Students: Federal Budget Pony Ups Cash for Strapped Students



    OTTAWA, Feb. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Seven student organizations representing
over 600,000 college, university and technical students from across the
country are united in our optimism over the newly announced Canada Student
Grant Program. Budget 2008 brings the possibility of an improved national
financial aid system for Canada.
    "Investing in students is the best way for our nation to move forward,"
says Zach Churchill, National Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations (CASA).
    The new grant program is committed to maintaining the current level of
grant funding and promised additional grant funding to be made available
throughout the next four years, growing from $350 million dollars in 2009-10
to $430 million dollars in 2012-2013. The grants will range from $250 dollars
a month for low-income students and $100 dollars a month for middle-income
students.
    "Our partnership has been very vocal about the important role the federal
government can and should play in assisting our students financially," says
Mike Tipping, President of the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations
(ANSSA). "With the rising costs of postsecondary education in Canada and the
need for our provinces, territories and country to compete in the global
knowledge-based economy, we must as Canadians ensure access and affordability
of higher learning."
    Students however are disappointed that the Canada Millennium Scholarship
Foundation (CMSF) was not renewed as a mechanism to deliver these grants. The
CMSF has been a very efficient and effective grant delivery method and has
been able to negotiate beneficial agreements in all provinces and territories,
which has proven to distribute up-front grants to specific under-represented
groups.
    "Our partnership is prepared to engage in a serious consultation process
with the federal government to ensure that today's funds are directed to
achieve a positive impact on access for students in Canada," said David
Simmonds, President, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA).




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jillian Flake, Public Relations and Communications Officer, Canadian Alliance
of Student Associations, (613) 236-3457 ext. 224, (c) (613) 868-6605,
casacomm@casa.ca

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Canadian Alliance of Student Associations

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FEDERAL BUDGET REACTION 2008

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