The Liberal government has introduced a new initiative to ease the financial burden of student debt. Starting in September, students with family household incomes of under $50,000 annually will be given free tuition. But this plan is like communism – great in theory, and flawed in practice.
The main short-term flaw with this program is that it blindly accepts university students who are emancipated from their parents. This leaves room for students to be technically but not actually emancipated (that is, they still receive financial support from their parents), with no plans for the government to check that the student is actually in financial need.
Abusing trust is a common method of fraud. In the past, students have manipulated OSAP by feigning financial emancipating their parents while their parents are still giving them money. The government has not defined any efforts they will make to make sure the funding for this initiative is used by those who need it, which sets a dangerous precedent.
This program is not a definitive start to the process of relieving the costs of university for everyone, it actually inhibits that from happening. One of the main consequences with this program is that it does not address the reality of the job market. Paying for students to go to university is not the same as promoting the trade fields where many are struggling to find qualified people to work, and it doesn’t address the rampant unemployment many university graduates face.
It also does not address the rising cost of tuition in general for everyone making over $50,001 annually.
The government has also failed to address the financial burden for students is that the rising costs of rent. Usually, a substantial amount of money has to go towards your living situation along with your actual schooling. In Sweden, there have a program where university students can live in an old age home for free. They only have to spend 20 hours a week in the main areas socializing with the elderly, which is mutually beneficial.
This program will not work to reduce the financial burden of university students long-term. Just giving away money is incredibly ineffective. Not only does it put the country more in debt, it also harms the students themselves. Young adults do not learn the value of money with handouts. There are plenty of ways to help out struggling university students but handing out money will never work well.
Student debt continue to be an issue and the national debt will become worse. This is what economics categorizes as a “quick-fix method.” When you apply a quick-fix method to a long-term problem, more often than not, it makes the problem worse once the “quick” part is over.
By Jessica Patterson
Please note that opinions expressed are the author’s own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and values of The Blank Page.