty grand in loans. And that isn't even for four years - I left university for a combination of financial and personal family reasons. I'm finally only able to go back now because I'm an employee of a university, and the tuition is free.

[ 30 November 2006: Message edited by: Michelle ]

Anonymous

Yep, we need a grants system, very badly.

We can thank Paul Martin, currently being honoured beyond belief in Montreal, for denying the ability of student loan holders to declare bankruptcy for 10 years.

I have just under 30,000 and I also worked the entire time. (Ironically, one of the jobs was calling former graduates and asking them to donate money to the university. I got one poor girl with a BA who started crying and said she was working at Burger King.)

I wish I had a link, but the figures they had for total bonuses collection agencies are receiving to harass low-income former students were high enough to begin a grant program.

Fidel

$30 G's ? Was it a student loan or did you rob a bank, Michelle ?. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] HA!

I don't blame Dalton entirely, but he is McGuilty jts. He's done nothing to help the situation. And I don't blame Bob Rae like everyone seems to be able to find a way to lay every issue at his feet. No, this goes deeper than low level stoogocrats. This issue is federal, and it was one of those lying liars in Ottawa who signed GATS[b](General Agreement on Trade and Services)[/b] on all our behooves. That agreement, I believe, obligates Canada to open up publicly funded post-secondary to "the market." I'm not exactly sure why the federal Liberals saw fit to defund post-secondary by $5 billion dollars in the 1990's, but they did. And we've seen post-secondary tuition skyrocketing ever since. Global capitalists want access to what are multi-trillion dollar world-wide services in education, daycare and health care.

jrose

I'm just under 30g too, and that's basically just for tuition, and the odd emergency if I couldn't make rent. Everything else came from being a retail slave at an unnamed company! A grant system would be ideal. I've had a lot of people tell me that education is accessible because of scholarship programs offered to top students, so if "you work really hard, you can stay in school," which of course doesn't add up, because the kids who have to work hard during the day to pay their rent, and then cram all night generally don't make the competitive grades to be eligible for such scholarships, at least in my case!

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]$30 G's ? Was it a student loan or did you rob a bank, Michelle ?. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] HA![/b]

Heh. You'd think, huh? But no. I was supporting a child, and you get more in student loans if you have a child.

Fidel

I know what you mean. My loan was at $25G when I started off. And went out of town for the last two and half of years of my degree. How many kids have to do student loans because there's no other way to front that kind of money, and then how many of those kids have to go out of town because there is no college or university in their hometown ?. The situation is totally rude, and totally in violation of this country's commitment to equal access outlined in the UN charter of human rights which Ottawa signed on to way long ago.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]

Heh. You'd think, huh? But no. I was supporting a child, and you get more in student loans if you have a child.[/b]


Well there I go. Say no more. I hate this system for laying it on a young family like that. In some countries, kids just go to school and don't have to worry about money.

Michelle

Yeah, it's kind of funny, really (not ha-ha). Parents of young children get more in student loans, but we're less able to pay them back once we're out of school because we have heavier expenses than people without dependents.

I'm not sure, however, whether we got more in grants than people without children. I don't think so, though. I think everyone got millennium grants when I was in university.

This makes me see red:

quote:

I wish I had a link, but the figures they had for total bonuses collection agencies are receiving to harass low-income former students were high enough to begin a grant program.

Fidel

By what I've read, none of this student loan debt gets cancelled in the case when former students on low incomes decide to actually declare bankruptcy. All other debts are dealt with by bankruptcy, but the debt owed to the feds or provincial scheme never dies. That obligation stays with us to the grave. I suspect in some cases they would claw back someone's monthly Canada Pension cheques by a certain percentage, but don't quote me.

And the NDP tabled a bill calling for the reduction of the time limit after graduation that needs to lapse before declaring bankruptcy is even an option - the NDP wanted it reducing from the current ten years to two. This makes my blood boil, because I happen to know that Chinese students take out student loans from banks to pay for post-secondary like we do. Only they're complaining that it's taking up to TWO YEARS on average to pay off student loan debts. Two years! Can we imagine that ?.

