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
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.