Can You Afford a Post-Secondary Education?


Post-secondary education is portrayed as the one thing that will be the key to both individual and societal success in present and future generations. For individual students, education after high school is considered to create a wider range of job opportunities, provide a better salary, and allow for confidence. From society’s view, education is the key to a nation’s success as allows people to collectively bond through learning. There is no doubt that higher education is highly valued by the parents’ that mentor our youth, but what about the families that struggle to pay for it?

A major problem of the costs of higher education is that it is affecting students’ choices of university and their choice to attend higher education in the first place. The average Canadian has a salary of 40,000 dollars a year, but the cost of education in Canada can top $15,000 a year and $45,000 a year across the border. It is incredibly hard to pay for education especially since housing, and food costs are very high but furthermore the potential to have to pay for multiple kids’ educations for some families can be even more financially challenging. 23 percent of all high school graduates in the United States do not attend university because they simply cannot afford it.

Another problem with costs of higher education is that many students have to carry a student debt after university. Over 40 million students in the USA have student debt and Canadian students owe a total of 15 billion dollars in student loans. As the interest of student loans climb rapidly since the day they loaned the money for university, 1 in every 20 students drops out of university due to financial pressure. Debt can also cause problems after university, as some students wound up not being able to pay back student debts, which can majorly affect their career path due to employers who check employee credit scores, but also gaining the ability to get a mortgage.

Despite Canada and the US possessing each fairly high GDP’s, both countries are struggling to keep education costs low. However, in contrast, there are several countries with free post-secondary education institutions, and those countries include Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland. Many places do have costs for education but extremely cheap and much less than private school. Despite having major drug and criminal problems, post-secondary institutions in Mexico can go as low as 500 dollars per year. So if several other countries that are less or equally strong financially-wise, have free education, or relatively low costs of education, then there should be no excuse that education in Canada and the United States should have a lower cost.

There is no doubt that Canada and the US have some of the brightest students in the whole entire world. There is also no doubt that a lot of kids are going to university and college, but I believe that something needs to change about the system that permits everyone to enter post-secondary education without having to think about money. If we fail to change the cost of education, the true potential of youths all over the nation will be locked forever.

“What if the cure for cancer is trapped inside the mind of someone who can’t afford an education?”-Mario Thomas