All Posts Tagged With: "money"
Education increasingly viewed as private, not public good
TORONTO – Canadian students hoping for some financial relief on the cost of their post-secondary education are in for a disappointment over the next few years, a prominent think tank suggests.
A report from the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives forecasts the inflation-adjusted cost of an undergraduate university degree is expected to climb an average of 8.6 per cent over the next four years, extending a trend that has seen the price tag triple over the past two decades.
The inflation-adjusted cost of tuition and other compulsory fees averaged $2,243 across the country in 1990, the report showed. That figure had climbed to $6,254 for the 2012-13 academic year and is projected to keep rising, the centre said, adding the study focused solely on mandatory costs and did not factor in other financial demands such as books, food and accommodation.
The basic cost of an undergraduate degree in 2016-17 is projected to average $6,842, or slightly more than three times 1990 levels, the report said.
You won’t believe what they’re spending it on
It’s the time of year when most students in Canada ignore posters imploring them to vote for student government executives. Although student unions may seem irrelevant, they’re not. They collect millions of dollars each year in mandatory student fees and spend it, sometimes on things most students wouldn’t support—if only they knew.
Here are six stupid things Canadian student unions did with your money. If this doesn’t motivate you to research the candidates and vote in your campus elections, I don’t know what will.
1. Spent it on big parties you didn’t attend
Avicii, one of the top electronic acts in the world, doesn’t usually show up in places like Windsor, Ont. Snoop Dogg doesn’t often party in St. John’s, Nfld. It should be no surprise then that the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance lost about $40,000 on their show in September and that the Memorial University of Newfoundland Students’ Union lost $100,000 on Snoop. The Kwantlen Student Association may hold the record though. They lost $128,000 on Jay Sean. Jay… who?
Millennial students are materialistic and proud
In a famous scene from the 1995 film Clueless, protagonist Cher Horowitz is robbed but, though scared out of her wits, refuses to get on the dirty ground. “Oh, no. You don’t understand. This is Alaïa,” she says of her dress to the gunman. “It’s, like, a totally important designer.”
In the mid-1990s, Alicia Silverstone’s Cher Horowitz was comedic relief, an exception to the rule. Today, many of us are Cher Horowitz.
A staggering 34 percent of American Millennials grew up wealthy, according to Forbes, and the figures are likely similar in Canada.
Luxury items, previously reserved for the one percent, are now more accessible than ever and much of the student population at the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver where I study seems swept up in luxury consumerism.
Darren Dahl, who specializes in consumer behavior at UBC, views abundance as the primary ethos of our society. “Previous generations like the Baby Boomers didn’t have the discretionary income some of the kids today have,” he says. “Because there’s a higher level of discretionary income, there’s an ability to spend in this cohort that wasn’t in existence in previous cohorts.”
Demographic risks to housing market overblown: CIBC
LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press
A downturn in the housing market may not be as bad as feared because the important 25-34 age group will continue to buy houses — some with help from their well-off parents, says a senior economist at CIBC World Markets.
The analysis takes aim at a theory that population growth won’t be strong enough to sustain demand, putting downward pressure on housing prices that have risen dramatically during a years-long period of low interest rates.
“This demographically driven fear is much ado about nothing,” Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets, said Thursday.
That’s alright. You don’t want that anyway.
You’re young, in debt, not making as much money as you’d expected and the world keeps getting more expensive.
In many ways, our parents had it better: more jobs, cheap homes, less debt. Things that once seemed so basic, so average, so fundamentally middle class are becoming unobtainable.
Even if you’re making a bit more than the guy disappointed by $36,000 (which really isn’t bad), it’s a zero-sum game with those debt payments. Saving a critical mass of moolah is all but impossible in your twenties. Meanwhile, the big things in life require saving. Like a house and kids. And you need those things to be happy, right?
Wrong. To be clear, my goal isn’t to be political. If you want to resent the baby boomers for making all that money on real estate, if you want to march down the streets of Montreal, go right ahead.
But when campus pubs lose money, shut ‘em down
A few students at the University of Windsor are fighting to save their troubled campus pub.
Many more students are likely asking: but why?
The Thirsty Scholar, inside the CAW Centre on campus, will reopen in the fall as a small licensed cafe and bookshop, after the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance (which owns the space), turned it over to the campus bookstore in a 10-year lease deal, reports The Windsor Star.
Meanwhile, in Quebec…
Just as tens of thousands of Quebec students are expected to skip class and protest a tuition increase of $1625, a new study shows that Canada’s professors are the world’s highest paid.
U.S. and Russian researchers used Purchasing Power Parity for their global salary comparison, in order to account for vastly different costs of living.
