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March 2006
Vol. 7, no. 3

Perspectives on Labour and Income

Who gets student loans?
Costa Kapsalis

  • Over half (52%) of full-time postsecondary students aged 18 to 24 with parental income below $40,000 received a loan from the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) in 2000, compared with 14% of students with parental income of $80,000 or more.
  • The average loan amount declines as parental income increases. In 2000, about two-thirds of the value of CSLP loans went to students with parental income below $60,000—73% in the case of dependent students and 51% in the case of independent students.
  • Female students had a higher CSLP take-up rate than their male counterparts (34% versus 29%). But they also had a higher full-time postsecondary participation rate (38% versus 30%).
  • Students from families who came to Canada since 1980 had a much higher CSLP take-up rate than others (45% versus 31%). The difference is partly attributable to lower parental income: 58% of these immigrant students had parental income below $40,000, compared with 29% of other students.

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Costa Kapsalis is with Data Probe Economic Consulting Inc. He can be reached at (613) 726-6597 or

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