Today, with the release of the 2017/2018 Provincial Budget, the BC Government announced that, effective August 2017, the BC student loan interest rate will be reduced to the prime interest rate from prime plus 2.5%.
The UBC Alma Mater Society, along with other student associations across the province, has long advocated for this interest rate reduction. Most recently, the AMS made this recommendation to the BC Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Service during budget consultations. This initiative is an important step toward improving the affordability and accessibility of post-secondary education.
A recent survey of students at 10 post-secondary institutions across BC conducted by Insights West and commissioned by the AMS shows that 38% of students have taken out student loans. These students leave school with an average student loan burden of just over $27,000.
Reducing the student loan interest rate is necessary to allow new graduates to get ahead more easily once they enter the job market, make it easier for them to save and invest, and make it easier to enter the housing market.
The Government also announced that the process of applying for student loans will be streamlined and made more predictable by introducing a fixed student contribution model. This will allow students to hold jobs while studying without having to worry about a decrease in their financial assistance.
The AMS is committed to continuing to work with the BC Government to further improve accessibility to post-secondary education and to improve affordability for our students.
Any media inquiries or requests can be directed to Kathleen Simpson, VP External Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-369-4651.