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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 28, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Christine Neill


email: Christine Neill
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Christine Neill

Do Rising Tuition Fees Force Students to Work More?

Christine Neill

published: 2006 | Working paper | Research

In 1979, under 30 per cent of full-time university students worked during any given month of the academic year.  By 2000 this had risen to 45 per cent.  Using data from the master files of the Labour Force Survey, I find that almost half of this increase can be attributed to higher tuition fees.  Interestingly, there is little evidence of a disproportionately large effect on students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who might be expected to be more affected by credit constraints.  Groups that had the largest labour market response to fee increases had a relatively small enrolment response.  The results suggest two conclusions:  first, that the availability of student loans may be important in protecting relatively disadvantaged students from the financial effects of fee increases;  and secondly that among other groups the ability to increase earned income during the semester may play an important role in mitigating the effects of fee increases on individuals’ enrolment decisions.

Download: PDF (245k)    workstudy_March06.pdf

revised Jul 5/06

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