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August 3, 2012
For immediate release

Premier Ghiz announces Interest-Free Provincial Student Loan Program for Prince Edward Island students

Premier's Office

A zero per cent interest rate on the Provincial Student Loan program will be implemented October 1, 2012, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

“We are investing into the full lifespan of our students – early years learning, kindergarten to high school, and post-secondary learning,” said Premier Ghiz. “Education is the best investment for the future of Prince Edward Island. I hope that this program will encourage more Prince Edward Island students to attend post-secondary education and training.”

The Interest-Free Prince Edward Island Student Loan Program will apply to loans issued after January 1, 2001 and held by Prince Edward Island Student Financial Assistance Corporation. Currently there are approximately 2,600 Provincial student loans, issued after January 1, 2001 and held by Prince Edward Island Student Financial Assistance Corporation, in repayment status. The total cost of this measure is approximately $500,000 a year. The savings on the average student loan in the first year of repayment will be approximately $1,000.

The announcement is a part of the Government of Prince Edward Island’s ongoing commitment to all levels of education, including other post-secondary investments such as the George Coles Bursary and Graduate Scholarship, and new infrastructure for Holland College and University of Prince Edward Island.

“There is the need for investing into skills and knowledge in order to achieve employment in the global economy. The Government of Prince Edward Island is committed to ensuring Islanders have the supports necessary to be a part of this changing labour force,” said Premier Ghiz.

Prince Edward Island student loans are available for residents with financial need who are enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program of at least 12 weeks in length at a designated post-secondary educational institution.

For further information on eligibility qualifications for student loans, as well as other government grant and bursary programs, please go to or call (902) 368-4640.


The Interest-Free Island Student Loan Program

• The Government of Prince Edward Island’s Provincial Student Loans will have a zero per cent interest rate, for loans issued after January 1, 2001 and held by PEI Student Financial Assistance Corporation. This program will be effective October 1, 2012.

• Currently there are approximately 2,600 Provincial student loans issued after January 1, 2001, in repayment status.

• Newfoundland is the only other provincial jurisdiction with interest-free loans.

• The average yearly Provincial student loan, based on the last seven years of issue, is $5,000.

◦ For example: For a student borrowing $5,000 for four years (a Provincial debt of $20,000), the savings at 5 per cent would be approximately $1,000 in the student’s first year of repayment.

• The cost to government is the interest revenue that will be foregone. The foregoing of this interest is another example of Government’s commitment to post-secondary education.


• To be eligible for a Prince Edward Island Student Loan, you must:

◦ Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident (landed immigrant), or Protected Person of Canada, as defined under Canadian Immigration Legislation;

◦ Be a Prince Edward Island resident (Generally, you are a resident if you’ve lived in Prince Edward Island for the last 12 consecutive months before your study period, not including time spent in post-secondary studies.);

◦ Be able to show that you have financial need because your resources do not cover the costs of your education and living while you are attending your educational institution (The allowed costs are set by the Canada Student Loan Program.);

◦ Be enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program of at least 12 weeks in length at a designated post-secondary educational institution;

◦ Pass a credit check if you are 22 years of age or older and applying for a student loan for the first time; and

◦ Be able to verify you have successfully completed at least 60 per cent of a full-time course load during the last year in which you had a student loan.

Provincial Student Loan Deadline Dates

July 13, 2012

◦ Correctly completed student loan applications must be received by this date to guarantee processing for a September 2012 start date. Applications must be submitted online. The signed Tax Consent and Declaration Form(s) must be received by Student Financial Services to finalize your application for processing. Note: an Academic Information Form is also required from all students studying outside the Atlantic Provinces.

November 26, 2012

◦ For full-year financial assistance. Any application received after this deadline will only be considered for second semester costs.

March 8, 2013

◦ For second semester financial assistance. Any application received after this deadline will not be considered. The same deadline applies and is not extended for Pre-Study Report forms and Appeal forms.

• Processing can take up to 6 weeks from the time we receive your completed application and supporting documentation. Deadline dates are strictly enforced. No exceptions.

Other Provincial Programs for Post Secondary Education

George Coles Bursary

◦ The George Coles Bursary is currently valued at up to $2,000 and is provided by the Government of Prince Edward Island.

◦ The bursary is available to first-time, first-year student residents of Prince Edward Island enrolled in full-time studies at the University of Prince Edward Island, Holland College, Collège Acadie Î.-P-É. or the Maritime Christian College.

◦ There is no application for this award. For eligible students, the award is conditionally placed in each student’s school account in January.

George Coles Graduate Scholarship

◦ The George Coles Graduate Scholarship is a scholarship for Island residents graduating from UPEI or Maritime Christian College with their first undergraduate degree, who meet all of the award conditions.

◦ The total graduate scholarship is $2,000 inclusive of bursaries previously issued as 4th year Island Student Award.

Audio Clip(s):

Premier Robert Ghiz announces the Interest-Free Student Loan Program [mp3 format - running time: 2:19]

Media Contact: Geoff Townsend
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