PM Announces Intent to Expand Access to Canada Student Grants Program
North Vancouver, British Columbia
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the Government’s intention to expand eligibility for Canada Student Grants for students from low- and middle-income families enrolled in short-duration educational programs. He was joined by James Moore, Minister of Industry, and Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver.
The enhancements will make post-secondary education more accessible to students in low- and middle-income families, and will also help Canadians acquire or upgrade their skills, making it easier to enter the workforce.
Beginning in 2016-2017, Canada Student Grants will be made available to qualifying low- and middle-income students enrolled in educational programs with a minimum duration of 34 weeks. Currently, students must be enrolled in an educational program with a minimum duration of 60 weeks to qualify. The expansion would help approximately 42,000 additional students per year, including approximately 22,000 students at private career colleges, gain eligibility to Canada Student Grants.
The changes to Canada Student Grants follow consultations with stakeholders such as the National Association of Career Colleges, and will be implemented once the supporting regulations are approved.
- Over $10 billion annually is invested by the Government to support post-secondary education, which includes providing students with financial assistance such as Canada Student Grants.
- Canada Student Grants are financial assistance from the Government of Canada that students do not have to pay back.
- In 2012-2013, nearly 357,000 students received a total of $695 million in Canada Student Grants. This was an increase of 6.1 per cent when compared to the number of students who received grants in 2011-2012.
- Since 2006, the Government has taken significant action to help students access post-secondary education and training, including creating the Canada Student Grants Program in 2009. The grants currently provide payments for the duration of the educational program of $250 per month of full-time study for low-income students and $100 per month of full-time study for middle-income students.
- In 2012-13, the Government also increased the income eligibility threshold for part-time students used to determine eligibility for Canada Student Grants.
- Canada Student Grants are available to students from most provinces and territories except those from the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Quebec, whose governments have their own student financial assistance programs.
- Canada places at the top of the rankings of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in terms of post-secondary educational attainment, in part due to federal supports for students.
- Canada has one of the highest youth employment rates among its peers in the OECD.
“Our Government’s top priority remains creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians. By expanding the eligibility of Canada Student Grants for students from low- and middle-income families to include short-duration programs, Canadians across the country will have more access to the skills and training they need to get good jobs and succeed in the job market.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper