In February 2019, students in British Columbia celebrated over the announcement that provincial interest on student loans were no longer going to be applied for students studying in post-secondary education. While victorious, the Knock-Out Interest Campaign – created and run by the British Columbia Federation of Students – was not yet finished.
The College of New Caledonia Students’ Union, as well as many other student-run organizations across British Columbia, are now pushing for the elimination of federal interest on student loans. This push comes after recent victories such as the elimination of provincial interest and implementation of a needs-based grants program known as the BC Access Grant.
“Charging interest on student loans forces those who need student loans to pay more for their education than someone who could afford to pay tuition fees upfront,” reads a statement from the student union. “This is essentially a tax on low and middle-income students and families. Plenty of other industries offer zero per cent interest loans, and people still pay back their loans. You can buy a laptop or car on a payment plan with no interest, why shouldn’t this be an option for your education?”
Students wishing to participate in the campaign can visit the Knock-Out Interest website (knockoutinterest.ca) and send Prime Minister Justin Trudeau an email going over the importance of why interest should be eliminated as well as other ways of helping this campaign succeed.