The researchers found that full-time Canadian professors make the equivalent of $68,796 (USD) at the beginning of their careers, $86,352 at mid-career and $113,820 at the end of their careers.
By comparison, professors in the United Kingdom, seventh on the list, make $20,346 less than Canadian professors at the beginning of their careers and $25,524 less than their Canadian counterparts near the end of their careers.
Tuition will rise, but new grants will stay
Ontario students got good news and bad news from the provincial government today.
First, the good news. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities rejected economist Don Drummond’s recommendation to scrap the tuition grants introduced in January. University and college students will continue to get $1,600 and $730 off respectively next year.
The bad news: tuition will be allowed to rise by five per cent again next year. The Canadian Federation of Students and the College Student Alliance expressed disappointment at the news.
Minister Glen Murray also said that, contrary to reports, “no changes are being contemplated that would require all universities to set standard tuition fees for arts and science programs.”
RIM founder’s gifts now total $123 million
The founders of Research In Motion (RIM), the Waterloo, Ont. based produce of BlackBerry products, have fallen. But one of them, Mike Lazaridis, is ready to make a new investment. He and his wife Ophelia pledged $21 million to the University of Waterloo on Wednesday. “History has shown us that a relatively small investment in fundamental research in physics and in science today can lead to huge innovation tomorrow,” Lazaridis said. The money will fund chairs in condensed matter and astrophysics, a new science building and scholarships for mathematics students. The couple have donated $123 million in total, after funding the Institute for Quantum Computing and the soon-to-open Quantum Nano Centre. To get a sense of how big those donations are, consider that only one gift to a Canadian university exceeded $20 million last year, reports Academica.
Presidents and student groups complain
University presidents and student groups in Nova Scotia are angry about a new three-year funding agreement that includes a three per cent funding cut and a three per cent tuition rise, which is roughly equivalent to annual inflation.
After a four per cent cut last year, plus inflation, there is now a $75-million hole in budgets system-wide, John Harker, chairman of the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents and president of Cape Breton University told the Chronicle Herald.
The Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students called the agreement “disappointing.” In a release, chair Maxime Audet said this: “tuition fee increases coupled with reductions in government funding means students in Nova Scotia will be paying more and getting less.”
CFS and opposition want credit extended to all families
Despite Ontario’s woeful fiscal situation, the Liberal government says it will make good on its promise to offer 310,000 students tuition rebates—$730 per college student and $1,600 per university student. At $6,500, Ontario has the highest average university tuition in the country.
Those receiving Ontario Student Assistance Program funding will automatically get the rebates in January, which will be credited online in time for second semester payments, according to CTV News. Other students will need to apply through a website that will be available in January.
Five out of six families with students will be eligible for the rebate—but families who make more than $160,000 will be left out. The Canadian Federation of Students presented a 40,000-signature petition to the legislature asking for the $423-million annual cost of the rebate program pay for a 13 per cent reduction in tuition fees for all students instead. The opposition New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives agree that all students—not just some—should get a break on tuition.
*Editor’s Note: In a comment below, Glen Murray, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, addresses who is eligible for these particular grants. The 30 per tuition reduction applies to students who are within four years of high school graduation, registered in a first-entry undergraduate university or college programs, and from families with incomes lower than $160,000. He notes that there are other provincial programs available for other students.
Guess which universities get the least student financial aid
You know the stereotype that Queen’s University attracts rich kids? The one played up in this recent viral video in which a student jokes: “I don’t know what financial aid is, but Queen’s has it.”
Well, if the number of students receiving financial assistance is any indication, it’s very likely true.
Queen’s University has the lowest number of students receiving Ontario Student Assistance in the province: only 29.6 per cent of students.
Contrast that to Nipissing University in the relatively poorer north of Ontario, where twice as many—59.6 per cent—get loans. It’s almost as high at Trent University—59.3 per cent.
Minister cites recent sexual assaults
The federal government is planning to fund projects to address violence against women on university and college campuses.
Rona Ambrose, Minister for Status of Women, told the Canadian Press that recent attacks on Canadian campuses are a reality check.
“Yes, there are good programs out there being offered by institutions like universities and colleges but we need to do more,” she said.
Women have been targeted by sexual predators at schools across the country this year. On the weekend, there were two incidents of possible sexual predators near the University of Windsor. Earlier this month, female students near Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, B.C. allege they received the date-rape drug GHB. In the spring, York University experienced two alleged sexual assaults and the murder of Qian Liu, a student from China. In April, four female McGill University students were physically assaulted.
