Where the rich kids go

Guess which universities get the least student financial aid

You know the stereotype that Queen’s University attracts rich kids? The one played up in this recent viral video in which a student jokes: “I don’t know what financial aid is, but Queen’s has it.”

Well, if the number of students receiving financial assistance is any indication, it’s very likely true.

Queen’s University has the lowest number of students receiving Ontario Student Assistance in the province: only 29.6 per cent of students.

Contrast that to Nipissing University in the relatively poorer north of Ontario, where twice as many—59.6 per cent—get loans. It’s almost as high at Trent University—59.3 per cent.

There’s a similar pattern in the east. At the relatively exclusive Mount Allison University*, only 25 per cent of students receive assistance from the New Brunswick government. But at the University of New Brunswick, 42.8 per cent get loans. At the Université de Moncton, centred in economically disadvantaged Acadian towns, fully 60 per cent of students receive provincial aid.

But things are a little different in the west. At British Columbia’s four research universities, the numbers are much closer, ranging from a low of 24.8 per cent of students on aid at the University of British Columbia to a high of 26.8 per cent on aid at the University of Northern British Columbia.

In Manitoba, the shocking thing is how few students receive loans at all. The number ranges from eight per cent at the University of Winnipeg to 13 per cent at Brandon University. Perhaps that’s because the average year’s tuition is just $3,593 in Manitoba, compared to $6,316 in Ontario and $5,647 in New Brunswick. As a result, Manitoban students may feel like rich kids too.

*The fact that Mount Allison attracts more than half of its student body from outside New Brunswick may partially explain the fact that only one-quarter of its students get New Brunswick loans.