Funding my education

It is fashionable among university students to demand a tuition freeze or, ideally, tuition reductions. A tuition freeze is a bit like a tax cut for the rest of you: it’s a selfish thing to want but not particularly useful to those selfish ends.

When middle-class folks (or the people who want their votes) cry out for tax cuts, they justify it in a variety of ways. They make appeals for smaller government, liberty, and so on, but it’s really about keeping more money for yourself. In the same way, when we university students talk about the increasing accessibility to post-secondary education, we mostly just want to keep more money for ourselves.

Given the cost of tuition in Ontario is somewhere around $5000 per year (and there are considerable additional costs like books), a difference of 6% or so each year doesn’t really affect the accessibility of post-secondary education. If you are able to spend $5000, you probably can spend $5300.

If we are truly concerned with making an undergraduate degree attainable for all, our relief efforts have to be focused on the people who need it. Instead of a freeze across the board, those people who can’t afford tuition as it is should receive the most aid. It only makes sense.

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