Budget 2021 measures under new Canada Student Financial Assistance program begin August 1st
Surrey: Young people have been among the hardest hit throughout the pandemic – experiencing more job losses than any other age demographic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Government has moved swiftly to implement a number of measures to ensure students and recent grads have access to the financial assistance they need to help support their post-secondary education. These measures included the historic Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which provided income support to over 700,000 students last summer and the creation of over 300,000 youth and student employment opportunities since the start of the pandemic.
As Canada’s economy recovers, the Government is continuing to make historic investments to ensure that students continue to have the supports and opportunities they need to build a better future for themselves. Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough visited Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, British Columbia to speak with students about the $4.5 billion of funding from Budget 2021 that will support greater access to post-secondary education. Under the new Canada Student Financial Assistance Program (CSFA Program), students will have access to direct financial support through the form of Canada Student Grants (CSG), Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans, making it easier for them – as well as recent graduates – to pay off their student debt.
More than 580,000 students each year rely on federal grants and loans to help them cover the cost of their tuition, school supplies, and living expenses. In 2020, the Government doubled Canada Student Grants (CSG) for one year, this investment helped cover approximately 90 per cent of the average undergraduate tuition in Canada for students who needed it the most.
As of August 1, 2021, the Government is extending the doubling of CSG for an additional two years. This means that the maximum amount available for the CSG will be up to $6,000 for full-time students and $10,000 for students with disabilties until July 31, 2023. The Government is also making permanent the flexibility for students to use their current year’s income when applying for the CSG, so those in financial need will not have their previous workforce participation count against them.
The Government recognizes that many graduates are struggling to begin their careers in a challenging labour market. That is why the waiver of interest accrual on student and apprentice loans has been extended to March 31, 2023. This will mean savings for approximately 1.5 million Canadians repaying student and apprentice loans, the majority of whom are women.
Looking to the future, Budget 2021 will make post-secondary financial supports more accessible over the long term. The Government will extend disability supports under the CSFA Program beyond recipients with life-long disabilities to recipients whose disabilities are persistent and prolonged. This change will benefit an estimated 40,000 recipients with non-permanent disabilities each year allowing access to up to $22,000 in grants, in-study supports, and specialized repayment assistance on their loans.
The Government also intends to enhance the Repayment Assistance Plan so that no one with an income of $40,000 or less will have to make payments on their student loans. This enhancement would support an estimated 120,000 additional Canadians with student and apprentice loan debt each year.
Taken together, the Government of Canada’s response to the current crisis represents the largest ever investment in young Canadians and one of the largest youth support packages around the world. By investing in our young people today, we are securing Canada’s growth and economic prosperity for future generations.