Post-secondary students in New Brunswick are starting their careers with the skills they need and less debt

MONCTON, NB, Sept. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - The Government's commitment to strengthening Canada's middle class and helping those working hard to join it means making post-secondary education more affordable for students.

As of August 1, the Government is providing more money for tuition for over half of all students in New Brunswick – 7,500 students. 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 students from middle-income families
  • From $1,200 to $1,800 per year for part-time students from low-income families

As a result of these enhancements, when combined with the New Brunswick Tuition Access Bursary, the average full-time undergraduate student from a low-income family in New Brunswick could receive up to $6,500 in grants.

Beginning November 1, no single Canadian will be required to make any repayment on her education loans until she or he is earning at least $25,000, thanks to the Government easing rules for Canada's Repayment Assistance Plan.

Thanks to these new measures, 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 summer the Government of New Brunswick introduced a free tuition program, known as the Tuition Access Bursary, to provide upfront financial assistance to New Brunswick students that need it most and who's annual household income of $60,000 or less. In order to be eligible, students must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree, diploma or certificate program at a publicly-funded university or college in the province.

Quotes
"Education is the key to future success and prosperity. Our investments are making post-secondary education more affordable and more accessible for students. It's going to help grow the Canadian middle class and help Canadians get the skills and experience they need for good jobs."
-The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

"Our government understands that creating jobs and making post-secondary education more accessible and affordable is what New Brunswickers want. We are proud to work with the Trudeau government to get things done by improving financial assistance programs available to students."
–The HonourableDonald Arseneault, New Brunswick Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

Quick Facts

  • Budget 2016 provided the first significant increase to Canada Student Grants and the Repayment Assistance Plan income thresholds since 2009.
  • Increases to Canada Student Grants are expected to benefit 7,500 students from New Brunswick.
  • 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.
  • According to Statistics Canada, over a 20-year period, students with a bachelor's degree will earn between $442,000 and $728,000 more than someone with only a high school diploma.

Associated Links

Budget 2016 
Canada.ca/Student-Financial-Assistance 
Student Financial Assistance Estimator

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Backgrounder

BUDGET 2016 – Making Post-Secondary Education More Affordable

Enhancing Canada Student Grants

Canada Student Grants (CSGs) provide up-front, non-repayable financial assistance to low- and middle-income students and students with permanent disabilities or dependents. Eligibility is assessed at the time the student applies for student loans.

Budget 2016 proposed to increase CSG amounts 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.

Increasing the CSGs would benefit over 350,000 students across Canada: approximately 247,000 low-income students; 100,000 middle-income students; and 16,000 part-time students per year. This measure will provide assistance of $1.53 billion over five years, starting in 2016–17.

Budget 2016 also proposed to expand eligibility for CSGs to help even more students receive non-repayable assistance through an investment of $790 million over four years. The new eligibility thresholds are expected to be in place for the 2017–18 academic year, following consultations with provinces and territories. Under the new model, the existing low- and middle-income thresholds will be replaced with a single progressive threshold under which grant amounts will gradually decline based on income and family size.

Repayment Assistance Plan
For Canada Student Loan borrowers having difficulty making their payments following their studies, the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) can offer help. The RAP makes it easier for borrowers to manage their student loans by paying back what they can reasonably afford, based on their family income and size. Students must apply for the RAP in order to receive this support.

Since its introduction in 2009, the Repayment Assistance Plan income thresholds, which currently begin at $20,210 (gross income), have not been adjusted and do not reflect minimum wage increases.

  • In New Brunswick, for instance, $8.25/hour in 2009 amounted to a yearly salary of $17,160 at 40 hours/week. However, the increase to $10.30/hour by 2015, amounted to a yearly salary of $21,424, which is above the current minimum affordable payment threshold.

Budget 2016 proposed to increase the loan repayment threshold under the Canada Student Loans Program's Repayment Assistance Plan to ensure that no borrower who applies will have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they are earning at least $25,000 per year. This income threshold is for a single individual; for other family sizes, see the table below. Students earning more than this amount may also be eligible for reduced payments. Students who think they may face difficulties repaying their loans should contact the National Student Loans Service Centre to learn more. This measure will provide assistance of $131.4 million over five years, starting on November 1, 2016.

 


Annual Family Gross Income Thresholds for RAP Zero Payment by Family Size

Family Size

Current RAP Thresholds

RAP Thresholds as of Nov. 1

Percentage Change

1

$20,210

$25,000

23.7%

2

$31,570

$39,052

23.7%

3

$40,790

$50,457

23.7%

4

$48,110

$59,512

23.7%

5+

$54,830

$67,825

23.7%

 

Provincial and territorial information for Canada Student Loans and Grants
The Government of Canada works with most provincial or territorial governments to deliver federal and provincial student loans and grants.

  • In Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador the Government of Canada and the provincial governments work together to provide financial assistance through Integrated Student Loans and Grants.
  • In Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canada Student Loans and Grants are available alongside provincial or territorial student financial assistance.
  • In Yukon, only Canada Student Loans and Grants and territorial grants are available to permanent residents of the Yukon.

Non-participating jurisdictions

Quebec, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories chose not to participate in the Canada Student Loans Program and receive an alternative payment from the Government of Canada to administer their own student financial assistance measures.

New Brunswick
Although the Government of Canada directly finances federal student loans, New Brunswick processes Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) applications and conducts eligibility assessments for Canada Student Loans and Grants alongside provincial student loans and grants. Up to 60 percent of a New Brunswick student's demonstrated financial need is covered by the CSLP, with New Brunswick covering the remaining need through the New Brunswick Student Assistance Program, up to a stipulated maximum amount. The CSLP has an integration agreement with New Brunswick, which means that students from New Brunswick have a single loan repayment.

New Brunswick is building upon the improvements to the CSLP by moving forward with the introduction of the Tuition Access Bursary (TAB). Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, the TAB, in conjunction with the federal low- and middle-income grants, will provide an amount equivalent to tuition costs to students with a gross family income of $60,000 or less, attending a public university or college located in New Brunswick.

The CSLP and New Brunswick, alongside other provinces and territories, work closely together to improve the coordination of federal and provincial programs, to improve student financial assistance, and to respond to the needs of students.

 

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Carlene Variyan, Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Carlene.variyan@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca, 819-654-5611; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


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