More money put into students’ pockets

Chris Clegg

Alberta’s post-secondary students can now pursue their careers with more money in their pockets.

On Sept. 15 at Mount Royal College in Calgary, several politicians gathered to announce increases to Canada Student Grants and enhancements to the federal government’s Repayment Assistance Plan. The changes make post-secondary education more affordable for students.

Effective Aug. 1, the government is providing more money for tuition for over 35,000 students in Alberta.

Canada Student Grant amounts have been increased by 50 percent:

* from $2,000 to $3,000 per year for full-time students from low-income families;
* from $800 to $1,200 per year for full-time students from middle-income families; and
* from $1,200 to $1,800 per year for part-time students from low-income families.

Combined grants and loans of up to $18,000 will cover the cost of pursuing post-secondary education in Alberta for the average full-time undergraduate student from a low-income family.

Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, says that beginning Nov. 1, no single Canadian will be required to make any repayment on education loans until she or he is earning at least $25,000, thanks to the government easing rules for Canada’s Repayment Assistance Plan. The result is, students are getting financial relief that will allow them greater access to post-secondary education, and the ability to start their careers not only with the skills they need, but with more money in their pockets.

“This is an important investment in student financial assistance, so that Canadian students can access and afford post-secondary education and pursue the careers they want,” says Hehr.

“Every student, no matter their financial circumstances, deserves an opportunity to realize their dreams and embark on a successful career,” says Marlin Schmidt, Alberta Minister of Advanced Education.

“I’m very pleased that Alberta’s students will have an even greater level of financial assistance when combining our robust student aid program and this expanded grant and repayment package from the federal government,” he adds.

Budget 2016 provided the first significant increase to Canada Student Grants and the Repayment Assistance Plan income thresholds since 2009.

The increase to Canada Student Grants will provide additional assistance of $1.53 billion over five years. The increase to the Repayment Assistance Plan eligibility thresholds will provide additional assistance of $131.4 million over five years.

Share this post