$16,727, namely 1.5 times the debt of students recei-ving parental aid. Even if the student financial assis-tance program considers them, their families shouldcontribute, and unfortunately, many families are notable to support their children due to low income,thus at the same time reducing the aid granted to thestudent. We should point out that the FEUQ recentlyshowed that the main determinant of parental finan-cial support for studies is the level of parental in-come.This risk factor is also present in the case where stu-dents must leave their region or do not live withtheir parents. Students not pursuing their universitystudies in their region of origin get into debt 74% of the time while in the contrary case this percentagefalls to 61%. The residence status has an even moremarked impact: only 43% of students living withtheir parents have recourse to debt for an averageamount of $8,781 while this percentage is 74% forthose who have left the family home, with theirloans attaining an average of $15,278, namely almostthe double. The reason is evident: leaving the regionof origin as well as the family home involves variousimportant expenses (moving and various utilities)and living expenses that are often higher (rent, food,etc.).Studying in a remote region also has an influence ondebt: 76.7% of students in the regions indebt them-selves for an average amount of $15,101 while inMontreal 62% of students must take on debt for anaverage amount of $13,789. Students attending a re-gional university are in 70% of cases first generationstudents—a characteristic that also has an impact.They indebt themselves in a proportion of 71.4% andan average amount of $14,713 compared to the debtrate of 57.6% and an average amount of $12,829 instudents whose parents attended university.
Deficient financial assistance!
The FEUQ research also casts light on numerous de-ficiencies in the SFA program. It is clear that the pro-gram does not succeed in meeting the needs of stu-dents: more than 52% of students receiving SFAloans also have private debts. This finding is alsovalid to a lesser degree in regard to loans from thefamily or friends: 23.4% of students on SFA have re-course to this type of loan. Students on SFA, whoseparents are often in a difficult position to offer themsignificant financial support, must turn to othersources to cover their expenses, namely, in this case,financial institutions, which goes against the verymission of the program.This insufficient support is even more flagrant in thecase of student parents. The latter leave their studieswith an average debt of $20,100, namely $7,500 morethan students who do not have dependent children.Once again, the considerable expenses these parentshave to assume are not sufficiently covered by SFA.Here again, the shortfall seems to be largely covered by private debt.
Working during studies: a strategy to prevent debt?
Remunerated work is the main source of funding forstudents, namely 55% of all income. In autumn 2009,
Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec
Together for education !
Graph 3 : Percentage of students receving SFA and ha-ving another source of debt
Source : FEUQ 2011.
Endettement étudiant : État des lieux, déterminants etimpacts
. Recherchiste : Louis-Philippe Savoie