OECD says lower tuition is not the best way to improve access

June 18, 2012

A recent OECD report argues that low tuition will not necessarily decrease barriers to participation. The study found that the most significant determinant of whether Canadians attend university was if their parents attended, which made them 4.6 times more likely to attend than those whose parents did not attend university.  The report also suggests that loans may not increase the participation of low income students as many are reluctant to accept debt and underestimate the lifelong benefits of a university education. The report found that tuition did not seem to be the only factor preventing rural students from attending university,  as rural students are equally likely to attend college as urban students, but far less likely to attend university. In order to increase university attendance, the report recommends reducing education tax credits in favour of means-tested grants. Globe and Mail | Report Overview