Interest-Free Status for Students-at-Law

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The purpose of this petition is to canvas the provincial and federal governments to extend the designation of "eligible student" under the Student Financial Assistance Act of Alberta (and comparable legislation in each respective province) and "qualifying student" under the Canada Student Loans Act to include students-at-law.

After graduating, law students are required to complete one year of additional training called articling. During this time, recent graduates are legally considered "students-at-law". Despite still being students, and still being required to pay tuition fees (via CPLED), the articling year does not qualify as a deferral period or as an interest-free period for the purposes of student loan repayment. We believe that it is unfair to be treated as students in some respects, but not in others.

Understandably, this is an ambiguous phase of training, but this petition is not without precedent. An allowance is made for medical students in a similarly ambiguous phase of their education - residency. Medical residents continue their training in a professional work environment, yet are entitled to interest-free periods as well as student loan deferrals. 

We are simply asking for the same treatment afforded to other students in a similar stage of their education.