Students Nova Scotia
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Impact

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Wins for Students

StudentsNS has a long track record of successful advocacy for students in Nova Scotia. From financial aid to improved access to mental health supports, take a look at some of our recent work:

2018-2019:

  • The HealthyMindsNS suite of e-mental health tools--developed in cohesion with the Atlantic Association of Universities (AAU)--receives an annual $600,000 commitment through the Memorandum of Understanding. Press Release.

  • Another $470,000 to fund sexual violence prevention programming across the province is annualized through the Memorandum of Understanding. Press Release.

  • The creation of Consultation Agreements between universities and student associations is mandated through the Memorandum of Understanding. Press Release.

  • Introduction of Loan Forgiveness program, that forgives entirety of Nova Scotia Student Loans for graduates who study in Nova Scotia. Press Release.

2017-2018:

  • $500,000 investment into innovative HealthyMindsNS suite of e-mental health tools for all Nova Scotia post-secondary students. Press Release.

  • $1.7 million dollar increase to Graduate to Opportunity program, as well as $356,000 increase to Mitacs Accelerate prrogram to  support student employment opportunities. Press Release.

2016-2017:

  • Change in the student loan repayment requirements from graduates making $20,000/year to $25,000/year. Press Release.

  • $1 million invested in the graduate scholarship fund. Press Release.

  • Investments in provincial programs to create 600 new co-op positions, 150 summer positions, and 75 public sector positions for students. Press Release.

  • $2.7 million invested in sexual violence prevention programs including supporting Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. Press Release.

  • Inclusion of a student assistance review through the Transitions Task For Report.

2015-2016:

  • Announcement of the Graduate to Opportunities program that subsidizes wages of recent graduates.

  • Creation of the NSCC Student-Government Roundtable to give college students a voice to government.

2014-2015:

  • The Province introduces graduate student scholarships worth between $10,000 and $15,000 per year. Press Release.

  • Helped to have the provincial minimum wage tied to the Low Income Cut-Off and reach $10.40/hour. Press Release.

  • Provincial government commits to ensure Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Services are available in Cape Breton and Southwest Nova Scotia.

  • The Province eliminates interest on Nova Scotia student loans for graduates who remain in Nova Scotia. On average, beneficiaries will receive $800 over the course of their loan as a result of this policy. Press Release.

2013-2014:

  • Increase in the grant:loan ratio of Nova Scotia student assistance from 35:65 to 40:60. An individual student can receive a maximum $306 benefit from this change. Press Release.

  • Increase in the weekly maximum Nova Scotia student assistance amount by $10. An individual student can receive a maximum $340 benefit in 2012-13 from this change. Press Release.

  • Helped to have the provincial minimum wage tied to the Low Income Cut-Off and reach $10.30/hour. Press Release.

2012-2013:

  • Increase in the grant:loan ratio of Nova Scotia student assistance from 30:70 to 35:65. An individual student can receive a maximum $289 benefit in 2012-13 from this change.

  • Increase in the weekly maximum Nova Scotia student assistance amount by $10. An individual student can receive a maximum $340 benefit in 2012-13 from this change.

2011-2012:

  • Nova Scotia government introduces a debt cap at $28,560 for students receiving Nova Scotia student assistance over a four-year undergraduate degree. The cap corresponds to the maximum amount of federal student assistance, and whereas students only access provincial assistance after they max-out the federal amount, the debt cap essentially forgives the full Nova Scotia student loan for the first four years of an undergraduate degree. Those who are eligible for the programme will receive an average total benefit of approximately $10,000.

  • Increase in the grant:loan ratio of Nova Scotia student assistance from 20:80 to 30:70. An individual student can receive a maximum $578 benefit in 2012-13 from this change.

  • Doubling of the in-study earnings allowance, i.e. the amount a student can earn by working without have money deducted from their student assistance, from $50 to $100 per week. An individual student can receive a maximum $1700 benefit in 2012-13 from this change.

  • Increase in the textbook allowance of $500 per year, meaning that student assistance recipients who do not receive the maximum assistance amount will receive $500 more per year to cover the costs of their textbooks.

  • Increase in the weekly maximum Nova Scotia student assistance amount by $10, the first such increase since 2005-06. An individual student can receive a maximum $340 benefit in 2012-13 from this change.

  • In an environment of austerity, StudentsNS won from the Nova Scotia government a recommitment to maintain tuition at the national average and renew the Nova Scotia University Student Bursary. The Nova Scotia University Student Bursary amounts to a $1283 reduction in full-time Nova Scotian students’ tuition and $261 reduction in out-of-province students’ tuition.

  • Municipal Elections Act amended to greatly facilitate student participation. Previously, unmarried students could only vote at their family home. The law was also clarified such that while prior to voting students must be current residents and have lived in the municipality for three months of the year, but not necessarily the three months immediately preceding the election.

2008-2009:

  • Successfully negotiated a tuition freeze for the years of the 2008-2011 Memorandum of Understanding between the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Universities.

  • Province recommits to reducing Nova Scotia tuition to the national average. Through the Nova Scotia University Student Bursary, Nova Scotian students received $761 in 2008-09, $1022 in 2009-10 and $1283 in 2010-11, while students from other provinces received $261 in 2010-11.

  • Increase in the grant:loan ratio of Nova Scotia student assistance from 0:100 to 20:80. An individual student can receive a maximum $1156 benefit in 2012-13 from this change.

Awareness & Consultation

StudentsNS is a student-driven organization, with student leaders from each of our Member campuses in the driver’s seat when it comes to decision-making. Each of our Board Members undertakes consultation within their own Executive Teams, Councils, and student bodies to shape the direction of the  organization. This is crucial to understanding emerging student issues, new avenues for research, and transparency among our Membership.

The Executive Director also routinely visits our Member schools to discuss the work of StudentsNS with Executive Teams and Councils.

 

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