Province cuts red tape on student loans

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/news/ottawa/2011/01/24/17018636.html#/news/ottawa/2011/01/24/pf-17016371.html

The province is trying to make student loans easier to get.

Ontario Student Assistance Program applications will now be available Feb. 1 instead of May; there’s a new academic credit transfer system; and interest on loans will be waived for the first six months after graduation.

John Milloy, the provincial minister for training, colleges and universities, made the announcement at Algonquin College Monday.

“The less money I have to pay after I graduate, the better,” said paramedic student Jean-Marc Bradshaw.

Students can also keep more of they money they earn — about $100 a week — without it affecting their funding.

“I would’ve liked to see those changes beforehand because I did work a lot more and they did deduct a lot more from how much they were supposed to give back to me,” said Roblay Obzk, a police foundations student.

Obzk is graduating this year and won’t get to benefit from it.

“It’s too late but at least it’s good for other people,” he said.

There’s also an app for the application itself.

Students will be able to check their loan status on smartphones.

“The old-fashioned paper trail has worked fine for me so far. I don’t need another app to confuse me,” said Bradshaw.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

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