Rising student debt burdens are a myth - Macleans.ca

Rising student debt burdens are a myth

The burden of carrying an average loan with an average salary has fallen by more than a third


Tim Krochak

Everyone talks about “rising student debt burdens” as if they’re real. But they are not. In fact, the burden of carrying a student loan has fallen significantly over the past decade.

Some of the confusion is understandable: student debt levels do tick up slightly every year, more or less in line with inflation. But a debt burden isn’t just about debt levels. A $20,000 debt is a lot easier when you’re paying 5% interest than if you’re paying 10%. And it’s a lot easier if you’re earning $60,000 than if you’re earning $40,000. That’s why when calculating how difficult a loan is to repay, you need to take things like graduate’s income, interest rates and tax rates into account.

So, how have all these things changed for students over the past couple of decades?

Let’s start with what’s happened to student debt. This did indeed rise very quickly throughout the 1990s; costs rose quickly, student lending rose even faster and many provinces got rid of their grant programs. As a result, debt roughly doubled between 1992 and 2000. But since then, student borrowing levelled off in real terms and since 2009, it seems to have fallen. Partly, it was the result of increasing federal expenditures on grants—first through the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation and later through the provinces replenishing funding for their grant programs. As the decade wore on, the effects of increased savings that were catalysed by the creation of the Canada Education Savings Grant probably had an effect; so too did increasing disposable family income as taxes fell in the 2000s (a process hastened by a massive increases in tax credits for education between 1996 and 2000). So while the rhetoric on student aid has always been about debt reaching new highs, in fact, the most recent evidence we have suggests it’s actually declining.

 Figure 1: Average Student Debt at Graduation, Among University Graduates Who Borrowed, 1986-2012, in 2013.

Source: 1986 to 2005, National Graduates’ Survey; 2012, Canadian Undergraduate Survey Consortium Survey of Undergraduate Students

Second, let’s look at what happened to graduates’ income. Until recently, we have had a pretty good national time-series of graduates’ income two years after graduation through Statistics Canada’s National Graduates’ Survey. Because Employment and Social Development Canada (formerly Human Resources Development Canada) has been jerking Statscan around on funding for this survey for most of the past decade, we no longer have such a great time-series. But we can project trends out since 2005 using some new provincial surveys and we include our projection for 2012 below based on known data from 2005-2012.

Figure 2: Average Graduate income 24 months after graduation, by graduating class, Canada, 1986-2012, in 2013

Source: 1986 to 2005, National Graduates’ Survey; 2012 is the 2005 NGS number indexed upwards by weighted known rates of increase in British Columbia and Ontario up to 2012

Then there are student loan interest rates. These are linked to the prime rate—since 1995, the rate used by most students has been prime rate plus 250 basis points. Now, nobody seems to remember this, but during the early 1990s, when we had the triple-whammy of the peso crisis, the sovereignty crisis and an inflation-obsessed John Crow as Governor of the Bank of Canada governor, our interest rates were regularly 400 basis points higher than the Americans’. Since then, they’ve come way, way, way down. In 1991, prime briefly hit 14%, and throughout the 90s it averaged about 7.5%. Today it’s 3%. That has a huge effect on what students pay today.

Finally, there’s the issue of taxes. Today’s students won’t remember this, but our governments went through a lot of tax cutting in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Someone with average graduate income 2 years out of school , paid out 28% of their income in taxes in the early 90s; today, because of those cuts, they’re only paying 22%

In other words, things were indeed pretty bad for students in the 1990s. But since then, most of the relevant forces which underpin student loan burden have been heading in the right direction: debt is stable, interest rates are down, taxes are down, and income was more or less stable but for a recent blip. Put it all together and what you see is that the after-tax repayment burden for someone with average student wages repaying an average-sized student loan has fallen sharply in the last decade:

 Figure 3: Percentage of Average After-tax Earnings of Graduates 2 Years Out Required to Service an Average Student Loan

As figure 3 shows, the burden of carrying an average loan with an average salary has fallen by more than a third since the turn of the century. It’s now actually back down to where it was in 1992, before the rapid rise in tuition and debt of the 1990s.

Does that mean everything is rosy? No. These are average salaries and average debts, but there is considerable variation around the mean. In the maritimes, where graduates have above-average debts and below-average incomes, the burden remains well above the national average. But it does mean that on the whole the situation is getting significantly better for most students.

