Federal Student Financial Assistance

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Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to provide $119 million over four years, starting in 2016–17, to reduce the expected parental contribution under the Canada Student Loans Program needs assessment process.

The Canada Student Loans Program currently assumes that parents will contribute a specific amount to their dependent child’s education. Many parents of children in post-secondary education are in a position to contribute to their child’s education, but not all have the financial flexibility to do so. Canadian families can face competing financial pressures as they care for aging family members while raising children, or balance other obligations on the family budget. As a result, some postsecondary students receive less support from the Canada Student Loans Program, or none at all, under an assumption that their parents can contribute a specific amount.

Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to reduce the expected parental contribution under the Canada Student Loans Program needs assessment process. Reducing the parental contribution better recognizes the financial realities faced by Canadian families. This measure would provide increased support to approximately 92,000 students.

Budget 2011 introduced initiatives which expand eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants for full- and part-time post-secondary students. With these initiatives, low- and middle-income part-time students are better positioned to upgrade their skills and education qualifications so that they can make the most of their abilities and prosper in today's changing economy.

About the Program

The Government of Canada provides student financial assistance to full- and part-time post-secondary students through the Canada Student Loans Program, which offers loans, grants and repayment assistance.

Who Is Eligible

Full-and part-time post-secondary students.

How It Works

Budget 2011 initiatives were:

  • Doubling the in-study income exemption for full-time students from $50 per week to $100 per week.
  • Allowing part-time students to have higher family incomes without affecting their eligibility for a Canada Student Loan. The income eligibility threshold for part-time Canada Student Loans has been increased and harmonized with the income threshold used to assess eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for students from middle-income families.
  • Increasing the income eligibility threshold for part-time Canada Student Grants and harmonizing it with the income threshold used to assess eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for students for from low-income families. The Canada Student Grant for part-time students provides up to $1,200 in non-repayable assistance to eligible students each academic year.
  • Part-time student loan borrowers are no longer being charged interest on their loan while they are attending school.

Progress to Date

In the 2011-2012 academic year, about 450,000 full- and part-time students received $2.4 billion in Canada Student Loans, and more than 336,000 students received $647 million in Canada Student Grants.

Find Out More

For further information visit CanLearn.ca.

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