This section explored the possibility of a relationship between the financial and social costs of learning experienced by adult learners and the educational goals they set for themselves.
41% of respondents stated that their career goal has been influenced by either the cost of learning or by the level of support they experience.
Participants explained that they could not afford to leave their area of residence for training and education. Close to 25% of respondents stated that the expected cost of education had caused them to change their goal. Four people had changed their goal from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at UPEI to Licensed Practical Nurse program at Holland College. Some individuals already found themselves with a student loan that is too high and others were scared of accumulating too much debt from postsecondary education tuition. Participants also stated that the costs associated with education (general expenses, childcare) had made them change their goals. A number of individuals directly stated that without support from Services Canada, they would not be able to return to school at all. Several commented that without the support from their family, they would have to quit. One explained “I’ve delayed school until now because of costs.”
Another point of view was expressed in a student’s statement that “now that I realize how much support I have, I’m setting more/higher goals for myself”. One student made the comment that “costs are high, but worth it for a good job”.