Whether you’ve noticed it walking through the aisles of the grocery store, looking for a place to live, or just trying to fill up your car with gas, inflation in Canada has become glaringly apparent to anyone who lives here. While inflation impacts all Canadians to some degree, it is more important than ever to understand the ways in which students are disproportionately disadvantaged by Canada’s current inflation crisis.
Not only is it more difficult than ever to find affordable student housing, but the average tuition costs continue to be the highest they’ve ever been for both international and domestic students. To manage these costs, many students turn to employment, where they are either asked for years of experience in order to land a job in their field—training and experience that most university students could not possibly hope to possess—or they are forced get a physically demanding job that “pays well,” but is time-consuming and yet another responsibility.
Students are not just taking on debt due to the enormous financial burdens of rent and tuition, but many are finding themselves taking on debt just to keep themselves fed and clothed. Of course, some students are at higher risk of needing to take on debt than others. While some students have the immense privilege of having loved ones who can help cover the costs of university, other students are left to fend for themselves, with no promise of financial assistance or debt forgiveness.
It is time that the financial struggles of students who will go on to compose the Canada workforce are prioritized by the Canadian government and university administrators alike. The unprecedentedly high costs of student living can easily impact the lives and well-being of University of Toronto Mississauga students and alumni for decades to come.