Students encouraged by the Government of Canada's plans for improving access

    OTTAWA, Aug. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of
Human Resources and Social Development ran down a list of changes, previously
announced to Canada's student financial assistance programs in the 2008
federal budget today in Kitchener, Ontario.
    The changes include a new up-front Canada Student Grant for students from
low-income and middle-income families, a new debt repayment plan to help
students who are having difficulty paying back their student loans, improved
services for students to simplify the whole student loan process; and greater
support for students with permanent disabilities.
    "Minister Solberg's commitment to help improve access for low and
middle-income students and the government's new initiative to help relieve
student debt is reassuring for those who are faced with the burden of such
barriers," said Zach Churchill, National Director of the Canadian Alliance of
Student Associations.
    By creating this plan to improve access to post-secondary education, the
federal government has 'opened doors' for a portion of students in Canada.
That said, there are still groups that remain largely underrepresented in the
current PSE system, such as Aboriginal students, rural students, first
generation learners and students with disabilities. "Our national values and
this country's economic wellbeing depend on a robust access agenda for PSE,
which supports and cultivates the full potential of these groups," said
    "CASA is looking forward to continuing to build a working relationship
with the federal government in order to ensure that all groups, including
those who will not benefit from the proposed changes to the system, are able
to pursue the promise of a post-secondary education," concluded Churchill.

    CASA is a not-for-profit national student organization, offering
progressive, common sense education reform solutions.

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,

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Canadian Alliance of Student Associations

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