And for those who still have a very heavy burden, the other development not shown on these charts is protection afforded to low-income borrowers. Until 1994, borrowers could only access government repayment assistance (then called “Interest Relief”) if they were unemployed and then only for a maximum of 18 months. After that, it was then extended to borrowers with low-incomes, and its terms were made more generous again in both 1998 and in 2007. It is today much easier to qualify for relief than it was in 1994 and the protection now lasts for the life of the loan as well.

Not all of this improvement in student loan burdens is due to improvements in student aid per se; indeed, much of the credit is due to much more generalized macro-economic conditions like interest rates and taxes. Be that as it may, as long as those things stay more or less unchanged, we aren’t likely to see student loan burden conditions returning to their early-00s conditions any time soon.

Alex Usher is the President of Higher Education Strategy Associates. You can reach him on Twitter: @AlexUsherHESA


Rising student debt burdens are a myth

  1. I would love to get my hands on the idiot that wrote this.

    • Why, so you could assault them?

      • If so, you apparently have a posse of four other cowards.

        • I think you’re old enough to recognize a figure of speech.

          • Without an Arts degree?
            Shirley you jest.

          • It’s a figure of speech that ultimately relies on a threat of violence, and is immature. It’s up there “my team got raped last night,” or “he should take a long walk off a short pier.”

          • Yeah, and if some mom or dad says ‘I’m gonna kill that kid when he gets home’…..you call the cops, right…?

          • Fair point.

        • Looks as though Noel’s entire family has joined the lynch mob.

    • Maybe your time would be better spent doing something productive instead of threatening strangers on the Internet.

      • LOL

      • Your whole head is stuck in a bucket of irony.

        • I won’t say where your head is stuck, because that would be rude. Unlike you Liberals, I don’t run around the internet trying to be as rude as possible to everybody I disagree with.

          • We’re in a loop now.

          • Me, I am a libertarian-conservative and tired of politically correct/corruption and prefer saying it like it is without the feel good BS.

            We conservatives need to stop appeasing these lefties. Agreed, no need to be rude but we need to stop candy coating it.

        • Or do you mean the ironic truth? Fact is we have a crop of know it all kids looking for a free ride in getting useless degrees in consumptive jobs of sexology, basket weaving arts, BA (b—-r a-l) when the system has a glut of productive jobs.

          Get your HD mechanics job, dental degree, hygienist, nurses, welders, millwrights, cabinet makers/carpenters, roofers, electricains, electronics and robotics….mosts productive college degrees and you will have a good career.

          Last thing a tax depressed economy needs is a self important ego blown up useless degree in consumption.

          Want jobs? Choose what the market needs as you are going to get paid for how valuable to others that your are. A government teaching degree in science/math is better than crotch jock degrees any time.

    • Shouldn’t you be working that second job to pay off all that money YOU borrowed, instead of whining on the interthing?

  2. Did the author take into account that when students are graduating that they are graduating into a job market with NO jobs for them. What an idiot. Obviously DID NOT pay for his own education…and if he did it was a LONG, LONG time ago. Good luck to all the fellow fresh graduates that are working minimum or just above min. wage to pay back their student loans. I make $12 an hour to pay back $260 a month in OSAP bills. Makes it hard to ever own a non-crappy car (I just pretend it’s the 90s still), to own a home, or to pay for anything I want in life. So, drink up, author, as you were obviously drunk while writing this.

    • Nothing in your comment refutes the author’s argument or conclusion. The fact that you make $12 an hour does not impact what your debt was at graduation, although it might affect your ability to make payments on that debt. The argument he’s making is that debt burdens aren’t rising, and haven’t been for quite some time. And he appears to be correct.

    • The author cites average wages 2 years after graduation in the piece, and that’s been relatively stable.

      I have no doubt that many graduates are struggling with low-paying jobs, or having trouble finding a job, but those graduates are factored in to the average salary figures. If the number of under-employed and unemployed recent graduates was actually significantly higher today than it was 20 years ago, that would be reflected in a lowering of the average salary, but it looks to me that the average salary today is around where it was then. Now, that DOES certainly seem to mean that the “two years after graduation” average salary level isn’t keeping pace with inflation, but it seems to me that the argument here is that when combined with lower borrowing costs and lower taxes, salaries don’t actually have to keep pace with inflation in order for the average cost of servicing a loan to be lower today.

