N.B. student alliance urging government to act on debt load
FREDERICTON – The New Brunswick Student Alliance is urging the provincial government to take action after a new map ranks it first among the provinces by degree of student debt.
The map was created by Consolidated Credit Counseling Services and also shows New Brunswick ranked second in terms of tuition fees.
Alliance executive director Lindsay Handren says students in the province graduating with debt owe an average of $35,200, while the national average is $22,300.
“Given the economic situation here, given the demographic situation, New Brunswick’s in trouble, quite frankly,” she said.
“And the government has made some recent decisions that have obviously upset students, the most recent being to raise the debt cap on the timely completion benefit.”
Handren says the data was first released last year, but the government has yet to take any concrete steps to reduce student debt.
She says the higher a student’s debt, the more likely it is they will leave the province after graduation.
“Studies time and time again will tell you that the higher the debt a student has when they’re finished, the more likely they are to leave the province that they’ve done their schooling in,” she said. “And with the highest debt in the country it’s no surprise to see so many of our youth leave for other provinces.”
With files from the Canadian Press