WINNIPEG—Today’s provincial budget maintains the promised funding increases to colleges and universities but does little to improve access to post-secondary and offers no reprieve for students in debt.
“Sustained funding will allow students to plan their finances, but increasing fees and little action on student debt make it harder to actually make ends meet,” said Bilan Arte, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students—Manitoba. “With youth unemployment double the provincial average, this budget does little to address the rising costs that students and their families face.”
Manitoba student loans carry an interest rate of prime, meaning that those students who rely on loans will pay, on average, an extra $3,000 for their education. Manitoba continues to enjoy an excellent credit rating and the administration costs for the student loans program are at their lowest since the NDP took office. The province is well positioned to support low- and middle-income students by eliminating interest rates on student loans.
“Budget 2014 protects students from the deep cuts we are seeing elsewhere in Canada, but it allows access to erode and student debt to creep up,” added Arte. “Investing directly into students and addressing student debt will help build Manitoba’s economy and lead to a steady economic recovery.”
The Canadian Federation of Students-Manitoba is Manitoba’s largest student organisation, uniting over 42,000 students across the province. As part of the Canadian Federation of Students, the Federation and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.
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