OTTAWA, Aug. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Student representatives from the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) are gathered in Ottawa to celebrate 20 years of successful federal advocacy and high quality research. CASA has had a tremendous impact on the post-secondary sector, establishing itself as the effective voice for student issues in Canada.
"For 20 years, our organization has maintained a member-driven approach, bringing student voices to the federal government and directly initiating change", said Maria-Hélèna Pacelli, Executive Director of CASA. "Our ability to remain non-partisan while representing a variety of different student groups has solidified our credibility and longevity".
CASA has established itself as a driver in post-secondary education issues, leading important changes in student financial assistance while also becoming a chief advocate on student mental health and financial literacy. CASA's major achievements for students include:
- Removing the in-study income exemption from the Canada Student Loans needs assessment process, ending the penalization of $116 million from working students;
- Implementing the Repayment Assistance Plan to support students struggling to repay their student loans, providing an estimated $783 million in loan relief since 2010;
- Increasing the proportion of needs-based grants from 50% to 95% of the funds distributed by the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation, and supporting the Canada Student Grant Program which has disbursed a total of $2.5 billion in grants since 2009;
- Requiring all publicly funded research be available in Open Access format.
"In the world of student advocacy, 20 years is a momentous milestone. While we have much to celebrate, our members recognize additional work lies ahead in delivering tangible results to students while improving Canada's post-secondary education", added Pacelli.
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit national student organization composed of 22 student associations representing 256,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
SOURCE Canadian Alliance of Student Associations
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