Half of post secondary students worried about debt, job after graduating

Some poll respondents expect to carry in excess of $25,000 in student debt when they graduate.

TORONTO — Worry over tuition and living expenses is dogging almost half of post-secondary students as they head back to school.

They’re also afraid they won’t be able to pay back debt once they graduate because they’re concerned about finding a well-paying job, a poll issued by CIBC shows.

But experts say learning to keep finances in check is a lesson that will go far in helping students manage their money so they don’t graduate owing a huge amount.

The online poll, conducted among 992 randomly chosen post-secondary students who are Angus Reid Forum panellists, took place from July 27 to 29.

The poll shows 48% of students are most worried about covering tuition and living expenses for the upcoming school year as well as repaying school-related debt, of which 36% expect to be $25,000 or more when they graduate.

Some 37% of post-secondary students say finding a job that pays well after graduation is a top concern.

The poll also finds that students, most of whom expect to spend $10,000 to $30,000 a year for schooling (tuition and books) and personal expenses, (rent and entertainment), anticipate a lot less help this year from parents. They expect their parents will cover 22% of tuition and school costs, down from 33% in a similar poll last year.

About 34% say they will support themselves with jobs. Five per cent of respondents were concerned about finding and keeping part-time employment.

As many as 37% of post-secondary students say they don’t know if they’ll be able to manage their finances after they finish school, with about one-fifth not expecting to be able to support themselves financially.

“Having a clear picture of your expenses today, as well as what your debt payments will look like when the time comes to pay back your loan, will help you feel ready for the future,” says Christina Kramer, executive vice-president of retail and business banking at CIBC.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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