[ 30 November 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]

500_Apples

quote:


The average debt for an undergraduate student in Ontario with a loan is $22,700. This has increased from $10,800 in 1990 and $14,504 in 1998. (1)

The average undergraduate debt upon completion of four years of schooling at Yale - one of the most expensive and prestigious institutions in the U.S. - is $18,000 Canadian. (2)


There's a greater culture of philanthropy among graduates of American universities. Rich students may still occasionally pay 40, 000 a year of their parents money, but the poor and middle class pretty much get in fof free. Harvard, for example, waives tuition and board for those whose family income is below 60, 000 a year.

However, this kind of merit-based scholarship money only benefits the brightest and most hard-working of American youth, and then only the early bloomers among those. It's a bit disingenious to compare Yale students to Ontario students. Try comparing them Ontario student debt to the debt of students from Michigan State, the Chicago Art Institute or the University of California system.

[ 30 November 2006: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]

Fidel

Which is likely why the Yanks are concerned about falling behind Asian countries producing tens of thousands more engineering graduates every year now. The hawks are saying it will represent a threat to national security at some point, but they don't do anything about it anyway. Harvard and Yale have something like a legacy admissions system. Dubya didn't get to attend an Ivy League college based on scholastic merit, that's for sure.

pencil-skirt

In Ontario at least, students with dependents (children) do get more support. Single students can borrow up to $12,500 a year from OSAP while students with dependents get closer to $20,000, but the Ontario government will only make you pay back a max of $7,000 a year if you complete your program.

Grants would be better of course than this backended system of debt reduction.

See:

[url=http://www.reducetuitionfees.ca]Canadian Federation of Students: Reduce Tuition Fees[/url]

DrConway

I'm just lucky that once I got into grad school I got paid a stipend. Now I don't need student loans anymore but I still have the overhang of god only knows how much student loan debt to deal with.

Howard R. Hamilton

I remember the days of student loans. I spent time as a cab driver, and a night auditor of a hotel to support my student habit, and still ended up with $26k in student loans.

Luckily, the house that I bought right after finishing school appreciated in value, and I was able to absorb those loans into the mortgage after about 5 years (lower interest rate and lower payments) [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Personally, I think that student loans should be partially forgiven upon graduation, 25% forgiven if you graduate with an average under 70%, 50% if your average is between 70% and 85%, and 75% if your average is over 85%. The student loans should cover all of your tuition and other school related expenses, plus provide reasonable room and board.

pencil-skirt

quote:


Originally posted by Howard R. Hamilton:
[b]I remember the days of student loans. I spent time as a cab driver, and a night auditor of a hotel to support my student habit, and still ended up with $26k in student loans.

Luckily, the house that I bought right after finishing school appreciated in value, and I was able to absorb those loans into the mortgage after about 5 years (lower interest rate and lower payments) [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Personally, I think that student loans should be partially forgiven upon graduation, 25% forgiven if you graduate with an average under 70%, 50% if your average is between 70% and 85%, and 75% if your average is over 85%. The student loans should cover all of your tuition and other school related expenses, plus provide reasonable room and board.[/b]


Well the problem with that is that who needs debt forgiveness the most? Graduating with a 90% average means you are quite likely to get a good paying job quick. It's a nice reward I suppose, but if you are getting over 85% average (very rare in most universities) you probably already get a good chunk of scholarship money.

I just think that graduating with a 70% average (B average) is pretty respectable, and those people deserve an affordable education too...not just a monster debt.

jester

If post secondary education was free,what mechanism could be used to weed out those idlers and party-heartys not serious about learning?

My offspring and their spouses paid their own way with help from me only in dire circumstance.Their self esteem and life skills are much enhanced by doing it on their own.

