February 23, 2016
For immediate release
PEI Student Financial Assistance changes to provide greater flexibility for students
Workforce and Advanced Learning
“Our Government believes that education is at the heart of preparing our youth for future success, in all aspects of their lives. We are committed to enhancing the collaboration between the student unions and institutions as we work together to achieve great success to prepare students for the workforce,” said Minister Brown.
The weekly maximum student loan available will be increased from $165 to $175 per week, beginning in the 2016–17 academic year. Additionally, from 2017–18 onward, this maximum weekly loan will increase according to inflation by being indexed to the consumer price index. Changes to the grace period are also underway, which will provide an extension from six months to one year after completing one’s studies, before students are required to begin repaying their student loans. This change is expected to come into effect in the near future.
The PEI Student Loan Rehabilitation Program was also introduced, a six-month rehabilitation schedule which provides students with a way to bring their defaulted PEI student loan back into good standing. The benefits for students include: interest-free status; de-registration from the Canada Revenue Agency’s Refund Set-Off Program; a potential credit rating improvement; and eligibility to apply for further PEI student financial assistance.
These recent changes, in addition to the Severe Disability Benefit, announced in October of 2015, are welcomed by postsecondary education student unions. Minister Brown and the Department’s Post-Secondary and Continuing Education staff will continue to meet regularly with the Island’s postsecondary institutions to generate ideas and discuss changes made to benefit students.
“We are extremely pleased with these changes, they will greatly improve accessibility to post secondary education on PEI,” said UPEI Student Union Vice-President Academic and External, Jonathan Rix.
“As a Province, we are aware that student debt is a significant issue for many students who are concerned about repayment options and flexibility regarding their student loans,” said Minister Brown. “These changes will help ease the burden on students and offer greater flexibility to ensure students are focusing their attention on their studies.”
For more information, please contact Student Financial Services at (902) 368-4640.