At Home: NL eliminates student-loan interest
It’s never easy juggling courses and student loan applications, and it can be even harder paying those loans back, but things just got a little easier for students in Newfoundland and Labrador.
As of midnight on August 1, the provincial government will ?eliminate the interest on student loans,? as the CBC reports. The interest-free provincial loans apply to students at post-secondary institutions across the province.
Prior to the change, the interest on the provincial portion of student loans was 2.25 per cent, and some students are hoping that a similar change will soon follow for the federal portion of loans.
Students welcomed the announcement. Terry Randell, a member of the student union at Sir Wilfred College in Corner Brook, told CBC News, ?This is going to help me pay off my student loans a couple of years earlier. This is amazing. I think we’re really setting a trend here in the province for other people.”
According to Darin King, the province’s education minister, NL is the first province in Canada to offer this kind of debt assistance to students. Although monthly payments will stay the same, eliminating interest means that students will be able to pay their loans off faster, with individual students saving as much as $1,800.
In Foreign News: Voluntary ban on hiring dropouts suggested in Texas
In a controversial move, Texas? education chief has suggested a voluntary ban on hiring dropouts. Robert Scott, the State Education Commissioner, made the comments after his agency was criticized for its method of reporting dropout rates.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Scott ?called on the state’s leading business group Thursday to help launch a voluntary statewide ban on the hiring of high school dropouts by Texas employers.? The logic is that if employers in Texas refuse to hire school-age dropouts, the teenagers will either remain in school or pursue alternative education, such as online learning.
?We need a commitment from businesses in this state to not hire kids who have dropped out of school,? Scott told reporters. ?It would send a powerful message to these kids to stay in school. It would be better for them, better for businesses and better for the state in the long run.?
Others, however, disagree with the plan, including Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business. Hammond called the suggested ban unworkable, saying ?There are cases where kids who drop out get back on track by first becoming employed and then later continuing their education. To condemn those kids to no employment seems pretty hard-hearted to me.?
Currently, schools must achieve a graduation rate of at least 75 per cent to be rated ?acceptable,? and the same percentage applies to graduation rates for major ethnic groups.