The numbers don’t lie: the average amount students earn at a community college each year has doubled since 2005, according to a report released Thursday.
But the Globe and Mail’s survey shows the average student still needs to earn nearly $30,000 to make it on the same level as their high school peers.
And that number doesn’t include tuition and fees.
The average student earns about $25,839, with a median annual income of $31,858.
But they only make up just 17 per cent of the total.
“We want to give you a real sense of the gap between the average family and the average college student, so that when you go to college you have a real picture of what your family is going to be making,” said Andrew Ritchie, a senior policy analyst at the advocacy group Centre for Public Policy Priorities.
Ritchie added that the study also reveals a “huge disparity” in the amount students can earn.
The median family income for a high school student at a four-year community college in Ontario was just over $43,000 last year.
That figure is up nearly 20 per cent since 2015, when Ontario’s education minister, Peter Fassbender, announced that the average Canadian student earned just over half that amount.
“That is a massive discrepancy.
I think it’s a pretty big gap,” said Fassenderb, adding that the gap will get worse as the number of graduates continues to grow.
While the median family earning $40,000 in Ontario this year was $20,400 more than a year ago, the gap is still $8,400.
The report also found that students earn less at community college because of an increased emphasis on higher-income students in Canada’s top colleges and universities.
The top 10 per cent student income at the five community colleges studied rose from $50,000 at the end of 2015 to $69,000, up from just $27,000 the previous year.
The biggest gains came at community health centres, where the median income for the top 10 percent of students rose from just over £21,000 three years ago to £40,300 this year.
At the other end of the spectrum, at four- and five-year colleges, median income fell to just under £20,000.
“There are two big differences between the community colleges that are growing, and there are two important differences that are decreasing: the number and the percentage of students from low-income families,” said Ritchie.
“And the trend is that the percentage is decreasing, but the number is growing.”
Students’ median income at a postsecondary institution In a survey of 2,000 students, researchers at the Ontario College of Teachers found that in 2016, less than 1 per cent were earning less than the median for their family’s income.
“In other words, they’re not earning more than the typical family,” said Paul MacIntyre, chief executive officer of the OCT, in a release.
That same year, a report from the Ontario Ministry of Education revealed that the median Canadian family income was just $45,400, down from just under $70,000 a decade ago.
The data also found there were more than 7,000 less than $20K students who were earning a bachelor’s degree in community colleges, compared to just over 2,400 students who earned the equivalent of a PhD in community college.
The Ontario Liberal government recently announced a plan to create a national program for higher education to provide more resources to support students with limited resources.
However, the Ontario government’s plan is still far from universal.
Only 22 per cent students in the province are enrolled in Ontario’s three-year, public four-and-five-year college courses, and a quarter of students at the province’s community colleges don’t even have the chance to earn a bachelor of arts degree, according the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.
In fact, there are just over 13,000 community colleges in Ontario.
“The Ontario Liberal plan is only going to create more and more opportunities for students in low- to middle-income communities who are unable to complete a bachelor degree, and to make sure that they can get a credential at the very top,” said MacIntire.
Students’ average earnings At community colleges across the country, students are earning an average of $33,600 a year, which is about two-thirds of the national average, according a report published by the Center for Policy Priority.
Students at five- and six-year public institutions earn an average $35,800, while those at four and five years earn an extra $19,400 and $22,000 respectively.
At four- or five-years community colleges like Ryerson University, the average is just over four-fold more.
That is a substantial gap.
But students at five years have an average income of just over one-third of the average at four years, and less than one