I hate it when after-the-fact studies show what’s obvious to many from the very beginning. When Ontario deregulated professional degree tuition fees, allowing law and med schools to charge more, many fought vociferously, complaining that tuitions of upwards of $15k a year were going to limit access. So it was absolutely no surprise at all that a new study reported on in today’s Globe that this is actually happening: enrollment in these programs by students from middle income families is dropping. They can’t afford to attend, and they often don’t qualify for the financial assistance packages designed for low-income students. The middle income catch-22 simply isn’t occurring in tuition stabilized provinces. Anyone with a modicum of foresight can see this will be a detriment to Ontario, both now for bright students who have to lower their educational expectations, and for the future, when a lack of diversity among professionals will cause gluts in some areas and shortages in others.