May 13, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswickers who graduate from a post-secondary institution within the established timeline of their program and who have student loans in excess of $26,000 may now apply for the Timely Completion Benefit. Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault made the announcement today.
"The Timely Completion Benefit is the most innovative debt relief program that New Brunswick has developed for its graduates," said Arseneault. "It is designed to help post-secondary graduates by addressing accumulated student loan debt and by encouraging the successful completion of studies in a timely manner."
New Brunswick students who complete an undergraduate degree, certificate or diploma at any publicly funded post-secondary educational institution, or a private chartered, not-for-profit, degree-granting institution in New Brunswick, may be eligible if they meet certain criteria.
They must finish their studies within the established timeline of their program and have combined federal and provincial government student loan borrowings associated with that credential exceeding $26,000. When they meet these requirements, they will have 100 per cent of their provincial student loan in excess of that amount forgiven.
"The Timely Completion Benefit will help many new graduates alleviate the burden of high student debt load," said Duncan Gallant, president of the New Brunswick Student Alliance. "This program, coupled with other government initiatives, is a step forward for New Brunswick students."
Arseneault noted that several other commitments have been announced as part of Be Inspired. Be Ready. Be Better. The Action Plan to Transform Post-Secondary Education in New Brunswick.
"The Timely Completion Benefit emphasizes this government's commitment to New Brunswick students," Arseneault said. "In addition, our government has made significant investments and improvements to our system to help New Brunswickers have access to an affordable and modern post-secondary education."
Starting in August, the government will also be offering the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP), which will mirror the federal government's plan. Under the RAP, the amount of student loan repayment will be income-based, and no individual will need to pay on his or her student loan for more than 15 years.
More information about the Timely Completion Benefit is available online. Student Financial Services may be reached at 506-453-2577 (Fredericton area or outside toll-free zone); or 1-800-667-5626 (the rest of New Brunswick, the Atlantic provinces and west to mid-Ontario).
MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Josée Groulx, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-444-3465.