N.B. government says free tuition program going according to plan
Published Saturday, September 10, 2016 2:40PM ADT
Last Updated Saturday, September 10, 2016 2:52PM ADT
The New Brunswick government says its program to provide free tuition to low-income families is right on track.
Provincial Post-Secondary Education Minister Donald Arseneault says about 2,000 students will receive the bursary.
He says there will likely be more once they process the latter half.
"We have over 13,000 people who have applied for student financial services,” said Arseneault. “We've processed half of those applications and 35 per cent are eligible for student access bursary program."
The provincial government set aside $25 million for the program. But Arseneault says if they happen to go over that, that's a good thing.
He says they'll find the money because they'd rather students staying in the province for their education.
"We'll just continue to make sure that as many people can benefit from it,” said Arseneault. “I'm not worried about if it does bust that budget or not."
Students whose parent’s income falls under $60,000 are eligible for the bursary. Some students who don’t fall under that category are skeptical.
"I do have mixed feelings about it," said student Marie Meade. “To an extent, it feels like they're doing this to be able to say that they're giving free tuition to people that can't afford it."
For some, the bursary has arrived too late.
"I'm in my fifth year of university, so at this point student loans are starting to rack up,” said student Marissa Brown. “At this point, it would benefit me majorly if I could get it."
Brown wishes it didn't depend on her parent's income.
The UNB Student Union says they have been hearing that some students are confused about how to apply, but overall they're pleased with how it's been going.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.