The University of Victoria Student Society is welcoming news in the B.C. budget that, effective Aug. 1, the interest rate on student loans will be reduced from prime plus 2.5 per cent to prime only. The move comes after years of co-ordinated lobbying efforts by B.C.’s post-secondary students.
“UVic students applaud the B.C. government for reducing student loan interest and the burden of student debt,” said UVSS director of campaigns and community relations Maxwell Nicholson. “Working with other student unions across B.C. to make the student voice heard can pay huge dividends.”
A recent survey of students at 10 post-secondary institutions across B.C. conducted by Insights West shows that 38 per cent of students have taken out student loans. These students leave school with an average student loan debt of just over $27,000.
“While students at UVic are excited by the reduction in interest rates, there are still many student issues that were not addressed in the 2017 B.C. budget,” said Nicholson. “There is a pressing need for access to affordable on-campus housing, core-funding increases for essential support services and a comprehensive needs-based grants program.”
In the run-up to the May 9 provincial election, the UVSS will continue to work with other student unions in B.C. to advocate for post-secondary issues and encourage youth voter participation. The UVSS will be launching the Count On Our Vote campaign in the coming weeks.