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ERIC Number: ED499883
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Pages: 35
Abstractor: Author
Who Gets What? The Distribution of Government Subsidies for Post-Secondary Education in Canada. Canadian Higher Education Report Series
Usher, Alex
Online Submission
This study is one part of a two-part inquiry into subsidies for post-secondary education in Canada. Governments in Canada spend over $4 billion each year in transfers to individuals for the purpose of post-secondary education. Roughly half of this money goes out in need-based loans and grants, while the other half goes in "universal" benefits to which all are entitled, such as tax credits and the Canada Education Savings Grant. Based on a combination of administrative and survey data, the study estimates the distribution of these two forms of assistance by family income quartile. The study shows that need-based assistance is only lightly progressive; 40% of all assistance goes to students from families with above-median incomes. "Universal" assistance is outright regressive, with over 62% of assistance going to students from families with above median incomes. As a result, the overall skew in combined need-based and universal assistance is slightly regressive. Given the known problems in access for low-income students, this skew is inconsistent with a strategy to help low-income families. An appendix also examines the distributional effects of the major hidden subsidy to students, which is the indirect subsidy to tuition fees implicit in government subsidies to institutions. The examination finds that these subsidies, too, are highly regressive and that a fee-reduction approach to improving access will in fact aggravate the overall problem of too many subsidies going to high-income families. (Contains 19 footnotes, 13 figures and 9 tables.) [This document was published by the Educational Policy Institute (EPI).]
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada