NDP announces Free in 8, PSE plans

Fredericton – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy announced the party’s plan for post-secondary education today.

Cardy made the announcement on the UNB campus among students, supporters and candidates.

“Eight years is long enough to be paying back student loans,” Cardy said. “That’s why the new NDP will introduce the Free in 8 Program to ensure that every graduate can afford to pay off their loan in eight years or get the help they need to make those payments.” This will cost $1.8 million in the first year and $3.7 million by year four.

“Through post-graduation bursaries and eliminating interest on student loans, the Free in 8 Program will ensure that low income graduates won’t just have their payments delayed but will get help retiring the debt.”

A new NDP government will also create a Student Retention Initiative that will remove the required parental and spousal contributions from student loans; this will cost $1.6 million per year.

Cardy said his party would also create the NB Hopes Scholarship Program which would target first year financial aid to eligible students with high marks and high financial need.

“New Brunswick students deserve better than a debt sentence,” Cardy said. “They deserve a fair chance to start families and careers without crippling debt.”