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Staying local a good way to keep education costs down

More than ever, community colleges are the ideal choice for students who cant afford the higher priced tuitions at universitiesespecially in a recessionsays Northwest Community College (NWCC) President Stephanie Forsyth. The economic crisis in the country is impacting students educational choices, says Forsyth. Now, more than ever, students are having to make tough choices about where they want to get their advanced education and staying local makes sense. Rural colleges like Northwest Community College offer exceptional programs and services and allow students to live in communities where the cost of living is a lot less than urban centres. Forsyths comments come on the heels of nationally aired news stating students have more than exams and marks to worry about as a new semester approaches. The latest Employment Insurance statistics show that people under the age of 25, the majority of post-secondary students, have been particularly hard hit. Between June 2008 and June 2009, EI benefits for that demographic increased by 108.6 per centmore than any other age group. The trickle-down effect means fewer summer jobs are available to students looking to save up for the school year. Less savings means some students will feel the financial squeeze before they get a chance to work again, especially if they dont have a part-time job during the academic year. A recent Ipsos Reid poll found that 43 per cent of new college and university students and 35 per cent of returning students think that theyll only be able to stretch their spending money as far as the Christmas break, with 50 per cent of all post-secondary students expecting it to run out before the school year ends. Rural community colleges are a great way for students to receive high quality education at a more affordable price. And there are others ways students can try to stay in the black, says Dave McKeever of NWCC Student Services. Relief in the form of financial aid is available. We offer several awards, bursaries, grants and scholarships that students can apply for. Students can get all the information they need on the College web site or by speaking to an Educational Advisor, added McKeever. For more information, go to either the Current Students or Future Students links on the NWCC home page at: www.nwcc.bc.ca

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