No more student loans: Newfoundland and Labrador switches to grants

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Newfoundland and Labrador has done away with provincial student loans and switched to an as-needed grant system in an attempt to lighten student debt loads. The grants do not need to be paid back.

The Part-Time Incentive Grants will provide students with $500 per semester, or up to $1,000 per year, for students who are attending post-secondary school in the province.

“It will help decrease student debt for eligible part-time students while also increasing the participation of mature learners in post-secondary education,” said Newfoundland Minister of Education Clyde Jackman in a statement.

“A key goal of the Provincial Government, in partnership with our post-secondary education system, is to assist more individuals in pursuing a post-secondary education and staying here as highly-skilled graduates to contribute to Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy.”

The Newfoundland government has set aside $66,000 this year for the grants that will be given out based on individual students’ needs. A total of $15 million was invested over two years to change the system from student loans to grants.

And while B.C. likely won’t eliminate their provincial student loan program, the loans are interest-free, and the province has a mix of grant and loan-based financial assistance for students. The government has allocated $3.2 billion since 2001 in student financial assistance.

B.C. students pay less than 1/3 of their post-secondary education out of pocket on average.

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