August 22, 2019

The British Columbia Federation of Students (BCFS) is a provincial alliance of thirteen university and college student unions. The BCFS, through their respective campaigns, give a voice to student needs for equitable education choices.

The BCFS Knockout Interest campaign calls for the elimination of interest accumulated on the federal portion of student loans, to balance the increasing cost of tuition fees. The SFSS strategic priority of growth in students’ financial resources is in alignment with this campaign as it seeks to decrease the financial burden students will face upon graduation. Therefore, on July 25th, 2019, the SFSS Board of Directors voted in favor of endorsing the Knockout Interest campaign.

Background

The Knockout Interest campaign calls for the complete removal of charged interest rates that will not only make the cost of a post-secondary degree more affordable, but allows students to focus on their education rather than increasing costs. Currently, annual interest charged on federal student loans is considerably high, at prime +2.5%. Government student loans are preferred by students to loans from other financial institutions, with 43% of graduates in 2018 using federal loan options. With debt accumulation playing a role in the decision of students to enter or continue their education, 78% of SFU undergraduate students in 2019 said loan assistance was important or very important.

Engagement

Students are encouraged to make their voices heard and by voting in the upcoming federal election. Prior to Election Day on Monday, October 21st, 2019, students are able to register to vote online at www.elections.ca. Advance polls will accessible at SFU for approximately five days, two weeks prior to Election Day. More information regarding on-campus voting will be provided by the SFSS and SFU as information is made available. Additionally, voting can be done by mail, at any Elections Canada office and on Election Day at a polling station in your area as specified when you register to vote.

Read the full endorsement here. 

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