      The last chart is the most meaningful as far as I can tell. In 2002, an average student 2 years after graduation spent 12.5% of their salary servicing their debt, and today that number is 7.9%. That some (many?) individuals are still struggling to pay their loans because they’re unemployed or working for minimum wage is no doubt absolutely true. However, there were people in that same situation in 2003. And 1993. And 1983… The point here is that the relative stability of the “average salary” suggests that there is not a significantly greater percentage of those struggling graduates today than there was then, or put more accurately, that other factors of borrowing (interest rates and taxes) have changed such that the burden of debt is lower today even at a lower salary level.

    • Depends on the program they graduated in – none of the graduates in STEM programs are unemployed or working for $12/hour – starting salaries regularly start at $55,000 plus.

      • I apologize that I have a passion for our justice system (I chose this field as it is has a personal importance to me). Sounds like STEM has a lot to do with making a difference in sentencing of sexual offenders in Canada. Thanks for the suggestion, Maureen. Me telling my story was more so about having some other Canadians hear my story (as I know many others live it everyday…I work at a College. Hear the same thing from other graduates). So, thanks, Maureen for the suggestion I have heard many times before (you should of chose another career path….blah blah). So, please keep in mind Maureen that we all did not take STEM. You said it yourself…depends on what program you have graduated from. SO, ultimately, there MUST be many more people in the same boat as me who haven’t taken STEM. I am glad you’re doing well for yourself, Maureen, but keep in mind there’s many other Canadians who are STRUGGLING|.

  3. It’s because high school guidance teachers, and generally anybody at a University, will tell students that all they need to do is graduate with a degree, and they’ll find a good job.

    This is a complete myth, always has been, always will be.

    An arts degree will you next to nothing. Anybody can get an arts degree. Sciences, engineering, technology will get you a job. But don’t be expected to be paid much more than minimum wage to start with either. There will be others at the company who’ve been there longer, and are smarter than you who will get the good promotions long before you do. Probably, some of them didn’t even go to university.

    It’s no different now than it’s ever been, but my generation and those after us seem to have been indoctrinated with this concept of life being easy if you just get through university. That’s never been true.

    • A Bachelors is entry level now….including for science and engineering

      • I hate it when you agree with me.

        • LOL I’ve said that on here for years….so I’m afraid YOU are agreeing with ME

          • How modest of you.

    • More like any dumbass can get a job with an engineering degree, only the top 25 of Arts grads can get a good job. So get an engineering degree if you basically lack talent.

      • Yes, any dumbass can get a JOB with an engineering degree. Which is sort of the point, isn’t it? Not any dumbass can GET an engineering degree though. You can get an engineering job because they’re in demand, not because engineers lack talent.

        • Engineers are peons. Pure middle middle class.

          • Depends, if you are a bridge engineer, electrical engineer, electronics engineer, civil engineer the world is you workplace.

            If you really want a good future pick jobs that the WORLD needs. And arts degrees as useless here.

            Me, it was electronics and large scale computational engineering. Got to work on projects costing many hundreds of millions….and I got it with a Candian electrincis degree, and 10 years experience beofre I worked out of Canada in the worlds lower taxed higher paid market.

            You want in demand skills that are portable and you don’t have 1/2 the planet competing credibly for the same job.

      • Arts degrees take 1/10 the mental agility of a arts degree. Many in my engineering electronics class bailed to a arts degree because they could cut it. Too weak in math and science skills I suspect.

        • “Arts degrees take 1/10 the mental agility of a arts degree.”

          Spoken like a true engineer! lol!

    • A bachelors degree in science is actually less useful as an arts degree these days. A recent survey by the Council of Ontario Universities found that social science and even fine arts grads (yup) had higher employment rates than people with a bachelors in biology or physical sciences. There are no jobs for a scientist who only has a BSc

    • The larger point here, that if people want to get a job with an undergraduate degree right out of university they need to think more carefully about what job they want, the likelihood of getting it, and the appropriate degree program to pursue in order to secure said job, is an important point.

      However, I think you’ve oversimplified too much. It’s wrong for parents and guidance counsellors to give students the impression that “all they need to do is graduate with a degree, and they’ll find a good job”. That’s a terribly important point to make. However, it’s no more correct to state that “sciences, engineering, technology will get you a job”, nor that “an arts degree will get you nothing”. There are B.A. programs with quite good job prospects, and undergraduate science degrees in fields where nothing short of a PhD will get you a “good job” in the field. Anecdotally, I CERTAINLY know B.A. grads who got good jobs right out of school, and I know science grads who realized upon graduation that they needed to pursue graduate degrees in order to be considered for the good jobs in their field.

