The New Brunswick Association of Private Colleges and Universities has retained the services of a lawyer and is considering legal action against the provincial government.
The province was made aware Wednesday of the NBAPCU’s concerns, which stem from the exclusion of its institutions from the Tuition Access Bursary which provides free tuition to low income students.
Free tuition comes at a cost, NB Tuition Access Bursary critics warn
“We really feel that students that attend private colleges and universities have been disenfranchised and overlooked by their most recent tuition assistance bursary program because they’re not included in this,” NBAPCU President Dale Ritchie said.
“We feel it’s a breach of their charter of rights,” Ritchie added.
Green Party Leader David Coon supports the private institutions’ claim and thinks any student who’s eligible for a student loan should be eligible for a bursary as well.
“Even though you’re eligible for a student loan at a private college or private university you’re not going to be eligible for a bursary,” Coon said. “That is patently unfair.”
Premier Brian Gallant said he couldn’t get into specifics when questioned due to the potential of a court case but believes the program is the best way to help those that need it most.
“Anyone that says we have to do more for the 60 plus, anyone that says we have to do more for private colleges and universities, that’s fine. I would love to be able to give everything that they want,” Gallant said. “I’d love to do everything that anybody asks me but that’s just not realistic. We have to make choices as government.”
At this point there’s no word on whether or not the NBAPCU will launch legal action against the province or when that might take place.