As a public post-secondary institution, Medicine Hat College’s focus is to provide programs, services, and learning experiences that have value to students rather than generate positive fiscal returns like we would if we were a profit-based business.
One of our ongoing challenges is to provide programs and services that are affordable to students so that the cost of education doesn’t stop people from attending. We also don’t want the process of applying to college and finding the resources to attend to be so onerous that people get turned off.
From that point of view, I was thrilled to hear Advanced Education and Technology Minister Greg Weadick’s recent announcement about changes to the provincial student loan program. The changes seem sure to make the process of applying for a loan less complicated, will increase the number of students eligible to receive loans, and will ultimately reduce the student debt load for those who complete their program in Alberta. This is great news for students.
My hope is that those wavering on the fence – trying to decide if post-secondary education is the right personal choice—will consider this announcement in making their decision. Many studies have shown the lifetime value of advanced education; Weadick’s announcement brings that value into the grasp of more people.
I encourage those contemplating a post-secondary education to consider Medicine Hat College as their first-choice institution. We offer outstanding opportunities for students through a wide array of programs including apprenticeship trades, certificate and diploma, applied degrees and university degree completion. Local students have the added benefit of receiving a first-class education while continuing to live at home. It is far more economical to study close to home than it is to move away. The local choice becomes even more desirable when you factor in the tremendous benefit of family and social networks that contribute so much to student success. Some may call it a Medicine Hat advantage.
Student loans are indeed a wonderful tool to ensure college education is attainable. At the same time, we don’t want to place too great a burden on students who may graduate with significant student loan debt. Look closely at your college and you probably won’t need to look further away.
Feel free to visit your campus to learn more about programs and the many services we offer to support learning. A quick visit to www.mhc.ab.ca is a great start.
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