University brings great return rate
By Sarvenaz Kermanshahi
Economists at TD Canada Trust have good news for starving
students who expect to continue starving after completing their
studies. In fact, the experts claim the benefits of a university
degree extend beyond debt and financial worry.
“The most obvious benefit of a post secondary education,
and the one that most people pursue, is that they can expect
to earn more,” said Eric Lascelles, an economist at the
According to a recent study by TD Canada Trust, the rate of
return on a university degree (after tax and inflation) is
roughly 12 to 20 per cent. In addition, Lascelles stated a
university educated person can expect to earn 61 per cent more
than his or her high school-educated counterpart.
Certain fields of study, such as the sciences, were shown
to have a higher rate of return than the social sciences or
humanities. “[Science related] fields are directly applicable
to a job and technical jobs, in general, offer higher earnings,” Lascelles
stated. However, he said even students with below average earning
jobs indicated a high level of satisfaction with their degree.
Lascelles also addressed the financial difficulties many students
face: “The main challenge is that all the costs are up
front and the benefits accrue down the road. This is why it
is so important for Canada to have financial aid policies so
that students can overcome the cost hurdles.”
“I don’t think anybody would deny that the benefits
of post-secondary education outweigh the costs,” said
Dave Ford, University Students’ Council VP-education. “The
problem is that when you have tuition costs as high as $18,000,
there is sticker shock,” he said.
The study was scoffed at by the Canadian Federation of Students. “[The
study] is a shameless sales brochure for TD Bank,” said
Joel Duff, CFS Ontario chairperson. “They are trying
to fear monger people into buying TD products by assuming that
fees aren’t a big deal and that they will continually
be on the rise,” he stated.
“[Registered Education Savings Plans] will never be
a solution to the access problem because not everyone can afford
to save,” Duff said, stating decreasing the up front
cost is key to ensuring that students have access to education
regardless of their financial background.