Protesters were “masked and hooded”
McGill Principal Heather Munroe-Blum told the Montreal Gazette yesterday that she is “sorry” to students who were hurt by pepper spray when riot police showed up at the administration building on Nov. 10. Students have called the response to their occupy-style protest heavy-handed. But Munroe-Blum defends herself by stressing that the occupiers were “masked and hooded,” which frightened the staff. She also added, “when you call the police you don’t tell them how to do their job.” The pepper-spraying at McGill came the same day tens of thousands of Quebec students marched in protest to the annual tuition rise of $325, which will bring fees more in line with the Canadian norm by 2017. Munroe-Blum continues to defend the tuition increases as a way to compete with better-funded schools like the University of British Columbia and University of Toronto. Three police officers at the University of California Davis are on leave after pepper-spraying 11 seated students at an Occupy protest Friday. Those protesters were not masked.
Hint: the top three aren’t in Toronto
Canadian Business has released its annual MBA Guide and, along with it, a slideshow that shows potential students what they want to know most—which MBA gets the best return on investment?
Here are the top five MBAs in Canada by R.O.I.
1. Desautels (McGill, Montreal, Que.)
Entering Salary: $49,000
Starting Salary: $112,000
2. Dalhousie (Halifax, N.S.)
Entering Salary: $33,000
Starting Salary: $67,000
Why students are flocking to Memorial University
The 21st Maclean’s University Rankings includes a close look at Atlantic Canada’s schools. To read more, buy your copy today.
Amber Haighway, a fifth-year music education student at Memorial University (MUN) in St. John’s, Nfld., has many jealous friends studying in places like Toronto, New Brunswick and back home in Nova Scotia. They say things like, “I can’t believe you pay that little for a whole semester—that’s the price of one course at my school.” It’s not far from the truth. As the Glace Bay native explains, “it’s more affordable to travel from Nova Scotia and pay for school, books and housing in Newfoundland than to go 10 minutes down the road to Cape Breton University and live at home with my parents.”
Students react swiftly with copycat site
Quebec’s Liberal government has launched a new website to convince students of the fairness of the annual $325 tuition fee increase that will bring tuition to $3,793 in 2016-17.
Student groups cried foul last week when they learned that Quebec had budgeted $50,000 for Internet advertising, including some that attempts to re-route Internet users to the governments’ site whenever they search the names of activist organizations on Google, reported La Presse.
Tens of thousands of students protested the Charest governments’ increase last week, despite the fact that Quebec will continue to have some of the lowest fees in North America even after the rise.
Six programs for ambitious undergrads
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings—on sale now. Story by Sandy Farran.
It’s the stuff of dreams: in early 2009, University of Waterloo engineering student Ted Livingston set out to design an instant messaging app while taking part in Waterloo’s VeloCity Residence program, an intense four-month incubator for student start-ups. The program provided Livingston with regular access to an entrepreneur-in-residence, use of the latest technology, a collaborative work space, exposure to community mentors and the support of like-minded peers.
The entrepreneurial skills that Livingston acquired while in the VeloCity program propelled his instant-messaging app from the idea phase, in early 2009, to a downloadable app in the fall of 2010. Since then, four million users have downloaded the free technology (called Kik Messenger), investors have come knocking, and Livingston has donated $1 million to his alma mater to help other student entrepreneurs.
Eight apps that can help students save money
From the Maclean’s University Rankings. For more university advice, get your copy today!
Let’s face it: university is expensive. Between tuition, textbooks and having a social life, the cost adds up quickly. Luckily, smartphones can cut costs with a range of apps designed to manage money and track expenses. Forget bank tellers. Since the first mobile banking application became available in Canada in early 2010, the number of Canadians using daily mobile banking has climbed to more than 2.5 million, according to a July report by the Toronto-based Solutions Research Group.
Not surprisingly, the number of apps has also exploded. Here, in no particular order, are the top eight for saving money via your smartphone.
1. Mobile banking apps
Available for: iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry or any Internet-enabled device
Standing in line at the bank is as exciting as a library tour. Luckily, Canada’s “Big Five”—the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce—all offer a full suite of mobile apps for everyday banking transactions such as checking account balances, paying bills, and transferring money. Plus, you can use your bank’s ATM locator to avoid wallet-gouging fees from machines outside your bank’s network.
Why Canadian students graduate with more debt, not less
Canadians are graduating with more debt than their American counterparts—despite the well-known higher sticker prices south of the border.
In the U.S., average debt at graduation rose to $25,250 in 2010, according to a Nov. 3 report by the Project on Student Debt. Here in Canada, students were graduating with an average debt of $26,680 according to a 2009 report released by the Millennium Scholarship Foundation. If anything, the Canadian average is higher now.
The numbers seem almost impossible: isn’t tuition ridiculously high in the U.S.?