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October 27, 2017 7:10 pm

CNC Contest Highlights Debt Burden Students Face

Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 11:49 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Thirty lucky students at the College of New Caledonia have a chance to win a $1,000 prize.

It’s all thanks to a contest launched by the college’s Faculty Association and aims to help them pay off a portion of their debt load.

“What we’re trying to do is bring awareness to the barriers students are facing with the cost of their education,” says president Bill Deutch.

“So, to offset those costs we’re inviting students to submit either a two-page essay or a short video clip. The video clip doesn’t have to be fantastic – not Angelina Jolie quality – it can just be raw video of the barriers to education and what they expect to get out of CNC as a training institution.”

He says some of the stories he’s heard surrounding student debt are heartbreaking.

“One woman, she told me the other day that by the time she’s finished her education, she’s gonna owe $90,000.”

Deutch says that woman is not alone noting students are paying a massive 400 per cent increase in tuition since 2002.

“In fact, students pay over 1 billion dollars more in tuition than they did 15 years ago, leaving too many middle and lower income families in debt or locked out of getting a good post-secondary education.”

He says the contest is part of the Open Door campaign happening at post-secondary institutions around the province. Students have until Feb.10, 2017 to enter their submissions and the winners will be announced March 7.

The prizes are coming out of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators defense fund. The contest is open to students at all CNC campuses. Learn more by clicking here.


I wonder if anybody has done a study showing the massive debts that some face when getting out of high school and pursuing something other than a post-secondary education?

Massive debt? How much would a logging truck cost, or a skidder? What about a commercial fishing boat and licence? How about even the cost of a taxi cab and the required motor carrier licences/permits? How much might it cost to open your own business selling clothes or whatever else one might be inclined to do or sell?

A post secondary education should be seen as an investment in one’s future income stream, and not a debt!

CNC President Bill Deutch states: “One woman, she told me the other day that by the time she’s finished her education, she’s gonna owe $90,000.”

Hmmm, go talk to the 20 something kid who just borrowed $150,000.00 or more buying and setting up a welding truck and who now is out pounding doors looking for work!

Nothing in life comes easy! Now that should be a required course in all post-secondary institutions!

    There is a difference between personal debt and business debt, particularly when a person operates their business as a Limited Liability business (Ltd.). When a business cannot meet it debt obligations, creditors cannot go after the business owner’s “personal assets”. The $90,000 post-secondary student loan, referred to in this article, is “personal” debt. Learn to know the difference!

    This may sound ironic, given the subject of this news article …but may I suggest you take a business course at CNC or UNBC so you can learn to know the difference?

      If you borrow as a company they make you sign a personal guarantee so the creditors can and do go after your personal assets. Only after a business is well established will a creditor consider not asking for one.

      One problem with education is too many degrees do not lead to employment. A business lender wants to see a business plan showing how you will make the money to pay them back. Student loans will lend for any educational choice so you can end up unemployed and in debt.

      Bh recommends Hart Guy take a business course. Does anyone else see the irony in that?

      I was expecting a comment from you Peeps, after all, you are the bleeding heart defender of the “whine” of the day!

      Education and the cost of education is the pathway to a better future, isn’t it? If it is, then one should be prepared to accept the cost and amortize it, so to speak, over the many many future years of potentially higher income! That assumes of course, that you aren’t taking useless courses with no job prospects upon graduation!

      Now, as someone who has owned and operated a business for well over 30 years, I am well aware of the difference between personal debt and business debt, and deductible versus non-deductible debt, but thanks for putting forth your usual useless information Peeps!

      You never did say what you do to earn a living! Is that because you don’t earn a living, you just collect a paycheque?

      Peeps, I was just wondering if any of the courses from my post-secondary education days way back when, would qualify as a business course that might meet with you approval? Here’s a list of a few of them:

      Accounting 101 and 102
      Intermediate Accounting 101 and 102
      Advanced Intermediate Accounting 101 and 102
      Advanced Accounting 101 and 102
      Cost Accounting 101 and 102
      Managerial Accounting
      Quantitative Methods
      Managerial Psychology
      Business Law
      Computer Science

      There’s more, but it’s been well over 30 years and the names of all the courses don’t readily come to mind anymore!

    Hart, learn something everytime you post, good stuff.

      I would just like to say….thank you for not having political science on your resume.

      I mean that sincerely…

“One woman, she told me the other day that by the time she’s finished her education, she’s gonna owe $90,000.”

What the hell is she taking at CNC that’s costing $90,000?

Good post Hart guy. 90,000 grand with no details, makes one wonder.


