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Last night, April 15th, the CBC National News program featured a special on "Generation Screwed" with Peter Mansbridge as host.

According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives the cost of education has risen .The average number of minimum-wage hours needed to pay for an undergraduate degree in 1975 was 230. The number went up nearly 2 ½ times to 570 by 2013.

There is a chart showing the number of work hours, by province. The National average in 1975 was 230 and in 2013, 570 which was a 148% increase.

In Nfld the increase was 16%, Quebec 25% and we in Ontario had an 173% increase. Please remember that education is a Provincial matter not under the Federal mandate.

Let me state at the outset that I do not believe our students are being screwed (shafted). Education in London on the whole is affordable for those students and their families who stay in the Forest City . Look local with your eyes focused on the global opportunities.

There are choices: Fanshawe College with great paid co-op programs. With the help of Elaine Gamble who is the Senior Manager of Corporate Communications I learned that the cost of tuition and books starts at $5000.00 per year.

Marilyn Mason, Registrar of King’s University College, Huron and Brescia University Colleges , my "Three Diamonds" informed that they have small excellent classes with tuition and books costing $8000.00 per year.

If you opt to stay in residence the cost of room and board comes in at $9,000 per school year.

There are scholarships for hard working students with an average of 82%-90% that can add up to $1,600 to $5,000 per year. With an A average the scholarships are renewable.

Royal Military College offers up a free education, summer employment and career opportunities when you graduate. By the way, Peter Mansbridge never graduated from university opting to go into the Canadian Navy.

The province of Saskatchewan has a "Grad Retention, Tax Rebate Program" for their post secondary students of $20,000 in tuition fees if they agree to reside in the province for seven years.

For those who enjoy the skilled trades there is the opportunity to learn while you earn. We have plumbers who have finished their apprenticeship earning more then lawyers.

Students and their families should start to plan/put away funds and make wises choices starting in grade eleven for the future. Questions of Why and How are important in the decision making.

Richmond Row and other bars and restaurants for generations has employed students who are age 18 in enjoyable work tending bar, serving the patrons. It is a great education opportunity to learn how to serve your customers while earning tips and wages to help pay for your schooling.

TD Canada Trust for many years has employed students as tellers for part time work including summers. They even offer up "Community Leadership Scholarships" to twenty students a year with a value of $70,000. Ten thousand a year for seven years of education, including books and room and board.

Ontario Student Aid has loan assistance programs with Debt Grants for Student Assistance available for students who have need.

Parents if they have the financial resources can help their children pay for their education. My children were expected to have saved the funds for semester one. Upon receipt of good marks I was more then happy to help for semester two.

I disagree with the premise that our students are being screwed. Setting them up for failure is not in their best interests. "Helicopter Parents" who cry: "my poor Johnny or Jaynee" are acting as enablers who focus on the negative and not on the positive.

We in London/Ontario/Canada are blessed with the opportunity to be and do anything we want if we but try.
If you have good ability, good work ethic along with a strong sense of willpower you will find the financial means to attend university or college.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com