Halifax, NS – Today, Students Nova Scotia publicly released their submission for the 2017 Nova Scotia budget. The submission, “Investing Smarter in Nova Scotia’s Students” encourages government to make smarter investments by reallocating existing funds to more meaningful programs, expanding the popular “Loan Forgiveness Program” and providing more opportunities for students to work while studying.
“After last year’s budget, students hope to see investments in our priorities,” says StudentsNS Chair and Saint Mary’s University student, Collette Robert. “We feel that we have outlined many initiatives that would improve the affordability, accessibility, and quality of post-secondary education for university and NSCC students.”
The organization’s first recommendation would come at no cost to government. The re-purposing of tax credits for low income students would take money that is already being spent on middle and high income families, and give it up-front to students that need it most. This approach has already been taken by governments in Ontario and New Brunswick to increase the impact of money spent.
“Recognizing the province’s current economic landscape, the government should be maximizing each dollar spent through smarter investments,” says Annie Sirois, Vice-Chair and St. FX University student. “StudentsNS is putting forth realistic recommendations that will undeniably benefit the students we represent, at a sustainable cost for government.”
The other recommended investments cited in the submission are to expand existing programs for students. This includes extending eligibility to the Loan Forgiveness Program from the first four years of an undergraduate program to the first five, given that it takes an average of 4.8 years to complete a degree. StudentsNS recommends that NSCC students should also be eligible for the program rather than only students studying at a university. Finally, the submission asks government to further invest in the in-study employment “SKILL” Program to expand the companies and organizations that can benefit from student wage subsidies.
The full Pre-Budget Submission can be found at http://studentsns.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Pre-BudgetSubmission2017StudentsNS.pdf
For more information, please contact:
Sophie Helpard, Executive Director
Phone: 905 714 5455
Collette Robert, Chair of StudentsNS