In the case of my grandchildren,I have RESPs for them to fully fund their PS education because education has become out of reach,funding wise.I may need to adjust my old school rationale when the time comes but I still believe that one must work for one's goals.

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by jester:
[b]If post secondary education was free,what mechanism could be used to weed out those idlers and party-heartys not serious about learning?[/b]

Expulsion for poor grades after the first semester?

jester

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]

Expulsion for poor grades after the first semester?[/b]


Maybe but some students are just not ready for PSE. The increase in personal responsibility is too much for their level of maturity. This does not mean that they can't improve in the future and earn a degree.Giving them the boot may dissuade them from continuing their education and depriving society of their productive services in future.

Canada has historically mooched off immigrants for skills rather than paying to develop our own.
Not only does Canada go to the can when the education bill is due but it is also guilty of poaching the best and brightest from third world countries who desperately require those skills in their own country.

Canada likely has more South African doctors than South Africa does.

Debt reduction is near and dear to my frugal heart but I find the present government's focus on this to be short sighted.

By investing the surplus in education,government will achieve a reduction in personal debt via student loans and create a society capable of greater productivity which will allow an exponentially greater capacity for debt reduction in future.

I think it is totally ass-backwards to obsess about paying off the national mortgage while simultaniously ignoring the rot until the roof collapses.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by jester:
[b]If post secondary education was free,what mechanism could be used to weed out those idlers and party-heartys not serious about learning?[/b]

I think you're talking about a small percentage of people who would abuse the system. And I believe most universities and colleges enforce rules for minimum academic performance as it is. And I don't see what the incentive is for kids from any economic background to goof off in college or university.

Post-Secondary education is considered a basic human right in several advanced democracies and developing countries. And I don't agree that freely accessable post-secondary benefits well off families the most. What about the other 50% to three-quarters of students for whom affordability is the largest deciding factor for pursuing an education. There are Canadian kids who meet academic requirements for university and college but are being denied student loans. The whole thing is a sham, and it's a violation of the UN declaration of human rights Ottawa signed on to decades ago.

[url=http://www.ndp.ca/page/4536][b]NDP Plan to tackle student debt crisis[/b][/url]

quote:

[b]“The convoluted patchwork of tax credits and savings schemes created by Liberal and Conservative governments disproportionately benefit high-income families and do nothing to address student debt,”[/b] argued Savoie. “Students need financial assistance when tuition is due, not when they are six years old, and not six months later off their taxes.”

The NDP strategy to reduce student debt includes a plan to double the current amount of various federal grant programs to over $1 billion by cancelling the Canada Education Savings Program and the Textbook Tax Credit. The approximately $750 million in savings would go directly toward non-repayable grants averaging $1,500 for every student with Canada Student Loans in every year of study ...

The NDP strategy would also substantially increase federal transfers for post-secondary education, so that every province can freeze or roll back tuition, as well as re-invest in faculty hiring, resources and infrastructure according to its particular needs and the needs of its students.

“Tuition has grown out of reach for even middle-income Canadians,” said Savoie. “The Liberal-Conservative strategy has been to tinker with taxes and increase loan ceilings, which have led to soaring debt loads. We have a different formula: lower tuition and more grants equals lower debt – pure and simple."


[ 17 December 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Free_Radical

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]The whole thing is a sham, and it's a violation of the UN declaration of human rights Ottawa signed on to decades ago.[/b]

And yet, the data shows that post-secondary education is more accessible in Canada than anywhere else other than Russia (where I think it's safe to say that the legacy of the Soviet Union skews things just a little - today, education is less accessible to the youngest generation) . . .

