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As Liberals cut $49.5 million from student aid, new data shows Nova Scotia leads pack in university costs

by Canadian Federation of Students - Nova Scotia

HALIFAX-Data released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows that Nova Scotia remains among the least affordable provinces to pursue a post-secondary education. This data comes in the wake of the Nova Scotia Liberal government’s decision to cut $49.5 million from student aid last week.

“If a student is lucky enough to find full time, minimum wage work this summer, they would have to save every penny to pay for tuition and administrative fees alone,” said Anna Dubinski, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia. “The thousands of dollars required for living costs, supplies and textbooks would have to come from somewhere else.”

This data provides clear evidence that the tuition fee freeze that was in effect in Nova Scotia between 2008-2011 improved the affordability of university. Since the lifting of the freeze in 2011 and the subsequent tuition fees increases of 3 percent, those improvements are being rolled back.

Nova Scotia youth today need to work an additional 200 hours to cover tuition fees when compared to what students paid in 1990. These numbers are even more extreme when looking at professional programs. Nova Scotians looking to pursue medicine will have to work an extra 250 hours when compared to the national average, and an extra 1000 hours when compared to 1990.

Current youth unemployment in Nova Scotia is amongst the highest in the country at 18.5 percent.

“As students finish their exams in the coming weeks, they will be under intense pressure to find work if they hope to offset the cost of their studies for 2014,” said Dubinski. “The reality is that many of them wont find full time work, or work at all, and will have to continue taking on the massive student debt loads.”

The interactive tuition fee map released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives tracks tuition and administrative fee data since 1975. The app allows users to customise their results based on province, degree and minimum wage hours needed to work to cover cost.

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Topics: Education
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