Student Costs are Worth It

In Winnipeg this week, City Council voted to allow preferentially priced bus passes for university students. This is not a new idea and as a result it did not create a groundswell of anger or outrage that our tax dollars (millions and millions) will be spend on reducing bus costs for students.

What did catch media attention was the outspoken opposition to these passes by two city councillors, opposition which would seem like political suicide to this easily accepted (by voters, in an election year) additional cost for the city.

Coincidentally, the Globe and Mail (a day after the vote) released an article on the value of university education, where it claims that university grads can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars more than their high school grad peers, and tend to find work faster, stay employed longer, and (when laid off) tend to be unemployed for shorter periods of time. This is true of even arts and fine arts grads, according to a similar article a number of years ago.

Add to that the stats that typically support the idea that lower tuition does not incentivize more people to go to university, but rather provide an immediate financial gain to those who would attend anyway (and who can afford to pay the tuition, and could & would in fact pay more if they had to).

There are a lot of studies which support these claims, and there are a lot of facts out there about student debt, rising costs of tuition (really the debt is often more linked to living away from home than from tuition)…we do not need to review those known facts here. What is interesting is this:

–          Politicians typically do not oppose discounts for students even though the students have so much to gain. But, students truly are often at a very poor point in their lives, and, oftentimes, the sop is not to the students, but to the parents, who also help pay for their children’s educational costs.

–          Students see the short-term pain, which is a function of their youth and also of the immediacy of their situation (the light at the end of the tunnel is more a distant hope than a reality).

The other interesting point is that so many studies and findings support that almost ANY post-secondary education is a wise investment of time and money.

For CCPs, and for all of our students, this is fantastic news. It means that we have done (or are doing) the right things for our careers, our families and our futures.

Students: the hard work is, well, hard, and it involves sacrifices. From someone on the other side, it is worth it. Keep going.

To all of us: tonight (Friday night) hoist a beverage and pat yourself on the back. In the confusing and intimidating world of investing, it is great to know that we have made a great choice!

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