Jeannine Mitchell's blog

How Long Will You Work to Pay Your Tuition?

Finally, some good news for arts and humanities grads.

It seems that they won't have to work as many minimum-wage hours as most other grads to pay for their degree!

Now they've got ammunition for those online discussions about student debt. You know, the ones where the trolls blame indebted grads for taking arts and humanities. Quit whining, they yell, you just had to take engineering. 

By the simple law of supply and demand, I'd guess that if everyone took engineering, it would soon pay a buck an hour. But that's still theoretical.

Newfoundland Leads Again: No More Student Loans!

                               For related story, see Nova Scotia Goes Interest-Free, Will You? 

Replace our student loans with non-repayable grants?

In much of Europe, that would be standard thinking. But in Canada, it has sounded like an impossible dream. Instead, student debt has piled ever-higher despite pleas from parents, students and lobby groups such as the Canadian Federation of Students.

Losing Power to the 40+%

In my previous post, we saw that just a minority of BC voters voted in favour of the political party that switched BC from first to worst in higher education access.

As detailed there, this was a minority for two reasons. First, the popular vote was split quite closely between two major parties. Second, more than 40% of BC voters stayed home.

Duh, governments make a difference.

Ok I'm going to rant. Just a touch.

And btw, to get my drift, you should first see BC: Canada's Worst Place for Students.

In that earlier post, the collapse of BC's higher education access illustrated how our lives can change by which political party gets elected.

But of course, this vulnerablity is what we live with, no matter where we are. This is not just about BC.

BC: Canada's Worst Place for Students

Have you read any of our recent 'comparing provinces' articles and blogs about post-secondary education in Canada?

If so, you might already think you know how badly BC scores regarding access and affordability. But it's worse than you think.

It's so bad that the collapse of education access in BC could be made into a poster as to why students and their families should vote.

How to Find Help Paying Student Loans

 We call Student Finance 101 a 'help-site' because it blends resources and info in one place to help you get out of student debt.

But really, it's a 'help yourself' site. Most people use it that way, but sometimes we get questions. And the #1 question is "Can I get help paying my student loans?"

And what they usually mean by 'help' is government aid, such as loan forgiveness. (Which by the way, usually doesn't forgive your whole loan, but that's another story).  

The Price is Wrong: Part 2


In the last post, I gave up my neutrality and urged Canadian students to just say NO to today's fixed-rate student loans.

Most governments are over-charging to the point where these loans will almost certainly cost you thousands of dollars more than variable (floating-rate) loans.

Fixed-rate student loans normally cost a bit extra because you're getting the security of locking in today's student loan interest rate, so it won’t go up in future.

The Price is Wrong

Canada Cleans Up On Fixed-Rate Student Loans

 They only talk about the 'cheap' student loans.

When media and government discuss student loans, they usually talk as if there’s only one type. The one with the lowest price-tag – that’s what gets covered.

Not the more expensive ones, even though that’s what many Canadian students are stuck with.

Right now, what’s cheapest is the ‘variable’ (floating) student loan. And you don’t hear much about fixed-rate student loans.

Canada’s Student Loan Rates Compared (2013-2014)

As mentioned in my last blog, Canada’s federal (and most provincial) governments reap a hidden tax from the low and middle-income students who need to borrow student loans. 
These governments borrow money at a discount (at least 1% below the ‘prime’ rate). At present, that lets them borrow at 2% or less. Then they charge up to 400% more on student loans.

Canada’s Hidden Tax On Low-Income Students

I like to mix up our blog topics. But we need to return to this student loan interest theme because it’s costing Canadian students billions.
Let’s do the math.