    So, how much of that debt can attributed to actual education costs and how much should be attributed to just normal day-to-day cost of living expenses such as rent, food, dining out, cell phone bills, internet and cable costs, entertainment costs, vehicle costs, clothing, health and wellness costs, Starbucks, Second Cup, etc?

    Or, perhaps this student is taking the 10 year “professional student” college program, the type with no job prospects upon graduation?

      Or she has to pay daycare and general living expenses while she gets her undergrad. My CNC program cost $11k plus books for 2 years. My daycare was twice that, not including $2700/mo in the summer for out of school care while I work in my field. If I had to live solely on loans for my 4 year degree, I would be about 90k in the hole when my degree is done. It is hardly, as you say, a “professional student” degree either.

      Thanks for that dose of current reality Throckster, some of the people posting to this news blog site seem to be living 30 to 40 years in the past.

      Throckster, do you consider your daycare and general living expenses to be part of your educational costs? Did those costs disappear when your education was complete and you entered the workforce? Lots of people, both post-secondary students and working people, pay daycare costs, and everybody has general living expenses.

      I applaud anybody that seeks more education and the better standard of life that hopefully comes with it. But it seems as if some who wish to obtain higher education and it’s rewards fail to put in place a proper plan to get them there! Perhaps our current K-12 system should do more to prepare students for the challenges of obtaining a post-secondary education? The costs are high and if young people were clearly made more aware of the costs, and if this awareness was made earlier perhaps starting in middle school or earlier high school grades, students might get a part time job and put some money away towards their future education costs. Or they may demand less from their parents, perhaps a new cell phone every 2 years instead of every year. Some countries start to direct students towards career programs and paths before high school graduation while here I’ve known lots of high school grads that have no idea what they want to be, instead opting to take a year or two off to “find themselves” in an extended vacation to Europe or Australia! That’s not much of a plan!

      As a business owner, if I go to a financial institution for a business loan, I better have a plan and an income/expense summary, both of which must clearly demonstrate my ability to repay the loan. The financial institution certainly isn’t interested in my daycare and general living expenses.

      When I graduated high school, I’d already been working part time after school and had set aside some money for my psot-secondary education. I worked for a year after graduating high school and I saved as much as I could. When I went to college, I got a roommate and shared a place and expenses. I distinctly remember a lot of Bologna sandwiches and Kraft Dinner, lots and lots of Bologna sandwiches and KD! We shared travel costs and whatever else we could to make ends meet. It was part of the “plan”!

      I’ve stopped by the 15th and Central Starbucks on occasion, usually mid-afternoon and I’ve noticed that it is usually very difficult to find a free seat or table. The place is usually packed with students enjoying lattes and other expensive drinks and treats! Starbucks isn’t cheap, but the place seems to do a lot of business with post-secondary students! I’m not sure what kind of plan these students have, but I sure couldn’t afford what they seem able to afford.

      There are always exceptions and I’m sure that there are some that truly struggle to make ends meet during their post-secondary school years, just as there were back in my day. But, if you want something bad enough, you will usually be able to find a way! For some, student loans and student debt is the only way! If this investment in one’s future isn’t worth it, then don’t make it!

      “When I graduated high school”… “just as there were back in my day”…

      Like I said, some of the people that post on here seem to be living 30 or 40 years in the past.

      And a lot of people seem to be living in a future where everyone expects everything is given to them for free by people who worked all their lives. And when they finally do work they expect to be the boss on day 2.

      I do consider daycare part of my education costs. I was the at-home parent for 12 years before going back to school and daycare was not a cost before that. I am lucky that I have a partner who has a wage that covers our basic living expenses (note:we have neithwr new phones or Starbucks habits; the kids are expensive enough). If I had to get by without his contribution, we would be living in pretty lean times indeed.
      You also have to remember that when one is in school, they are not usually working. That is why student loans cover living expenses and how people go so far into debt. A 90K student debt works out to $22500/yr. Given UNBC tuition (about $3000/semester, $6000/yr), books ($500/semester) and fees (Usually abother $500/semester for various fees) this leaves the student with a pretty lean amount for living for the average student.

Hart Guy, one of the differences between now and 30 years ago, is that post-secondary education wasn’t generally “required” back then. Loads of people could simply graduate high school (or not in many cases) and still walk into a good paying job, one that could support a family with all the basics of care, etc. Post secondary back then gave you a significant leg up and would typically advance you into “higher end” jobs, but it wasn’t often “needed”.

