GATINEAU, QC, April 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced the Harper government is taking steps to increase the accessibility and affordability of post-secondary education. The low- and middle-income thresholds for Canada Student Grants and part-time Canada Student Loans and Grants have been adjusted to allow more students to qualify for financial assistance for the 2013-2014 school year.
"Our government is helping Canadians get the education, skills and experience they need for jobs in high-demand fields," said Minister Finley. "We are taking action so that youth have the knowledge and opportunities they need to fully transition into the labour market."
The Harper government invests significant funding in education and training to connect Canadians with available jobs. Over $10 billion annually is invested by the Government in support of post-secondary education, which includes providing students with financial assistance such as Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants. In the 2011-2012 school year, approximately 450 000 post-secondary students received $2.4 billion in Canada Student Loans and more than 335 000 students received $647 million in Canada Student Grants.
The low- and middle-income thresholds, used to assess eligibility for Canada Student Grants and part-time Canada Student Loans and Grants, have been adjusted for the 2013-2014 school year. This change will allow more students to qualify for financial assistance and will come into effect August 1, 2013.
The Harper government is focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Ensuring that Canadians have access to post-secondary education is vital for Canada's economic prosperity.
Low- and Middle-Income Thresholds
- Students from low- and middle-income families qualify for Canada Student Grants for full-time students as well as Canada Student Loans and Grants for part-time students based on a set of defined income levels.
- Income thresholds are based on pre-tax income, the number of people in the family and the province or territory of residence. This takes into consideration how much money families will need to pay for various items, including shelter, food, household operation, child care, transportation, and health and personal care, among other items. For example, for the 2013-2014 school year, the low-income threshold for a family of three will vary between $30,975 and $36,192.
Student Financial Assistance
- In the 2011-2012 school year, approximately 450,000 post-secondary students received $2.4 billion in Canada Student Loans and more than 335,000 students received $647 million in Canada Student Grants.
- Canada Student Loans are available to students with a demonstrated financial need who are enrolled in full-time or part-time studies at designated post-secondary institutions. In general, the federal government covers 60 percent of a student's financial need, while the province or territory covers the remaining 40 percent.
- Canada Student Grants provide up-front, non-repayable financial assistance to students from low- and middle-income families, low-income students with dependents and students with permanent disabilities. Canada Student Grants for students from low- and middle-income families and for low-income students with dependents are based on income thresholds that are updated annually.
- More information on Canada Student Loans and Grants is available at CanLearn.ca.
Supporting Post-Secondary Education for First Nations and Inuit Students
- Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes $10 million over two years to Indspire to provide post-secondary scholarships and bursaries for First Nations and Inuit students.
Loan Forgiveness for Doctors and Nurses
- As of April 1, 2013, the Government of Canada is accepting applications for Canada Student Loan forgiveness from eligible family doctors, residents in family medicine, nurse practitioners, and nurses working in designated rural or remote communities. Family doctors and residents in family medicine can receive up to $8,000 per year in Canada Student Loans forgiveness to a maximum of $40,000 over five years. Nurses and nurse practitioners can receive up to $4,000 per year in Canada Student Loans forgiveness to a maximum of $20,000 over five years.
- To apply for loan forgiveness, family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners must have been employed (whether full-time, part-time or casual) for 12 months in a designated rural or remote community and have provided in-person services for a minimum of 400 hours, or 50 days, in that community. Residents in family medicine must have provided a minimum of 400 hours, or 50 days, of in-person service to be eligible.
- The Government of Canada's loan forgiveness program for family doctors and nurses only applies to the federal portion of outstanding Canada Student Loan debt. It does not apply to provincial or territorial student loans. Some provinces also have loan forgiveness programs.
SOURCE Human Resources and Skills Development Canada