On Campus

N.S. pushes direct student loan program days before school year starts

Interest rate cut by two per cent

Just days before the start of another school year, the Nova Scotia government is pushing changes to its loan program for post-secondary students.

Education minister Karen Casey is reminding students that as of Aug. 1, the Nova Scotia portion of their student loan is being handled by the province and not the bank for those who negotiated or began repaying loans after last Nov. 1.

She says the direct-lending initiative — originally announced in January — cuts two percentage points off the interest rate. Students will repay loans at an interest rate of prime plus 0.5 per cent.

Under a new initiative, the province intends to eliminate paperwork and lineups by allowing students to fill out their loan applications online.

Casey says the new loan program is part of a series of steps aimed at making a university education more affordable in a province that has some of the highest tuitions in the country.

In March, the province announced a three-year tuition freeze and a bursary that will save Nova Scotia students studying in the province $761 this year and more than $1,200 in 2010.

-with a report from CP 

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