Back to top

CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2001

Saving for Higher Education Concerns Most Parents

The vast majority of Canadian parents want their children to get a college or university education, but most families have been unable to save the money needed for post-secondary schooling, concludes a new report from Statistics Canada.

The parents of 87 per cent of children under 18 reported they wanted their children to continue their education beyond high school. However, the parents of only 41 per cent reported that they had set aside any savings for college or university.

Not surprisingly, the survey showed that the gap between aspirations and savings was widest in lower income households, raising more concerns that higher fees may be putting the promise of education out of reach for many families.

The parents of 80 per cent of children in households with incomes of less than $30,000 a year hoped that their children would pursue post-secondary studies, compared with 95 per cent of children in households with incomes greater than $80,000.

However, parents reported savings for fewer than 20 per cent of children living in households with incomes less than $30,000 compared to 63 per cent of children in households with incomes greater than $80,000.

The survey also found that parents generally have been unable to save anything near the amount needed to pay for their children's post-secondary education. The median educational savings reported for all children is just $3,000. In the fall of 2000, average undergraduate arts tuition fees in Canada were $3,378.

Source: Statistics Canada, The Daily, April 10, 2001.