Making post-secondary education more affordable for Canadians is how we will continue growing our middle class and strengthening our economy says Patty Hajdu, federal employment, workforce development and labour minister. When Canadians have the opportunity to go to school or access training while better balancing family responsibilities, they are better placed to find and keep good jobs.
Hajdu recently highlighted expanded access to Canada student grants for part-time students and Skills Boost, a new plan to give adult learners the support they need to succeed in the workforce.
“Helping more Canadians afford post-secondary education will help grow our economy and strengthen the middle class,” she said. “Far too many Canadians face challenges when pursuing post-secondary education—not only because of the cost of education itself but also because of the financial pressures and time constraints of supporting our families. Our government has Canadians covered, no matter their circumstance—whether they are going to college or university for the first time, returning to school or upgrading their skills.”
Starting this academic year, nearly 10,000 more part-time students from low- and middle-income families will benefit from up to $1,800 in non‑repayable grants per year and up to $10,000 in loans. Additionally, access to grants for part-time students with children will be expanded allowing them to benefit from up to $1,920 per year.
Expanded access to Canada student grants for full-time and part-time students and students with dependents helps more Canadians afford post-secondary education. The measures will benefit Canadian women in particular, who often strive to improve their career prospects while balancing family responsibilities. Women represent nearly two-thirds of the Canada Student Loan Program’s part-time recipients, while approximately four out of five students receiving Canada student grants with dependent children are women.
As well, Skills Boost includes several measures announced in the 2017 budget. The new plan will be available for the school year, beginning this fall, as part of a $287 million three-year pilot project. Students eligible for the Canada student grant for full-time students and who have been out of high school for at least 10 years will receive an additional $1,600 per school year ($200 per month) in top-up funding. An estimated 43,000 low- and middle-income Canadians will benefit from the top-up funding in the 2018–19 academic year. As well, for the first time, working and unemployed Canadians whose employment situation has significantly changed from the previous year can see their current income used to assess Canada student grant eligibility. That means a person who experiences a drop in income won’t be automatically disqualified for assistance based on their previous year’s earnings.