01/14/2014 10:45 EST | Updated 03/16/2014 05:59 EDT

Pan Am Games student volunteers offered loan breaks

The Ontario government hopes it can attract volunteers to next year's Pan Am Games by offering post-secondary students a break on their loans. 

The province said today it will waive its summer job requirement for students with OSAP loans if they volunteer at the games. It will also give graduating students an extra six months after graduation, on top of the usual six months, before they are expected to start paying their loans back. 

"We know that many students might be interested in volunteering but are also concerned about working … to pay for their post-secondary education," said Brad Duguid, the minister for training, colleges and universities. "They shouldn't have to choose." 

Some see the offer as a chance to pad one's resume and relieve some financial pressure. Others say the government could do better. 

"The government is preferring to create these piecemeal programs that benefit some students but not all," said Alastair Woods of the Canadian Federation of Students. 

The Pan Am Games will run July 10 to 26, 2015.