Wednesday, 11 October 2017 08:52

Students pay a big price for their post secondary education

Written by  Demi Knight
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With the number and amount of student loans rising, as more and more Albertans look for help to fund their post-secondary educations, it seems many might be floundering on what happens after graduation and how to pay them back.

Once degrees, diplomas and apprenticeships have been acquired and the student’s no more are looking at beginning their careers the looming debt can seem a little daunting. In fact, a new poll released by BDO Canada shows that many Albertans delay major life milestones due to student debt.
Furthermore, country wide 40% of graduates in Canada regret taking on student debt at all.
Senior Vice President of BDO Canada, Craig Fryzuk says that he thinks that paying back loans has always been on students minds but the recent economy and rise of tuition may play a major part in these new findings.
“My feeling is that student loans have always been an issue as far as paying them back because people have always graduated with debt and had trouble with paying them back. However, with tuitions on the rise and jobs not increasing as fast as tuition, millennials may have more default with debt.”
The study that was released earlier this year also showed that nearly one in four Albertans delay marriages and 21% of Albertans are deciding to delay starting a family due to the burden of loans. The study also worked to show four in 10 Albertans delay home ownership while another 27% choose to stay living at home to better reduce their outgoing costs.
Although the numbers may be startling of the financial worry post-graduate students feel, there must be a reason for the growing concern?
With the fluctuation in tuition and the economy not being able to keep on par, some students are worried that they may be falling too deep into debt that their career will not be able to pay off.
“Because of tuition being higher there has definitely been an increase in concern over the past 20 years, the amount of student debt that we’re seeing is certainly higher,” says Fryzuk and when asked if he thinks the lower job rate straight of school is a component, he said absolutely.
“Without coming out of school and making a large amount of money and if they have a lower paying job and you have to remember that not everybody will fall into dream job! People have to turn to another resource to pay off that student debt, a lot of the time that results in people taking a job outside of their chosen field.”
However, it isn’t just the rise in tuition that has students panicked about their loan repayments but also the dip in the economy causing them to need more money to survive whilst in school, thanks to the rise in rent, and the lack of jobs.
A statistical review from the  Government of Canada that was recently released, in fact stated that since the school year of 2010-2011 to 2014-2015 the number of students borrowing full time loans within Alberta have rose substantially from 47,503 all they way to 50,885.
The total amount of loans borrowed within Alberta too has seen an increase over the last five years, growing from $252.3 million in the academic year of 2010-2011 all the way to $285.9 million in 2014-2015.
These facts show that Alberta has seen one of the most substantial growths within Canada in money borrowed by students since 2010, second only to the province of Ontario.
But with student debt comes the reward of post-secondary education, and Fryzuk says in a final note that if post graduates can learn to better budget their finances, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
“I think the key is that if they don’t have a budget they need one. I’ve been keeping one for years, it’s that simple, you have to track where your money is going and if the money coming in is equal to or greater than what’s going out.”

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