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LGBTQ Students Face Higher Levels Of Student Debt

New poll shows one in 10 owe more than $70,000…

Paying for the cost of a post-secondary education doesn’t come cheap. It often requires going into debt. For many in the LGBTQ community, student debt is a hard reality that leaves them struggling to complete their studies and get on their feet.

In a new poll conducted by Forum Researchthis past summer, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada to ask about sexual orientation as it relates to student debt, those who self-identify as LGBTQ are more likely to incur student debt and take on a second job to pay it off. They’re also more likely to change their lifestyle habits as a result of their debt.

The numbers tell the story: 66 percent of LGBTQ respondents owe $10,000 or more in student debt compared with 50 per cent of their non-LGBTQ counterparts. Additionally, one in 10 LGBTQ students owe more than $70,000 upon leaving school compared with just one percent for those who don’t self-identity as members of the LGBTQ community.

LGBTQ students are also more likely to take on a second job to pay off their debt (28 per cent compared with 23 percent) and make lifestyle changes because of it (48 per cent compared with 33 per cent).

“The vast majority of Canadians say that their post-secondary education was a worthwhile investment, regardless of the cost,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research. “Amongst those who self-identify as LGBTQ2SIAP+, three-quarters said that a student loan was ‘very’ important to their ability to continue their education after high school, considerably above the average.”

The poll was conducted by phone and included a random sampling of 1,163 Canadians, aged 16 and older, who attended a post-secondary institution.

JUMOL ROYES is a Toronto-based writer/PR & communications strategist with a keen interest in personal development and transformation. Follow him on Twitter @Jumol.

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