Update: US Direct Loan Funding Affecting Students at SLAIS the iSchool

This message is an update to our January 12th posting.

On Monday January 26th the iSchool and students affected by the November clarification of the US Direct Loan Funding program received news that the situation has been resolved and the loans are now being issued to students.  We are very pleased to report that this includes students at all stages of their program, despite earlier indications that ongoing students would not be eligible for further loans.

This positive outcome is the result of the dedicated work of a large number of people, including UBC Enrolment Services staff, iSchool faculty and staff, a number of whom worked tirelessly behind the scenes, and ischool students and alumni who pitched in with support and advocacy.  Through ongoing negotiations and consultations to clarify the concerns, we were able to implement changes to the MLIS program that have satisfied the requirements of the US Direct Loan Program.  We will continue to work with Enrolment Services in the coming months to ensure that any anticipated changes in the iSchool curriculum will satisfy the Direct Loan Funding program requirements.

This outcome does not come without cost to students who were placed in a situation of considerable stress and uncertainty, and some of whom made decisions and plans that will affect their lives in the future.  This is extremely unfortunate and we regret that our students were put in this situation. Throughout the process we did our best to gather reliable information and share it with students; however, some realities of the situation only emerged over time and through negotiation.

We wish all students success and a less stressful second half of the term.  As always, we are open to meeting with and advising students whose plans may be further affected by this outcome.

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