Now, a 4 year undergraduate degree is often a minimum job entry requirement, for even basic jobs. Add professional certifications on top of that if you want to get into the higher paid positions. The relationship between education and the job market now is simply not comparable to 30 years ago. It’s pointless to raise “back in my day” arguments, because those days are long gone. They mean nothing now.

So, at least in my opinion, the issue is what should we do NOW? As a country, does it make sense to ensure that our citizens have the level of education that is going to be required in the CURRENT job market, or do we only provide them with the level of education that was required for the job market of 30-40 years ago?

If we decide on the latter, what impact would it have on our economy? Our global competitiveness? Our average wage levels in the country? Our ability to raise taxes to support the people who benefitted from an era where they didn’t have to have higher levels of education in order to get ahead?

If we decide on the former, how do we best ensure that it remains affordable? How do we ensure that people are acquiring the education an skills that they need? How do we ensure that the investment of our tax dollars provides a reasonable return for the people funding it?

Let’s think about this a bit harder than “suck it up and pay your way”.

    Now is all that extra education actually required or is that something pushed by the education industrial complex for their own gain. My self I do not see any gain, for example the so called educated voting for pretty hair over substance.

    Myself went the military route. Acquired a good trade while getting paid and seeing a good portion of the world. Not for everyone I guess.

      Well if you consider that the vast majority of advances in our society over the past number of decades has come via brain power, as opposed to brawn, I think one could reasonably conclude that education is a pretty important component of progress.

You are correct to a point NMG, but our post secondary institutions are already heavily subsidized by taxpayers! It isn’t unreasonable for the student to pay a portion of the bill, and I think some of the posters are questioning the funding efforts of a student coming out with 90,000 in debt.

    It is not unreasonable for the student to pay a portion of the bill, but why should that portion of the bill be the highest in Canada?

    ht tp://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/08/bc-students-expected-to-graduate-with-highest-debt-in-canada/

    Did you know our BC Liberal Government collects more money from income challenged post secondary students than it does from collecting corporate taxes? Research is your friend, look that fact it up!

      Not learning from you.

You don’t need a post secondary education to get into a trade, most times just grade 12 or equivalent.
A trade has generally always provided a good starting wage, and potentially great wages down the road, but little of the cachet of a university degree.

What DO you need to get into a trade?
Honesty, desire, a willingness to start at the bottom, ability, and persistence.
As true today as it was in the mid 1970’s for me.

    Actually you need schooling now to get into a trade, generally even before you get an apprenticeship.

      It’s generally better for all concerned if those who think they might want to apprentice for a specific trade actually work in that trade, or something close to it, on a pre-apprenticeship basis first.

      Most kids coming out of high school, even if they’ve now had some mandatory ‘work experience’ while going to school, haven’t really got a clue what they want to do.

      They need to actually get close to whatever it is they think might interest them, and see what really goes on. Too many try to do it the other way around, go into some vocational training program first, and then find when they actually have to do what they thought they’d like to do, it isn’t what they want at all.

      In my experience sponsoring apprenticeship in the millwright trade, I’d be extremely reluctant to take on an apprentice who hadn’t actually worked in or around a sawmill or other similar industrial operation first. I realise this does present some problems nowadays, because many of the typical sawmill entry level routes of old often no longer exist, but it’s still my feeling that the end results are much better whenever it’s possible to go that way.

      High school curricula is much improved in many ways from what it was when I went to school, but there are a great many areas in which it could be much improved yet. One simple improvement would be to teach EVERY kid first aid at least to the minimum level WorkSafe now requires for an Occupational First Aid ticket.

$2700 a month for child care? How many kids do you have? 5?

    I’m guessing three? $700-$1,000 a month is pretty normal for daycare.

      Per child that is.

      Yep. 3 kids. $395/mo/kid for after school care, $200/wk/kid for summer programming.

      (Plus a week or two at Camp Grandpa)

      Wow! That’s crazy.

Rather than simply recounting in print or video various students’ personal struggles, the Faculty Association should have sponsored a contest for students to research ‘why?’ the cost of so many things, including gaining a higher formal education, has risen so seemingly vastly out of proportion to other things.

When I read the comments above from both ‘sides’ of the issue, I can’t help but think that there’s something basic here that’s being missed.

It’s just not the high cost of gaining an education these days, but also the high cost of anyone wanting to do anything. $ 150,000 for a welding truck, a quarter of a million for a skidder, almost half a million for a logging truck, etc., etc., ~ yet are the incomes owning and operating these assets generate, like the incomes people hope to gain from investing in a higher education, staying proportional to the increase in investment? I don’t believe they are. And if that’s the case, are we really on very solid ground financially?

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