Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to eliminate the value of student-owned vehicles from the Canada Student Loans Program assessment process to better reflect the needs of students who commute or work while studying.
Since 2006, the Government has made significant investments in post-secondary education to remove financial barriers and to streamline and modernize the Canada Student Loans Program and the Canada Student Grants Program.
Many students, especially those who live in rural and suburban communities, often require a vehicle for travel between their residence, classes and their jobs as public transit is not an option for them. The current $5,000 exemption limit for vehicles, implemented in 1995, has not been adjusted or revised in nearly two decades.
Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to simplify the Canada Student Loans Program by eliminating the value of student-owned vehicles from the need assessment process to better reflect current realities.
More than 19,000 student loan borrowers who own vehicles will benefit from higher loan disbursements each year as a result of this initiative, at a projected net cost of $14.8 million over two years and $7.8 million per year ongoing.
The Government invests over $10 billion annually to support post-secondary education, which includes providing students with financial assistance such as Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants, and specific programming targeted to First Nations and Inuit students.
Since 2006, the Government has taken significant action that helps students obtain education and skills, including:
- $800 million added to the Canada Social Transfer (CST) in 2008–09 to enhance the quality and competitiveness of Canada’s post-secondary education system, bringing the total investment in post-secondary education within the CST to $3.2 billion. This amount has increased annually by the 3 per cent CST escalator to total $3.9 billion in 2014–15.
- $1 billion for the Post-Secondary Education Infrastructure Trust.
- $2 billion in economic stimulus funding for the Knowledge Infrastructure Program to support infrastructure enhancements at universities and colleges.
- More than $1.8 billion in new funding committed to the Canada Foundation for Innovation to support research infrastructure at universities, colleges, research hospitals and other not-for-profit research institutions across Canada.
- More than $260 million for new Canada Graduate Scholarships to support graduate-level students who have demonstrated a high standard of achievement.
- $125 million for Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships to attract and retain world-class doctoral students.
- $35 million for Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships to support the very best postdoctoral researchers who will positively contribute to the country’s growth.
- $123 million to streamline and modernize the Canada Student Loans Program.
- Allowing full-time students to earn more money by doubling the in-study income exemption under the Canada Student Loans Program from $50 per week to $100 per week, benefiting approximately 100,000 students each year.
- Reducing the in-study interest rate for part-time students from prime plus 2.5 per cent to zero, bringing them in line with full-time students and saving them approximately $5.6 million per year.
- Introducing Canada Student Loan forgiveness for family physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners practising in underserved rural and remote communities.
- Increasing the family income thresholds for part-time students such that Canada Student Loans are available to more young Canadians.
- Consolidating and integrating all federal grants into one program—the Canada Student Grant Program. The program is providing monthly grants of $250 for low-income students and $100 for middle-income students.
- Increasing the income eligibility threshold for part-time students used to determine eligibility for the Canada Student Grant.