Russia - 55% of adults, 25-64
Canada - 45
United States - 39 (though in slight decline)
Japan - 37
Sweden - 35
Finland - 35 (declining)
Denmark - 32
Norway - 32
Australia - 31
Belgium - 30
Korea - 30

From the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, [url=http://www.oecd.org/document/6/0,2340,en_2825_495609_37344774_1_1_1_1,00... at a Glance 2006[/url], "Educational attainment of the adult population"

Fidel

Tuition is free in Sweden and Finland and Germany and Cuba. Post-secondary is more affordable, and more accessable in those countries. There is a reason why kids are not feeling the pressure to enroll in post-secondary in those countries like Canadian youth are.

Of course Canada has a high rate of post-secondary achievement. I would tend to think it happened during a time when post-secondary was affordable. It's not affordable today, plain and simple.

Canada has some of the highest post-secondary tuition fees in the world right now, and the feedback from colleges and universities is that Canadians from less well off families are less likely to choose higher education because of the high costs, especially if they live in rural Canada in towns without a university or college, in which case the costs of attending will be so much higher.

One of the reasons for slightly lower post-secondary achievement in Europe and Scandinavian countries is because a person can live on service industry wages moreso than would be the case in Canada(or the U.S.). Whereas here in Canada, there is less of a choice. If Canadians don't attain post-secondary education, then their chances of living anywhere at or below the poverty line is that much more likely today.

Bob Rae said recently that 70 percent of all new jobs created in Ontario will require some level of post-secondary education. After our Liberal government in Ottawa stole $40 billion dollars from the national EI workers fund, tens of thousands of laid off and idle workers have been unable to access benefits and job training and re-training programs - programs which are a cornerstone of Euro and Scandinavian countries which consistently rank higher than Canada in terms of Global economic competitive growth.

And the results are clear as day. Canada has a shortage of family physicians, teachers, and a range of qualified specialists and skilled trades people across the country.

[url=http://www.caut.ca/en/publications/educationreview/educationreview4-1.pdf]Access Denied: The affordability of higher education in Canada[/url]

quote:

Most Canadians believe that all academically qualified students should have the opportunity to earn a university or college degree. Admission to university and college should be based on ability and talent, not wealth.

Today, however, due to record high tuition and other fees, more and more students who are
interested in and capable of attending a university or college are unable to do so. Following a decade of steep increases in tuition fees and slow wage growth, modest- and middle-income households are struggling to finance the costs of higher education.

In this report, we show how the ability of average households in Canada to pay for a postsecondary education has been compromised in recent years. We compare fees charged students today with those charged in previous decades to
show that the cost of tuition is less affordable today than at any time in the post-war period and
is approaching an all-time historic high. Canada’s universities in particular are in danger of returning to their elitist roots as costs continue to spiral out of control.

The main findings of the report include:

• since 1857, the most rapid and consistent
rise in tuition fees took place in the
1990s;

• tuition and incidental fees, adjusted for
inflation, at a typical university in Canada
are at their highest recorded levels — and
more than six times what they were in
1914;


[url=http://gsu.utoronto.ca/fees/TuitionMythFact.pdf]Myth or Fact ?: A guide to common myths about tuition fees[/url] [color="#FFFFFF"]

[ 18 December 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Martha (but not...

In the recently linked document,[url=http://gsu.utoronto.ca/fees/TuitionMythFact.pdf]Myth or Fact ?: A guide to common myths about tuition fees[/url], we read, "[i]Disgraced[/i] former Ontario Premier Bob Rae and conservative researcher Alex Usher promote this fallacy in order to popularise the notion that a "one-size-fits-all" tuition fee (also known as regulation) is obsolete." (Emphasis added.)

Grrrr. I have no special love for Bob Rae, and I am inclined to believe that post-secondary education should be free. But it makes me go Grrrr when any argument [i]starts[/i] with an irrelevant [i]ad hominem[/i] like the one above.

[ 18 December 2006: Message edited by: Martha (but not Stewart) ]

Stephen Gordon

Alex Usher is in disgrace?

Must be all that dad-blasted fancy book-larnin'. If only he had resisted the temptation to look at the actual [url=http://www.millenniumscholarships.ca/images/Publications/Price_of_Knowle... (warning: 393-page brick of a pdf file)[/url] he could have been a respected CFS hack.

[ 18 December 2006: Message edited by: Stephen Gordon ]

DrConway

quote:


For example, nearly 100 years ago, Canada made primary school
attendance mandatory and free, at great expense to the national and
provincial treasuries. However, mass public education was understood as
the instrument by which individual Canadians could fulfill their potential,
and Canada could reduce social and economic divisions.

I think that sums it up right there. Exactly the same arguments about how financial support would be available to "deserving, needy people" were probably trotted out back 100 years ago, only for poor families to find out philanthropic organizations loved playing games with exactly who they would anoint with the favored designation of "scholarship student" or whatever the equivalent term was back then.

It's no different from how universities and colleges play games with bursary and scholarship awards (such as awarding them halfway through the semester) in order to deliberately heighten the uncertainty students feel about whether they'll be stuck for $2000-plus in tuition.

Ultimately, the refusal to eliminate tuition fees is a holdover from the days when it was believed that wealthy people were somehow morally superior because they had money.

Oh, wait. We still believe that. Else why would repugnant assholes like Conrad Black be able to buy themselves Lordships in Britain?

PS. Stephen -

From the very PDF you cite...

quote:

The academic bar is being set ever higher for
entrance to educational institutions, and students
with weaker grades (a situation correlated with lower
family income) are finding it more difficult to pursue
university education

Would you like to explain to me how raising tuition helps these people, which the Millennium Scholarship boys themselves admit are now finding it harder to get into school?

And DON'T haul out the old "Oh, but they'll increase financial assistance to compensate". The system of financial assistance today is a far cry from a universal program where tuition might be fixed at, say, $10,000 with a sliding scale down to $0 for someone with no means of support from the parental units. That would qualify as a net transfer from high income to low income.

[ 18 December 2006: Message edited by: DrConway ]

Fidel

They seem to place heavy emphasis on what level of educational achievement parents have attained as contributing to a person's decision to go to university. Sounds kind of snooty to me. I think we should put weak theories like that to the test to see if it still holds true when outrageous costs are not a factor for both high and low income Canadian families. Fascist bastards.

500_Apples

Fidel wrote:

quote:

They seem to place heavy emphasis on what level of educational achievement parents have attained as contributing to a person's decision to go to university. Sounds kind of snooty to me. I think we should put weak theories like that to the test to see if it still holds true when outrageous costs are not a factor for both high and low income Canadian families. Fascist bastards.

Impossible to say how much of that is due to economics, and how much of that is due to the fact parents who went to university will on average raise their kids in a more intellectualized manner, and likely "on average" have a more theoretically oriented genetic profile. As a bona-fide nerd, I'll for sure be teaching me kids how to count and read very early, and this is probably related to the fact I went to university. This'll also make academia easier on them (I hope). However, while nobody here can account for just how much each factor counts for specifically, certainly economics is still a contributor.

Personally, living in the province of Quebec, which granted is an extreme example by Canadian standards, the biggest financial disincentive to go to university at such a tuition level is no longer tuition fees. It's cost of living. Unless your parents support you for everything (in which case you probably don't care about tuition either), things like rent, food, transport, basic living, clothing and such will cost significantly more than tuition. What really gets in the way for a lot of people is that it can be difficult to find enough hours of sufficiently well-paying part-time work to support that. The typical part-time job pays minimum wage + 50 cents / hour, varies randomly between 10 and 25 hours a week and has the schedule posted a few days before the week starts. Unless somebody developed special skills in high school (they can be a math tutor, or manage the mcdonalds, or work security in night clubs, or can work high-paying construction jobs in the summer, etc), it strikes me as inconceivable that someone could properly complete an undergraduate debt free even with tuition waived completely.

Fidel

There were three of us on my street approximately the same age who graduated from either university or community college. And none of our parents attained more than a grade nine education.

quote:

Originally posted by 500_Apples:
[b]it strikes me as inconceivable that someone could properly complete an undergraduate debt free even with tuition waived completely.[/b]

That's true, and kids living in towns and villages across Canada will pay much more for cost of living than if their parents live in a major or medium sized city with a college or university close by. The $11 or $12K a year for undergrad tuition fees is putting post-secondary out of reach for a lot of Canadians. And MBA costs are just whacky. Canadian students are very good at sharing rent, utilities and other costs of living, but they can't share tuition fee burdens.

[ 18 December 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'm glad I did my university in the late 1970s, I can't get over the costs nowadays. I worked in Ottawa after college, saved tons of money, and was able to put myself through a BA and Master's degree. I had to take out student loans to pay for my two years of college (69 - 71), but was able to pay it all back quickly. I don't know how anyone fresh out of university nowadays can pay off $20k - $30k in student loans, unless they're really long term repayment schedules and low interest. I think it's amazing that a student can actually get student loans worth up to $30k with zero collateral and no work experience, if that's the case.

jrose

quote:


Canadian students are very good at sharing rent, utilities and other costs of living, but they can't share tuition fee burdens.

Well put, especially when you have your heart set on a program that isn't offered at every university across the country. A lot of students are faced with choosing between a program that they are very passionate about, or making the economically feasible decision of going to a college or university close to home to cut costs. I'm sure there are a lot of would be doctors, journalists, animators etc. out there that just couldn't find the right program in their own backyard, and therefore were forced to settle for second best.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I did my Master's at Trinity and was able to economize by starting up a housing co-op with friends, and making use of credit unions and the 519 Food Co-op. I had considered living in the Trinity residence, but it was expensive and the atmosphere of the place was kind of oppressive (upper class twits).

jrose

I wish I had known about more economically sound oppurtunities when I first moved out and into university residence. High School guidance counsellors and university tour guides made costly residence seem like the only (or best) option out there, and at that point having known nobody to have gone through university themselves, I just assumed that was the right decision. I made some amazing friends and had an incredible year, but it's not the only choice out there, and my bank book is paying for it now.

DrConway

[url=http://www.pkarchive.org/economy/ForRicher.html]Food for thought[/url].

It's an article by Paul Krugman.

Fidel

[url=http://www.cfsontario.ca/mysql/Factsheet-2005-RESP%208x11.pdf][b]Registered Education Savings Plans A National System of Grants for the Wealthy[/b][/url]

quote:

Two Billion Dollars and Counting
Since the CESG is a “statutory” expenditure, there is no predetermined budget for the program: if every single eligible Canadian could afford an RESP, the federal government would have to pay out the corresponding CESG. From 1998 to 2004 the Government of Canada spent $2.36 billion in Canada Education Savings Grants. In terms of what the Government of Canada is prepared to spend on CESGs, if every eligible parent participated in the CESG and invested the maximum $2,000 per year, it would cost $2,827,512,000 each year.

Benefitting Those Who Need it the Least
Research on RESPs shows that high income Canadians benefit far more from this program than do low income households. In 2001, children from households in the lowest quintile (incomes under $25,000) made up only 9.7% of families who were saving for post-secondary education. Households with incomes exceeding $85,000 (the highest quintile) accounted for 31% of savers.3 The average savings by highincome families was nearly $7,000 in 2001, whereas lowincome households only saved one third that amount on average. Taken together, the RESPs and CESGs represent a substantial system of indirect and direct grants to primarily high-income families.


[ 04 January 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Fidel

[url=http://www.excal.on.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2122&It... aims for Schulich[/b] from Oct '06[/url]

quote:

Students are questioning why hundreds of Schulich first-years were taken to a historic military site during Frosh Week.
The September field trip to Fort York, taken by first-year students from the Schulich School of Business as part of their Frosh Week, has rekindled the long-standing debate about whether the military has a right to represent itself on-campus and off- campus to students. Participation in the trip to Fort York was not mandatory, but many of the first-year students in attendance wanted to leave once they got there.
"We got there around 9 a.m. and we were there until 5 p.m.," said Sameer Guliamani, a Schulich international bachelor of business administration student.

"It felt like nothing was planned," said Guliamani. "They had us all sit down and watch a film about what the military does. The first thing we did was watch that movie. Everyone was too tired to listen; some were sleeping because no one slept the night before." (SNIP)

Student groups such as the YFS remain vigilant and ready to act against overt recruitment efforts on campus.
"We find it unjust and offensive that as tuition fees continue to rise, students are being targeted to be recruited into the army," said Sakaluk, citing it as a form of economic coercion.


Help prop up U.S. imperialism abroad! See the world! Claim your right to post-secondary education after becoming a lean, mean, killing machine!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Placing the Blame as Students Are Buried in Debt

Quote:
Today, however, Ms. Munna, a 26-year-old graduate of New York University, has nearly $100,000 in student loan debt from her four years in college, and affording the full monthly payments would be a struggle. For much of the time since her 2005 graduation, she’s been enrolled in night school, which allows her to defer loan payments.

This is not a long-term solution, because the interest on the loans continues to pile up. So in an eerie echo of the mortgage crisis, tens of thousands of people like Ms. Munna are facing a reckoning. They and their families made borrowing decisions based more on emotion than reason, much as subprime borrowers assumed the value of their houses would always go up.

Meanwhile, universities like N.Y.U. enrolled students without asking many questions about whether they could afford a $50,000 annual tuition bill. Then the colleges introduced the students to lenders who underwrote big loans without any idea of what the students might earn someday — just like the mortgage lenders who didn’t ask borrowers to verify their incomes.

Ms. Munna does not want to walk away from her loans in the same way many mortgage holders are. It would be difficult in any event because federal bankruptcy law makes it nearly impossible to discharge student loan debts. But unless she manages to improve her income quickly, she doesn’t have a lot of good options for digging out.

Fidel

Well the writing is on the wall for rif raf everywhere. They'll just have to tighten the rules on lending. That would teach them not to want things they can't afford. Sports car, education, what's the diff?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

$50,000 annual tuition bill??? That's insane.

genstrike

yeah, I think student loans are bullshit, but saying that the problem is that universities aren't adequately testing students to see if they're rich enough is doubly bullshit.  People should have the right to a decent education, a place to live, etc, and the whole idea that the problem is "oh, the banks are giving out loans to poor people" is a classist idea - that only the rich deserve education and a house, and the problem is that someone fucked up and gave the poor access to these - which, if I remember correctly, the plan by the banks was "fuck it, if they can't pay, we take their house."

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Absolutely, genstrike. It's an interesting comparison in that there is a generation of young people waiting for the student debt ball to drop, but there is a fundamental and crucial difference: post-secondary education is an inalienable, non-proprietary right and social good in the way that home ownership isn't. What is similar, however, (imo) is that loans under our predatory capitalist system just aren't the right answer to satisfy the need for education and the need for housing. At least not loans with our current economic system.

The problem is, like Boom Boom points out, that tuition and living expenses is fucking $50 000 a year! What the hell does that say about access to education?

500_Apples

Catchfire wrote:
there is a fundamental and crucial difference: post-secondary education is an inalienable, non-proprietary right and social good in the way that home ownership isn't.

If the fundamental difference is a matter of opinion likely shared by only a minority of the population, then you're off to a bad start.

I do agree it's more of a social good. The "ownership society" is nothing more than a wealth extraction scheme, which is somehw more effective than the landlord/rent system. On the other hand, PSE may be moving in that direction.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Education is by definition non-proprietary and inalienable--as in you can't own it, and it can't be taken away from you, whereas you can own a house and have that house repossessed.

And the right to housing and the right to education (even PSE) are both upheld by the UN Declaration of Human Rights and, ostensibly, by our governments. The problem is that attention to such rights are paid only in lip-service.

Fidel

They've written new declarations of rights favouring marauding international capital and guaranteeing private property rights for big business, like CUSFTA, NAFTA, GATS, WTO rules etc.

Democracy is the merger of state and corporate power. - according to a powerful minority of rich people and our corporate masters and their hirelings in government year after year, decade after decade

abnormal

Michelle wrote:

quote:


Originally posted by jester:
If post secondary education was free,what mechanism could be used to weed out those idlers and party-heartys not serious about learning?


Expulsion for poor grades after the first semester?

That used to be the case.  Back in the stone age when I entered university if your first year Xmas exam results weren't up to snuff you got "invited" to visit the Dean of your faculty and you had to explain why you should be allowed to continue in school.  I know exactly one person that managed to convince the Dean that he should be allowed to finish his year.  All the rest were sent home.

500_Apples

This is by far the most ridiculous paragraph posted in the New York Times article linked by Catchfire:

Quote:
The financial aid office often has the best picture of what students like Ms. Munna are up against, because they see their families' financial situation splayed out on the federal financial aid form. So why didn't N.Y.U. tell Ms. Munna that she simply did not belong there once she'd passed, say, $60,000 in total debt?

Why not ???

Could it because their entire system depends on this kind of wealth extraction?

The bullshit system we've set up is really amazing. Historically, you had higher taxes directly fund universities. Now, we have loans which are funded by higher savings rates in east asia, being given to fund universities with the students' lives being used as collateral.

Even then, it's hard to see just where the heck the money is going. Does it really cost $50,000/year/student to run a university? To some extent it's probably related to the construction boom. There's a huge construction boom in US universities, I see it here at Ohio State. It would of course be worse for universities based in New York and California as they have to pay more for land and construction workers.

On the one hand, it is important to have more place. McGill University, where I did my undergrad, did not have a construction boom due to lack of money and the fact it's in downtown montreal. The end results were that students in some classes had to meet at 7:30 am, graduate students might be 6 or more people in an office, and a muslim prayer room had to be converted into an archeology lab, there was only one gym and it was a 20 minute walk from classes at least, among other examples. There is a solid case to be made for more construction imo. On the other hand, I'm happy not to have an extra "0" on my student loan documents. Counterpunch did have an article a few months back where they showed that some University Regents, I think in the University of California system, had ties to both the construction industry and, IIRC, the student loan financial institutions.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I can't get over how much education costs nowadays, based on what I'm reading here. I did a college diploma and two university degrees back in the day, and I doubt I spent more than $3500.00 in any one year, and certainly far less than that in my college years. Of course, I'm 60 now, and my college and university years are long gone.

Cytizen H

I find it interesting that as the price of education goes up the value of post secondary education seems to be going down. Much like the 'no child left behind' nonsense in the States, as we decide it is more and more important to have a university education we keep lowering the standards to meet the needs of students unprepared for higher learning by our shoddy public school systems.

Fidel

There have been Nobel prize winners from Chicago School of Economics no less who understood the value of human capital. Theodore Schultz understood education to be the most productive of all investments. Spending on public health and education should be considered investments rather than outlays without returns. People are vessels in which skills and education are held. They can spend on valuable new equipment and technological enhancements in industry and government, but without the people with skills and knowledge to operate and maintain it, it's worthless. The human mind is the source of all "wealth generation" not stacks and stacks of money salted away in foreign bank accounts and bond markets, and certainly not unsustainable resource driven export economy in spite of what thundering nit-wits in Ottawa and Queen's Parks have to say about it.  People are the answer to every problem, including getting this northern banana republic out of this old line party ideologically-driven debt hole and general all around economic stagnation. Of course, and then again, why would Canada's creditors desire that we dig ourselves out of debt when we have natural resource wealth and 33 million co-signers to the debt? They know we're good for it, and that compound interest schedules guarantee their returns and more.

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