"Our province is known as a national leader in debt
reduction for post-secondary students and this initiative in particular
was monumental as we are the only province to have taken this
significant step," said Minister King. "Newfoundland and Labrador
students and graduates are reaping the benefits of accessible and
affordable post-secondary education. We are proud to make these
investments because they are investments in the success of Newfoundland
and Labrador and its people."
With the interest eliminated, approximately $5 million
has been saved in the past year by those in repayment and individuals
can see a savings of up to $1,800 over the life of their provincial
student loan. Approximately 49,000 people who are currently paying off
their loans will benefit from this initiative.
"By eliminating interest rate charges, the Provincial
Government has responded to a call by students and graduates who are
struggling to pay off their student loans," said Daniel Smith,
Newfoundland and Labrador Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of
Students. "Increased funding to improve access and reduce student debt
is a sound investment in the collective future of our province."
In addition to the elimination of interest for
provincial student loans, the Provincial Government introduced up-front
non-repayable grants, reducing the amounts students need to borrow by
over 50 per cent; and froze tuition for public post-secondary
institutions — an initiative which has seen an investment of over $100
million since 2005.
- 30 -