BC urged to change approach to student-aid programs

June 2, 2011

The presidents of SFU, UBC, UNBC, and UVic have joined others calling on the BC government to improve financial assistance for PSE students to bring the province closer in line with what's offered in other provinces. The presidents say they are particularly concerned about the interest rate on student loans, which is the highest in Canada at 2.5% above prime. Student-aid programs need to be attractive to young people who are reluctant to pursue higher education due to the "sticker shock" they experience when they look at the price, says SFU president Andrew Petter. The university presidents say the province has to change its approach if it hopes to sell the benefits of PSE to groups that have not traditionally enrolled. The 4 institutions have submitted recommendations to BC's advanced education ministry, which is in the process of a review. Vancouver Sun