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OP-ED: Loan forgiveness leaves out NSCC

By Lesley McGill

Congrats to my university peers on the recent promise of complete loan forgiveness; however, there is still no student loan relief in sight for NSCC grads. LAE Minister Kousoulis stated, “We are committed to helping students pursue their post-secondary education and move into the workforce.” I guess only if I do so with a university degree in hand.

Our government continues to allow college and university students access to student loan programs, but only university grads access to the loan forgiveness program.

Yes, college is generally shorter and less expensive than university; however, college students shoulder the entire burden, without so much as a token gesture from our government. Compared to 65 per cent of university grads, over 92 per cent of NSCC grads remain in N.S., committed to the revitalization of rural communities for future generations.

2014-15 full-time enrolment figures reveal NSCC has 10,750 students, which rival MSVU (2,200), Acadia (3,600), and St. Mary’s (5,800) combined, second only to Dalhousie with just over 12,000 students.

Influenced by Ray Ivany’s OneNS Report, Premier McNeil annually invites NSCC to participate in Challenge NS, students are given 12 hours to develop solutions for current issues facing our province. I challenge Premier McNeil to end the disparity between university and college students and adopt a united stance for all post-secondary students. We have all proven our commitment to post-secondary education and are all equally deserving proportional access to the Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

Lesley McGill is a post-secondary student at NSCC studying Business; a Students Nova Scotia and Student Association representative. She is committed to living and thriving in rural Nova Scotia upon graduation.

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