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Manitoba government drops interest rate on student loans by 1.5 per cent

The Manitoba government is dropping its interest rate on student loans.

Changes under the Student Aid Act have reduced the rate from prime plus 1.5 per cent to strictly prime.

Advanced Education Minister Erin Selby says the move will make education more affordable, adding there are already record enrolments in the province's college and university programs this year.

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The new rates came into effect Sept. 1 and affect more than 12,000 student borrowers.

University of Manitoba President David Barnard welcomed the news, saying it will help students at a crucial point in their lives.

Ms. Selby also announced that students can now earn $100 per week – up from $50 – during the study period without it affecting their student loan eligibility.

"The Manitoba government has made significant investments in supports for university and college students to make post-secondary education within reach to more Manitobans," she said.

"We will continue to find innovative ways to help students access higher learning."

Statistics Canada released Wednesday that tuition fees for full-time students in Canadian undergraduate programs are five per cent higher this fall than last.

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