Students look forward to shaping new grant program



    TORONTO, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Federal government says 'good-bye' to the Canada
Millennium Scholarship Foundation (CMSF) with introduction of a new
consolidated Canada Student Grant Program, says the College Student Alliance
(CSA).
    "Ontario students are very optimistic that today's federal budget will
lead to a renewed discussion with the government on how we can make
postsecondary education in Canada more accessible and affordable," says Tyler
Wiles, President of the College Student Alliance. "The government has signaled
to students with today's announcement of a new grant program and increased
investments targeted to the Canada Student Loans Programs (CSLP) that they are
ready to talk."
    Budget 2008 delivers a commitment of $350 million for 2009-10 increasing
to $430 million by 2012-13 for the new Canada Student Grant Program. These
grants will be targeted towards low- and middle income college and university
students. A low-income student can expect to receive an up-front grant of $250
per month for the entire length of their program of study; while a
middle-income student will receive $100 per month. Some 245,000 students are
expected to benefit from the new grant program; an increase of 100,000
students.
    "The CSA is pleased that the government has heard the calls of Ontario
college and college/university students for a grant program that is delivered
up-front, for the entire program length and directed to low- and middle income
students," adds Wiles. "We are also pleased with the recognition that the
current Canada Student Loans Program needs to be modernized and enhanced."
    Starting in 2009-10, the federal government will invest $123 million into
the streamlining and modernizing of the Canada Student Loans Program. As part
of this investment, students will see and experience a new service delivery
vision that will expand online services and enable students to manage their
loans from application to repayment as well as support for part-time and
married students and flexibility for students who experience difficulty once
in repayment.
    "Today's budget shows that the federal government is keeping an eye to
the future and our future leaders of tomorrow," says Tyler Charlebois,
Director of Advocacy. "It is important for all Canadians to have access to
postsecondary education that is affordable and of the upmost quality, if we
are to compete in the global knowledge-based economy."
    Ontario college and college/university students are united in our
position to work with the federal government and the province to ensure that
students see the true benefits of today's announcements.

    The College Student Alliance (CSA) is an advocacy and services
organization which has been proudly serving Ontario's college and
college/university students since 1967. The CSA currently represents 16
colleges and 23 student councils with over 109,000 full-time student members
throughout the province.




For further information:

For further information: Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy, College
Student Alliance, C: (416) 346-9951, E: Charlebois@csaontario.org,
www.csaontario.org

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College Student Alliance

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FEDERAL BUDGET REACTION 2008

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