Acadia University, Wolfville
Nova Scotia graduates no longer have to pay interest on their provincial student loans the government announced March 28.
There are about 18,000 borrowers who could be eligible to benefit annually. That number doesn't include current students, who may also qualify in the future.
To qualify, a borrower must:
-- be a resident of Nova Scotia
-- have graduated from an approved, designated post-secondary school
-- have a Nova Scotia government-sponsored direct-lend loan
This program applies to qualifying borrowers who entered repayment on their provincial loans on or after Nov. 1, 2007. Eligible borrowers won't be reimbursed for interest they've paid since Nov. 1, 2007, but they will no longer pay interest going forward. This program does not apply to loans borrowed from the federal government.
â€œThe average Nova Scotia student loan is about $5,600. Eliminating the interest would save about $800 over the lifetime of the loan.
The Nova Scotia Student Assistance office will contact borrowers over the next few weeks to explain how they can apply. An online application will be used to determine if borrowers qualify.
Government will invest $1.6 million in this program annually.