The categories of financial costs that affected the survey group most significantly were transportation, loss of wages, health costs, and child care.
Thirty-two respondents (30%) reported transportation costs of $21-$40 weekly. Twenty-three respondents (21%) stated their transportation costs ranged between $1 -$20 each week. Fourteen respondents (13%) recorded weekly transportation expenses between $41-$60 while 15 participants (14%) indicated costs greater than $60. Using the midpoint of each range, this would indicate that the transportation costs for the 108 individuals involved in the study would total $3 010 per week.
Estimate the total number of full-time students enrolled in Adult Education as 550 in an average year and the average time enrolled in Adult Education is eight months. It is not difficult to see how transportation poses such a significant barrier to adult learners in this province. With the rising costs of fuel, this estimated total will continue to increase. Aside from the cost, adult educators and administrators repeatedly hear complaints of no transportation at all. This is not surprising in a province in which only one community has a limited public transit system and 45% of the population lives in rural communities.
30% of individuals surveyed indicated that they experienced a loss of wages due to enrolling in Adult Education. Of the 30%, most responded that they lost more then $80 per week. A conservative estimate of $90 per week in lost wages suggests a total weekly loss of $2 430 in the sample group of 108 participants. Two-thirds of the individuals who experience loss of wages do experience some compensation and the majority of that compensation comes from Services Canada in the form of Employment Insurance.
30% of participants in the survey stated that they experience additional costs associated to health issues since returning to school. Again, using the midpoint of each dollar range, it is estimated that the total weekly amount spent by participants in the survey on health related costs is $1 830, or an estimated $56.49 per person per week. Of these individuals, 93% indicated that they receive no financial support to assist with these expenses.