PEI the latest province to stop charging interest on student loans
VANCOUVER, Aug. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is calling on the BC government to follow the lead of other provinces who have stopped charging interest on student loans. In a news release today, the Premier of Prince Edward Island announced the elimination of interest on provincial student loans. Newfoundland and Labrador eliminated its student loan interest rates in 2009.
"Charging interest on student loans is basically a tax on the poor," said Zach Crispin, a spokesperson for the Canadian Federation of Students-BC. "If you cannot afford to pay your tuition fees up front, interest charges on student loans guarantee that you will pay thousands of dollars more than those who didn't need to borrow."
The Canadian Federation of Students-BC estimates that over the course of a 10-year repayment period, the interest accumulated on the average student loan is approximately $8,000. At prime plus 2.5%, BC currently charges the highest rate of interest on student loans in Canada.
"Post-secondary education in BC is a debt sentence for too many families. Reducing tuition fees and eliminating punitive interest rates will help make post-secondary more affordable for all British Columbians," said Crispin.
Between 2002 and 2005, tuition fees doubled in British Columbia and the system of up-front grants was eliminated. According to the Millennium Scholarship Foundation, average student debt in BC is approximately $27,000.
The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is composed of post-secondary students from 16 universities and colleges in every region in BC. Post-secondary students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organizations since 1927.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - British Columbia
For further information:
Zach Crispin, CFS-BC Spokesperson (604) 733-1880
Ian Boyko, CFS-BC Communications Officer (778) 686-7939