      I’ve also always had a problem with the notion (increasing in popularity it seems) that university is supposed to be about preparing someone for a job. I’ve always seen education as being about something more fundamental, and imho more important, than that, and I dislike the notion of our universities becoming job training centres, or worse, credential mills.

      Your larger point is well taken though. A degree, in any field, is no guarantee of a job, and in some fields (across a variety of disciplines) certain degrees aren’t designed to “get you a job”. Students need to be more realistic about why they’re pursuing higher education, and whether or not the degree they’re pursuing is appropriate given their long term goals. I’ve always been of the opinion that time spent completing a degree is never a “waste” (presuming that you take your studies seriously and complete the degree) but that’s not the same thing as saying the the completion of a degree is practical in terms of future employment prospects. I do worry that the popular meme of “Science good, Arts bad” can lead to a similar problem as does “Degree good, no degree bad”. At the extremes, it can lead to people who have an aptitude and interest in “the Arts” being pressured in to pursuing science degrees unthinkingly, and having to re-evaluate their choices when they graduate with a B.Sc., can’t get a good job without graduate work, but can’t get in to grad school, and end up a bit stuck, when they might have been better served following their interests and talents in a field where a B.A. would have been an appropriate starting point educationally. The point is simply that what works for person A with career ambition X will often have little bearing on what’s best for person B in field Y. So, while ON AVERAGE a science or engineering degree gives one a better shot at a good job after graduation, the applicability of that “average” truth can break down pretty quickly at the individual level.

    • Agreed, Sciences, engineering, technology pay crappy wages in Canada. But here is how I beat the game.

      Got the degree in sciences, got experience, then did 12 years of high pay and low taxes outside of Canada, lived in 4 countries and worked while I traveled. I picked a high demand skill and became real good at it. At one point I was getting serious job offers every week turning them down regularly.

      But was crappy Canadian wages to start, until I had the experience to tell my former Nortel employer in 1995, a 40% raise wasn’t enough to keep me. A year alter I was paying a lower percentage of taxes and a 120% raise. Set me up for early retirement.

      Work smart, choosing careers wisely and less whining goes a long way to success.

      • “less whining goes a long way to success”

        The irony.. it burns.

        • You notice he lives in the country he constantly whines about.

      • Sorry, but those were the “boom” years, for IT, Enginneering,…, I bought my first house before I left Nortel, -who BTW-paid better than most other CDN Corp as you well know yourself.
        You can not compare then and now. high-tech, including manufacturing therein, for one thng, has ALL but disappeared from Canada.
        Those same countries that we made good money in do NOT even need our so-called CDN-expertyise anymore. Canada now depends on high-tech being imported from other countries, all from asia.

        It’s not even the same landscape, and if you or me were thrust young and “green” into this present landscape today, we’d find it extremely hard to even find a half-decent job, let alone salary. Those are fewer and less lucrative today for grad students, than those roaring 90’s/00’s were.
        Needless to say “any” education is better than just Tim Hortons.
        A good “Plumber” today makes a great salary. It’s local, and can NEVER be outsourced.

  4. If you study for useless degrees such as Art Appreciation, Political Science or Sociology you can expect to work for $15 hr.

    • And I hear Quebec gives out degrees in sexology ans whining. At best they will get is mimimum wage flipping burgers if they can learn to whine less.

      • Quebec also gives out some of the best business, engineering, neuroscience, computer science and medicine degrees in the country…but who cares, Quebec is always hilarious as a punchline.

  5. So they use average, which is a concern. And if you aren’t working after those 2 years, is your $0 income included in this average, or is it only those with income?

  6. Yes, credit, including student loans is cheaper-everywhere. But wages have been going down for decades vs inflation, the entire manufacturing sector is almost dead, and because of seniority and downwards pressure on wages for new hires from all angles, young people don’t have much hope of paying their debt down, let alone paying it off. Also, the runaway real-estate bubble, which has brought millions of Boomers and older Canadians untold prosperity, has been a calamity for students. My biggest cost was not tuition- it was rent.

    • Actually gross compensation is up over the decades. But employment taxes, benefits costs with embedded tax inflation, costs of living with tax inflated prices all add up to less value pay.

      Canada is a tax inflated economy, up to 283% tariff and protectionism in Mozzarella cheese means fewer pizza jobs and why pizza is $12 for a nice on in Chicago and same pizza is $30 in Canada.

      It isn’t that we are not paid enough, we are actually paid enough we can’t compete in this world.

