Jeannine Mitchell's blog

Is the US Student Loan System in Big Trouble?

A Debt 101 peek behind the economic curtain here...
US-based Citigroup was North America's biggest banking empire before the Crash last fall. Since then, it's been typically referred to in business circles as a "zombie bank." (Ask me how I know: I had to sell my Citigroup stock...)

Student Loans in the Last Century


CBC TV is running a short 1997 video from its online archives, looking at how three students felt about their student debt and prospects back then. The title is "Debt for Degrees."

Although this was 12 years ago, the economy was a little depressed then too, with jobs  getting harder to find.

It would be great if the CBC had a "Debt for Degrees 2" so we could see how things went later for those three students.

How Big is Canada's Student Debt Today?

The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) came up with this for its website. A Canada Student Loan Debt clock lets you watch student debt adding up across the country. Tick-tick tick-tick tick-tick tick-tick tick-tick...


It's mesmerizing, though not as soothing as a lava lamp...J

The Grad School Hamster Wheel


It's in grad school that students tend to really feel stressed about their student loans and other debts. After years in the trenches, they often ask themselves what this is all for.

So check out this interesting observation in "End the University as We Know It," an April 26, 2009 Op Ed article in the New York Times by Mark C. Taylor:

Tuition Fee Rebates Across Canada

 UPDATED July 2014...

Let's focus on the universal programs here - the ones most grads can obtain.

Some provinces, such as BC, only offer tuition fee rebates or loan forgiveness to small groups of people -- such as recent grads now working in B.C.'s civil service ("Pacific Leaders"). This can limits aid to an elite group of chosen employees. 

 But other provinces have more universal programs. They offer a generous tuition tax rebate for all, or for all with an undergraduate degree (each province varies).

Oops... Media Misreads Saskatchewan Tuition Fee Rebates

In the past day or two, you may have seen media coverage announcing that the government of Saskatchewan is offering tuition fee rebates of up to $20,000.
Actually, Saskatchewan rejigged its tuition rebate-based Graduate Retention Program in it's 2008 budget. But it's still an important program -- and should be explained on our Debt 101 helpsite -- so let's go.
First, the good news.

After Nova Scotia Students Vote With Their Feet, the Deal Sweetens


How interesting, the flurry of initiatives launched by Nova Scotia recently to cut costs for post-secondary students.

During 2008, the announcements included a three-year tuition freeze, a grant, bursary, increased graduate tax credit and a two-point cut in student loan interest rates.

Seems there was substance to those media reports that Nova Scotia was losing students due to high tuition fees.

New Student Loan Bankruptcy Rules Shorten Wait


Canadians overwhelmed by student loan debt have been granted a three-year break.

On July 7, 2008, Minister of Labour Jean-Pierre Blackburn signed an Order-in-Council permitting automatic discharge for student loans in bankruptcy after seven years.

An existing rule requiring a 10-year wait had been on the books since 1998. The 10-year rule led to charges of discrimination and a legal challenge.

Student Aid Report Sees Progress – But Not in BC

BC Hits Bottom, Manitoba is Tops

British Columbia is swimming against the tide when it comes to student financial aid. That is one of the findings of a report released October 22, 2008 by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

In general, the Foundation's report, Ten Things You Need to Know About Financial Support for Post-Secondary Students in Canada, paints a fairly positive picture of recent trends in Canada's student financial aid system.

'Drop the Fees' Rallies Mark Students' Day of Action


On November 5, 2008, college and university students from across Canada marched to mark the Students' Day of Action 2008.

The campaign, organized by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), was especially active in Ontario. Thousands gathered there in 14 cities, including Toronto, Guelph, Kingston and Windsor. Speakers urged the provincial government to boost access to post-secondary education by simply dropping tuition fees.