Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Poor Financial Literacy Keeps Students Out of College or University

Not knowing much about money can keep Canadian students out of college or university, according to a new report.

Marc Frenette and Jennifer Robson of Ottawa’s Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) say the biggest problem is low-income students not knowing about the help they can actually get.

In a recent press release, the company said, “Despite rising postsecondary enrolments in Ontario overall and improvements to financial aid programs, the number of students from low-income families attending postsecondary institutions has remained static over the last two decades.”

“And for those low-income students who do pursue higher education, approximately half are not taking advantage of government grants and loans for which they are eligible.”

The report claims that low-income students seem to overestimate the cost of postsecondary education, while underestimating the economic benefits of attending university. Based on this data, Frenette and Robson called on guidance councillors to be a better resource for these students, and suggested the councillors themselves could use more financial training.

Their report also showed that Canada’s financial literacy levels were higher than The United States’, but less than half of the surveyed public reports knowing ‘a lot’ or ‘a good amount’ about how to get college or university financial aid.

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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