Calgary, June 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification) and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre–North, on behalf of the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, today announced that over 1 million post-secondary students have received Canada Student Grants (CSGs) since their introduction in 2009. The event took place at the University of Calgary, where more than 14,000 students have benefitted from CSGs since the inception of the program.
CSGs were introduced in 2009 to make post-secondary education more accessible to Canadians and help minimize student debt. Students don't have to pay back the grants, and the grants provide support to low- and middle-income students, students with permanent disabilities and students with dependants.
Minister Rempel took the opportunity to talk about the new measures announced in the Economic Action Plan 2015 to help students and families pay for education, including the intent to expand the eligibility for Canada Student Grants to include low- and middle-income students in short-duration programs, reduce the expected parental contribution and eliminate in-study student income from the Canada Student Loans Program needs assessment process.
- Over $10 billion annually is invested by the Government to support post-secondary education, which includes providing students with financial assistance such as CSGs.
- In the 2012–13 school year, almost 357,000 students received $695 million in CSGs.
- Since 2009, the Government of Canada has disbursed nearly $3.3 billion in CSGs.
- Starting in 2016–17, the expansion of CSGs will help approximately 42,000 additional students per year, including approximately 22,000 students at private career colleges, gain eligibility for CSGs.
"Our Government's top priority remains creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians. We are committed to making post-secondary education accessible to all Canadians, recognizing that education and training are key factors in building a strong economy. Our intention to expand the eligibility of Canada Student Grants for students from low- and middle-income families to include short-duration programs will assist additional students in obtaining the skills and training they need to get good jobs and fully participate in the Canadian workforce."
– The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification) and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre–North
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The Government of Canada invests significantly in helping all Canadians save for, finance and repay their post‑secondary education. These measures include the Registered Education Savings Plan, the Canada Learning Bond, the Canada Education Savings Grant, Canada Student Loans and Grants and the Repayment Assistance Plan.
Canada Education Savings Program
The Canada Education Savings Program provides education savings incentives to encourage and reinforce the importance of early and sustained savings for a child's post-secondary education specifically using Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs).
An RESP is a special savings plan, like a savings account, that helps save money for a child's education after high school. RESPs allow savings to grow tax-free. RESPs also make it possible to receive extra money through the Government of Canada's education savings incentives, specifically the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) and the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG).
The CESG is money that the Government of Canada will add to a child's RESP to help their savings grow. A child could receive up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200.
There are two types of Grants:
The Government will add 20 cents on every dollar on the first $2,500 contributed each year to an RESP. A child can receive up to $500 a year and up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200.
Depending on the net family income, a child could also receive an extra 10 percent or 20 percent on every dollar of the first $500 contributed each year.
Canada Learning Bond
The CLB is $500 offered by the Government of Canada to help parents start saving for their child's education. Plus, a child could get an additional $100 every year until he or she turns 15 years old, to a maximum of $2,000. Parents, or primary caregivers, do not have to contribute any of their own money, but an RESP must be opened.
To receive the Bond, a child must have been born in 2004 or later. The primary caregiver must also receive (or have received) the National Child Benefit Supplement under the Canada Child Tax Benefit (sometimes known as the "family allowance" or "baby bonus").
Since the introduction of the Canada Learning Bond in 2005, the Government of Canada has paid out over $600 million to more than 700,000 beneficiaries.
Canada Student Loans and Grants
The Canada Student Loans Program offers loans, grants and repayment assistance to students.
Canada Student Grants provide up-front, non-repayable financial assistance to low- and middle-income students and students with permanent disabilities or dependants.
Eligibility for Canada Student Grants for students from low- and middle-income families is based on family income and varies by jurisdiction and family size. Income level thresholds are adjusted annually to reflect the cost of living increases. Eligibility is assessed at the time the student applies for student loans.
The Canada Student Grant for Students from Low-Income Families currently provides non-repayable financial assistance ($250 per month of study) to full-time students from low-income families who have a financial need, meet the specific grant eligibility requirements and are registered in programs with a minimum duration of 60 weeks. The Canada Student Grant for Students from Middle-Income Families also provides non-repayable financial assistance ($100 per month of study) to full-time students from middle-income families who meet similar eligibility requirements.
Canada Student Grants are also available for students with permanent disabilities. These students are entitled to a grant of $2,000 per academic year. Additional funding up to $8,000 is available for those who require special services or equipment. Students receive consideration for these grants upon providing documentation relating to their disabilities when applying for a Canada Student Loan.
For Canada Student Loan borrowers having difficulty making their payments following their studies, the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) helps them repay their loans. 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. Borrowers also have an option to negotiate a revision of repayment terms to accommodate their financial situation, such as extending the amortization period to reduce the size of monthly payments.
Canada Student Grant for Short-Duration Programs
On April 7, 2015, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the Government's intention to expand eligibility for Canada Student Grants for students from low- and middle-income families enrolled in short-duration educational programs.
Beginning in the 2016–17 school year, Canada Student Grants will be made available to qualifying low- and middle-income students enrolled in educational programs with a minimum duration of 34 weeks. Currently, students must be enrolled in an educational program with a minimum duration of 60 weeks to qualify.
The proposed expansion would help approximately 42,000 additional students per year, including approximately 22,000 students at private career colleges, gain eligibility to Canada Student Grants. Full-time students from low-income families could qualify to receive a grant amount of $125 per month and those from middle-income families could receive $50 per month.
To support this expansion of Canada Student Grants, the Government will be providing an estimated $184 million over four years, beginning in 2016–17, and approximately $50 million per year on an ongoing basis thereafter.
The changes to Canada Student Grants follow consultations with stakeholders such as the National Association of Career Colleges and will be implemented once the supporting regulations are approved.
Students in programs with a minimum duration of 60 weeks would continue to have access to the higher low- and middle-income Canada Student Grants of $250 per month of study and $100 per month of study.
Universal Child Care Benefit
The Government of Canada is introducing measures to help families prosper. These measures include enhancements to the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), the introduction of the Family Tax Cut and improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
- The UCCB would increase to up to $1,920 per year for children under the age of 6, and parents would receive a benefit of up to $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17.
- The proposed enhancements to the UCCB would provide $160 per month for each child under the age of 6 and $60 per month for each child aged 6 through 17.
- The new benefit amounts would take effect on January 1, 2015, and would begin to be reflected in monthly payments to recipients in July 2015.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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