Peter Schiefke, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), on behalf of the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, spoke to students and student leaders at Carleton University today about Education Savings Week. He outlined the government’s plan to introduce a fixed student contribution to determine eligibility for financial assistance through the Canada Student Loans Program, part of its commitment to strengthen the middle class, and help those working hard to join it.
Beginning in 2017, students will only be expected to provide a fixed contribution of between $1,500 and $3,000 per academic year (based on their family income and family size).
Today marks the midpoint of Education Savings Week, and Parliamentary Secretary Schiefke highlighted the importance of planning and saving early for post-secondary education. He noted how the Government of Canada supports education savings through incentives like RESPs (Registered Education Savings Plan) and the Canada Learning Bond.
The new fixed student contribution will provide students with the simple predictability of a fixed amount to contribute towards their education costs. The simplified fixed contribution will allow low and middle income students to better save, budget, and plan for their future. They’ll no longer need to estimate their earnings or savings, and will know in advance the amount they’ll need to contribute toward their education costs. In addition, more students will be able to continue to work and gain valuable job experience without having to worry about a reduction in their level of financial assistance.
The fixed contribution will also benefit adult learners, many of whom may work while studying, or who have spouses whose resources would previously have been considered in determining eligibility.
Canadians facing barriers to employment will be exempt from making any contribution, including Indigenous students, students with permanent disabilities, students with dependent children, and current or former Crown wards.
Budget 2016 provided the first significant changes to the Canada Student Loans Program since 2009. In addition to the fixed student contribution, students in Canada now benefit from a 50 percent increase to Canada Student Grants and an increase to the Repayment Assistance Plan to ensure that no borrower who applies will have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they are earning at least $25,000 per year.
November 23, 2016 Ottawa, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada