- As a result of federal and provincial cuts to post-secondary education, average tuition fees in BC increased four-fold between 1990 and 2010, rising from $1,271 to $5,139.
- Students are facing unprecedented levels of debt to finance their education. Average student loan debt has now reached $34,000.
- Students from low-income backgrounds are less than half as likely to participate in university as those from high-income families.
- The BC student grant program, cancelled in 2004, allocated approximately $80 million in non- repayable grants to students with demonstrated financial need. The Liberal government’s proposed one-time grant of $1,200 per child for a registered education saving program could cost up to $30M, close to the amount needed to eliminate the interest charged on student loans—a policy widely supported in the post-secondary education sector.
Q: If elected, will your party remove the financial barriers for low-income students and lower student debt levels through tuition fee reductions, student grants instead of loans, and interest free student loans?