      The real problem is with a tax debt inflated economy, your after real and hidden taxes stuff just costs too much. 1/2 your dental visit goes to taxes, tax a doctor or dentist less and they will not need to charge as much to live the same. Then your costs and insurance costs go down and you become competitive without stupid high gross compensation levels.

      That is why jobs go offshore. We are a tax-debt inflated economy of low productiving and excessively high costs….but we have bloated low retun governemtn we can’t afford….

      Tax me more, I spend less on your job. Want a job, tax me less and be glad to buy more services from other people.

      But we love the myths….. how many of these in debt students have 20+ hours a week part time jobs and in the summer also add a full time summer job, then study on Friday night to avoid the mostly tax costs of booze?

  7. Of course it can increase and decrease at the margins, but we still have almost twice as much debt as in the 1990s. This article’s title is misleading.

    • I guess it depends upon which trend one considers most important.

      Should the focus be on the fact that total average debt is $3590 higher today than it was in 1995, or the fact that total average debt is $4697 LOWER today than it was in 2005?

      That debt loads hit a peak in 2000 after all of the cuts in the 90s isn’t surprising. However, I was certainly surprised to see that it’s been going down ever since (an excellent trend).

  8. Free universal education….for the sake of the country as well as the individual.

    • Nothing is FREE and whatever is FREE results in more of it (and that is not good – we don’t need any more graduates in gender studies programs, we need plumbers and technicans and they will always get jobs)

      • See, you could have benefited greatly from an education.

    • “Free” university education would be a massive transfer of wealth from the relatively poor to the relatively wealthy. The heavy subsidies univeristies already receive disproportionately benefit the well off.
      That is because, for whatever reason, children of the well to do are much more likely to attend university than the children of the less well to do. This was true even when university was quite cheap from the 60s through mid 90s. So your so called “free” university is in fact a regressive tax against the poor.
      There are certainly many much more invenitve and effective ways to get money to students in need.

      • But if $ is the barrier, and it’s the single most likely explanation, then it’s the exact opposite – the poor are paying taxes into a system only the better off can access because the privately paid amount keeps them out. That tuition was lower in other decades doesn’t show otherwise.

        • But money does not appear to be the barrier. Even when university was quite cheap, it was still attended mostly by the well off. And note that relatively poor Nova Scotia, which has the highest tuition fees in Canada, also has the highest participation rate in post secondary education. Which province has the worst? Quebec, which has by far the cheapest tuition.
          If you want to make university free for the genuinely poor (which can be hard to quantify, since by definition most people in university will have little income even if they are backed by wealthy parents), I’m all ears. But it won’t guarantee that a lot more poor people benefit from university. And “free” education for all will do the poor a definate diservice.

          • 1st, Free education is never a disservice. The average post-secondary graduate will make over a million dollars more in the course of their lifetime beyond what a high-school graduate will make. Even in anti-tax Alberta, the taxes on their additional income alone will *more* than pay for the cost of the education.

            In addition, people with post-secondary are more likely to be employed (so not using social services), and when unemployed are more likely to be unemployed for a shorter amount of time.

            They are also more likely to start their own businesses, and more likely to have those businesses still running five years after their creation, thus hiring people and getting more people off of social services.

            They’re also *less* likely to get sick and seek medical attention (no reasons as to this are known, but the supposition is that they are able to find less stressful employment and can afford a better diet) which means the taxpayer saves money in the healthcare system.

            2nd, Quebec’s system is only the cheapest if you’re looking at the straight dollar cost of the education. The moment you look at tuition as percentage of income, or even worse, percentage of after-tax income, theirs is, I believe, the 2nd most expensive.

            Statistics Canada has also found that the primary determinant of whether someone will seek post-secondary is whether their parents have. Beyond money, location, or anything else, if your parents have gone to post-secondary, you probably will too. If they haven’t, you likely won’t.

            However, other studies have shown that for people whose parents have not attended post-secondary, one of the primary reasons they do not attend is fear of the costs and debt involved.

          • your entire reply was covered in my last sentence.

      • LOL Pretzel logic. Education would cure that.

        • Well, I support giving money to the poor for their education, and you support having the poor pay for the education of the rich. Maybe if you had put whatever education you have to better use you would understand that. But from long experience I know you will continue to show yourself as a fool on these comment boards. (See next emilyone posting for confirmation of this thesis).

          • We have free elementary and secondary education without a problem. Tertiary won’t be any different.

            You are the usual Libertarian peabrain with your tax refrain and nothing else.

