Students in New Brunswick could soon see a nice break in their tuition fees.
The provincial government says they are meeting with representatives from post-secondary institutions in advance of announcing a new tuition assistance program.
“We committed to providing financial assistance to those with the greatest financial need to allow them to attend public university, college or other post-secondary training programs,” said post-secondary education, training and labour minister, Francine Landry in a statement.
“The Education and New Economy Fund contains funding for a new tuition assistance program to fulfill this commitment and make public post-secondary education more accessible.”
For local universities the announcement is being looked at as a step in the right direction.
Many schools have been forced to cut programs due to financial concerns.
UNB president Eddy Campbell says an increase in the student population would help to alleviate those challenges.
“We certainly would like to have more students at our university and we are taking steps to ensure that happens,” said Campbell. “To the extent that this financial aid will help New Brunswick students access our university better, it’s really welcome news.”
“The debate we’re always having is trying to provide the right quality of education and it is getting more expensive as time goes on,” Campbell said.
UNB Student Union president Katie Davey says they’ve long advocated for equal opportunities for all students.
“We think that any qualified student should be able to access post-secondary education,” Davey said.
“A program like this that helps alleviate the financial burden really helps those students who’ve maybe never even thought of post-secondary really consider that as an option.”
Meetings with post-secondary leaders continued Wednesday and details of the program are expected to be announced next week.
With financial aid applications opening on May 1, provided it’s in place quickly, the new program could be in use in the near future.