Student debt load unreasonable

At its board meeting of Feb. 22, a two per cent tuition and fee hike was approved for the 2011-12 school year at Selkirk College.

While some may see this as a necessary move in order to achieve a balanced budget, moving more of the burden of running Selkirk College and all post-secondary institutions across the province onto students is short-sighted.

The debt load on students continues to grow. What a generation ago may have been a manageable debt at the time of graduation has now grown for most students to well into five figures.

Increasing tuition rates will only make these debt loads higher in years to come and many students are already at or past their personal breaking points.

Many potential students aren’t even contemplating a post-secondary education due to increasing costs.

While the provincial government continues to promote itself as pro-education, the inflation-corrected per-student funding levels continue to drop; $200 million would need to be infused into the system to return the per-student funding levels to those of 2001.

At a time when the government’s take from tuition fees has surpassed its income from corporate taxes, the real solution to the budget problem is an increase in post-secondary funding.

Doug Henderson, president

Selkirk College Faculty Association