  9. And the most important consideration – what you choose to study. Take a degree in any of the STEMs and you will be fine; do a degree in any of the ‘studies’ programs (gender, women, Indian, communication, media, cultural etc. etc. ) and you are hooped, plus it is likely that the university has suggested strongly to you that an undergraduate degree in gender studies is just not enough and you should enrol in a graduate program (racks up more revenue for the university and more student debt.)

    • Anybody who thinks a solely STEM society would be a great place to live should go and join an anthill

      • As much as I love the arts and support them, I think I would rather have good roads to travel on, heat/light in my house which is designed/built by someone in the STEMS. But clearly you value other things – good luck with living in a cave! I’m sure the paintings will be lovely.

        • Throughout most of history we’ve done without good roads, and heat/light in our houses……but in that time we developed democracy, healthcare, astronomy, symphonies, the Mona Lisa, our cultures and so on.

          There is no ‘choice’ to be made here….no black and white, good and bad. ALL of it is human and needed.

          • Even deep-fried dung beetles?

        • The soviet union invested in nothing but STEM…that sure turned out well. Civilization depends on the arts.

    • You know what this discussion needs? Facts. Thank goodness we can use the wonders of The Internet to visit StatsCan and check unemployment rates by field of study.

      For the Class of 2005, life science and education had the same unemployment rate, and psychology and social sciences grads had a lower unemployment rate than engineers. In 2000, psychology and social sciences fared better than engineering, computer, mathematics and physical sciences; engineering grads were almost as unemployed as humanities grads.

      Don’t you love it when you test a hypothesis and the results challenge your assumptions? Miracles.

      • That’s right – use stats from 10-15 years ago to prove your point – you must have graduated in one of the studies programs which specializes in manipulating numbers.

        • The last year in which StatsCan ran the National Graduates Survey was 2005. Why don’t you know that?

          Do you not care whether your claims and accusations are true, or do you just not know how to check?

      • “In 2000, psychology and social sciences fared better than engineering,
        computer, mathematics and physical sciences; engineering grads were
        almost as unemployed as humanities grads.”

        thank god for government jobs and the Liberal Party of Canada because that’s who hired most of those useless rent seekers.

        • That’s a nice hypothesis. Let’s test it. StatsCan’s Table 282-0008 gives us employment by industry for ages 15-24, 1994-2004. Total employment for that age group grew by 95100 in 2000.

          In 2000, 81% of job growth for that age group occurred in services, with just 19% in the goods producing sector (with gains in manufacturing off-setting steeper losses in farming/resource extraction). 30% of all new employment was in retail, followed by trade (29%), accommodation & food services (23%), and “information, culture & recreation” (19%).

          Public administration accounted for 400 new jobs for this age group, or less than 0.5% of new jobs. In total, public administration (nationwide) accounted for 2.4% of all jobs held by this demographic (a 16% decline from 1994). That pretty much forces us to reject your hypothesis. It was a good one though.

    • That’s not true at all. Try getting a job with a bachelor’s degree in math. You can’t, they don’t exist. Try getting a job with a bachelors degree in physical science, oh wait you can’t, and that’s why physical science and biology grads have lower employment rates than fine arts grads.

      STEM is great if you want to get a master’s degree but not for a bachelors.

  10. According to charts in this article, in the last 26 years there has been

    * 69% increase in average student loan burden
    * 109% increase in average annual annual interest payments
    * 91% increase in debt servicing as a share of monthly income (assuming 20 year loans)
    * 70% increase in average loan:income ratios
    * 1% decline in real incomes

    The title of the article is “Rising student debt burdens are a myth”. Ok then.

  11. Anyone educated in the 1970s knows todays students are whiners without the facts.

    Education has never been easier or cheaper once you calculate inflation. If they spent more time studing and choosing careers of value, and less time whining they would be far better off. But wisedom usually comes with age and most kids today feel far too self important when they are really ignorant about the facts.

  12. Do you have the stats for the USA? That is where most of the concern actually is, not as much in Canada.

  13. Bill 103 x primere Harris PC Party Liberal Party Green Party ndp party do not plan on making any changes soon for the students take your choice they’re all gonna lie to you anyways for u tube activist and speaker Phil Ryerson

  14. Here are HESA’s largest clients:

    Government of Canada, Human Resources Development
    Government of Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs
    Government of New Brunswick
    Government of Ontario
    Manitoba Council on Post-Secondary Education
    The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
    The Canadian Education Statistics Council
    The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship

    Given the track record of most of these gov’t/university-funded articles, I don’t fully trust this crap.