The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has just released its year 2001 loan default report for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). For the second straight year Conestoga College has achieved the lowest student loan default rate of any Ontario community college --11.2 per cent.
The result is especially significant because the overall rate for Ontarios community colleges is 17.5 per cent, a slight increase from the year 2000 results. The 2000 report showed Conestoga with a rate of 12.5 percent.
This continues a positive trend for Conestoga in moving to meet the governments goal of a loan default rate of ten percent or less for every postsecondary institution in the province by 2003. The Conestoga student default figure has steadily declined -- from 20.8 per cent in 1998 to 16.6 per cent in 1999 to 12.5 in 2000 to 11.2 in 2001.
Composite 2001 default rates are 7.4 per cent for the university sector and 26.7 per cent for private vocational schools.
This is further proof of the positive results of Conestogas approach to quality, says College Registrar Fred Harris. Our commitment to serving students through an extensive financial assistance and bursary program aids them in completing their programs and rapidly gaining employment after graduation.
He adds that Conestoga also strives to see that its programs of instruction correspond to workplace needs and opportunities, so that graduates are ready to move into areas where employment exists. As well, the College carefully assesses applicant suitability for its programs, thereby improving the likelihood of student success.
We are fortunate to be the college for one of Canadas most economically diverse and innovative areas, Harris says. Our ability to work with local employers and economic leaders has created effective partnerships that give us a reputation for educational excellence and relevance.
The 2001 loan default report reflects data for students issued loans in the 1998-99 academic year, but who are in a loan default position as of July 2001. To review default loan tables, go to http://osap.gov.on.ca, the Web site of the Ontario Student Assistance Program.
CONTACT: Fred Harris, 519-748-5220, ext. 3305