Stu­dent loans

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY PA­TRICK SMITH SPE­CIAL TO THE COM­PASS

Our sec­ond youth colum­nist uses his space this week to talk about the elim­i­na­tion of in­ter­est on the pro­vin­cial por­tion of stu­dent loans, and what that means to stu­dents pur­su­ing post secondary ed­u­ca­tion.

One of the main rea­sons stu­dents de­cide not to con­tinue their ed­u­ca­tion to­day is due to the fact that it just costs too much money. Tu­ition for uni­ver­si­ties, colleges, and other post-secondary in­sti­tu­tions has been in­creas­ing ex­po­nen­tially. Stu­dents are told by their peers, teach­ers and guid­ance coun­sel­lors about stu­dent loans. How­ever, when it all adds up, with a nor­mal de­gree (about four to six years), a stu­dent could come out with $50,000 to $80,000 in debt. For some stu­dents this is well worth it be­cause they can pur­sue their life­long dreams. But it’s just so costly. For some­one who is not fi­nan­cially well-off, or even for some­one who does have a lot of money, th­ese prices are stag­ger-

It bog­gles my mind how some­thing as sim­ple as money can stop such dreams from com­ing true. Stu­dents of­ten look at money first be­fore they de­cide some­thing and it is truly sad.

ing. Not only are th­ese prices shock­ing, but there is also in­ter­est added on to th­ese to­tals, which can make pay­ing one’s debt a chore.

Stu­dent loans are taken care of in two ways: a pro­vin­cial por­tion and a fed­eral por­tion. The pro­vin­cial por­tion is sup­plied by the prov­ince of res­i­dence of the stu­dent. The fed­eral por­tion is taken care of by the gov­ern­ment of Canada. Within the pre­vi­ous few years, stu­dents have made their ap­peals to the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment about this is­sue re­gard­ing the in­ter­est rates on th­ese loans. Stu­dents, no mat­ter to which vo­ca­tion they as­pire, have ex­penses while they study, in­clud­ing food, clothes, toi­letries, rent and trans­porta­tion. This is of­ten the main rea­son some stu­dents dis­con­tinue their ed­u­ca­tion. It bog­gles my mind how some­thing as sim­ple as money can stop such dreams from com­ing true. Stu­dents of­ten look at money first be­fore they de­cide some­thing and it is truly sad.

How­ever, as 1, the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment of New­found­land and Labrador has elim­i­nated the in­ter­est on the

of

Aug. pro­vin­cial por­tion of the stu­dent loan. This was great news for stu­dents such as my­self who have ded­i­cated them­selves to be the best that they can be and have great ca­reers. It may not seem like a lot; how­ever, in­ter­est can make a value such as $50,000 even larger in the long run. So the loss of the pro­vin­cial por­tion of the stu­dent loan is a very big deal to new stu­dents head­ing to a post-secondary ed­u­ca­tion.

For me, I am ex­tremely pleased with what the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment has done to the pro­vin­cial por­tion of the stu­dent loan. I am en­ter­ing Memo­rial Uni­ver­sity of New­found­land next fall and I hope to ob­tain my Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence de­gree with a ma­jor in bi­ol­ogy and a mi­nor in French. Once this is done I plan to get my bach­e­lor of ed­u­ca­tion (in­ter­me­di­ate/ sec­ond- ary) de­gree and be­come a bi­ol­ogy/ French high school teacher. This has been my dream for a long while now, and how lucky am I that some­thing like elim­i­nat­ing the pro­vin­cial por­tion of the stu­dent loan has hap­pened just in time for my grad­u­a­tion from high school? This will cer­tainly help me out a lot in re­duc­ing the cost that it takes for me to com­plete my ed­u­ca­tion and make a good ca­reer for my­self.

I know I can speak for a lot of proud New­found­lan­ders when I com­mend the New­found­land gov­ern­ment for elim­i­nat­ing the in­ter­est rate on the stu­dent loan. It re­ally will help stu­dents a lot to suc­ceed and make some­thing great out of all our lives.

Pa­trick Smith is a Level 3 stu­dent at Carbonear Col­le­giate.

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