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High tuition fees push students to work three times as many hours as previous generations

OTTAWA, April 15, 2014 /CNW/ - An interactive tuition fee map released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives provides further evidence that it is dramatically more difficult to get a university education today than it was in 1975.

"The cost of getting a university education has increased so much that students must now work three times the number of hours their parents did to pay for a single year of school," said Jessica McCormick, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "With youth un- and underemployment at record levels, youth across Canada are facing a steep uphill battle to get an education and a good job."

In 1975, students only needed to work 200 hours or five weeks of full-time work at minimum wage in order to pay for a year's tuition fees. This year, a student would have to work 650 hours or 16 weeks of full-time, minimum wage work and still find additional funding to pay for books and living expenses. Some provinces have reversed this trend by freezing or reducing tuition fees. Students in Newfoundland and Labrador have the lowest tuition fees in Canada and, as a result, students there have to work the fewest number of hours to pay tuition fees.

"Students in most of the country must now choose to either go deep in debt or not study at all," added McCormick. "Newfoundland and Labrador is the best example of strong policies and investments that make education more affordable and should serve as a model for other provinces to follow."

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more that one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' tuition fee map can be found at

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

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