University is still worth it after all these years, HEQCO study finds

HEQCO_StudyEven in difficult economic times, a university degree is still well worth the investment, according to a new report – Still Worth It After All These Years – by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.

Whether considering job prospects, the value of a humanities degree, graduate earnings potential, or the cost of tuition and student debt, a university degree still holds its value, the HEQCO study found.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Ontarians and Canadians with a university degree consistently do best in the labour market, suffering fewer periods of unemployment and receiving better pay
  • University graduates fared significantly better during the economic downturn in 2008-2009, showing that university skills and credentials give graduates a strong advantage when starting a career
  • Humanities grads earn more than those without a university education and can even earn income levels similar to those earned in some STEM fields, such as biology and agricultural sciences
  • While the average sticker cost of tuition in Ontario is $7,300 a year, tuition actually drops to about $4,000 once you factor in Ontario’s 30%-off tuition program, tax credits, and non-repayable components of the Ontario Student Assistance Plan
  • The default rate trend for both federal and Ontario loan programs is downward, suggesting university graduates are getting jobs that help them pay down their debt.