Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr (centre) with students at his office in Kelowna.—Image: contributed

Feds provide more financial help for students

Kelowna-Lake Country MP announces changes to student grants program

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr says making post-secondary education more affordable for Canadians is how the federal government will grow the middle class and strengthen the country’s economy.

So 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 in grants.

“Expanded access to Canada Student Grants for full-time and part-time students and students with dependants helps more Canadians afford post-secondary education,” said Fuhr in a statement Friday.

“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.”

On behalf of federal Employment Minister Patty Hajdu, Fuhr 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.

“These measures will benefit Canadian women in particular, who often strive to improve their career prospects while balancing family responsibilities,” he said. Women represent nearly two-thirds of the Canada Student Loans Program’s part-time recipients, and approximately four out of five students who have dependent children and receive Canada Student Grants are women.

Skills Boost includes several measures announced in last year’s federal budget that will be available for the coming school year as part of a $287.2 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, says the government.

Also, 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.

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