CBC Digital Archives

Debt for degrees

In 1968, Canadians first got their hands on credit cards, making it faster and easier to spend money they didn't necessarily have. Aside from their plastic, many Canadians also deal with the varying burdens of student loans, mortgages and all the other factors that contribute to personal debt. The CBC Digital Archives looks back on the times and troubles of personal debt in Canada, exploring how we get into debt and how we might avoid it.

media clip
In 1997, the average Canadian student leaves university a little older, a little wiser and a lot poorer. As the average student debt approaches $10,000, some students are wondering if they can afford a post-secondary education. In this report, CBC-TV looks at three students - a university graduate, a current student and a prospective student - at different levels of the university experience, with the latter wondering not which university she'll go to, but whether she can afford to go at all.
• As of 2008, the average student debt in Canada was $20,000 for those graduating with a four-year bachelor's degree.

 • According to Statistics Canada, the average undergraduate tuition fee in Canada for the 2008-09 school year was $4,724. By province, Quebec had easily the lowest tuition rate, with an average cost of $2,167 and Nova Scotia was the priciest province, with an average tuition of $5,932. Nova Scotia was also the lone province to have a drop in tuition fees; for the 2007-08 school year, tuition averaged $6,110.

• As of January 2009, the debt owed on loans through the Canada Student Loans program had grown to $12.9 billion, with that amount increasing by nearly $20 per second.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Evening News
Broadcast Date: April 10, 1997
Guest(s): Sarah Dopp, Nigel Moses, Laurisa O'Brien, John Snobelen
Reporter: Cheryl Jackson
Duration: 6:00

Last updated: April 22, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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