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Pursuing post-secondary education passions now more accessible and affordable

August 31, 2016 Etobicoke, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada

For generations, Canadian parents told their children a similar story: if you want a good job, stay in school. Young Canadians took this message to heart. Unfortunately, for too many Canadians rising costs have made post-secondary education less affordable. Fewer people are able to save enough for their education which prevents them from acquiring the learning and skills they need to get a good job and join the middle class. That’s why the Government of Canada is making a significant change to student financial assistance that will help students returning to class this fall on campuses across the country.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, was at Humber College to announce increases to Canada Student Grants and changes to the Repayment Assistance Plan on behalf of the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

On August 1, in time for the 2016–17 school year, Canada Student Grant amounts increased by 50 percent; from $2,000 to $3,000 per year for full-time students from low-income families; from $800 to $1,200 per year for students from middle-income families; and from $1,200 to $1,800 per year for part-time students from low-income families. These increases will help over 270,000 students in Ontario alone. As a result of these enhancements, when combined with provincial student grants, the average full-time undergraduate student from a low-income family in Ontario could receive up to $6,000 in grants.

Additionally, beginning November 1, the Government of Canada will ease the rules on its Repayment Assistance Plan by ensuring that no single borrower will be required to make any repayment until he or she is earning at least $25,000 per year.
Taken together, these enrichments will help Canada’s students by relieving the high cost of a post-secondary education so they may equip themselves with education and skills they need to join a strong, healthy and vibrant middle class.
To complement the changes to Canada Student Grants, the Government of Canada is also making historic investments in the spaces where students learn, experiment and achieve through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. Today, Minister Duncan also announced more than $21 million for Humber College in support of two sustainable infrastructure projects that will enable students to create energy-efficient living environments and will retrofit buildings on campus so they use less energy. The Province of Ontario will contribute an additional $3.3 million and Humber College will add more than $39 million bringing the total investment to $64.55 million. In this way, the Strategic Investment Fund will jump-start a virtuous circle of discovery and innovation, creating the right conditions for long-term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.

“By providing significant financial assistance to students and investing in the spaces where students learn, our government is building a brighter future for all Canadians. When students, such as those attending Humber College, can afford their education, they will be able to gain the kind of education and experience they need to contribute to strengthening our economy and our community.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science
“Education is the key to future success and prosperity. Our investments are making post-secondary education more affordable and more accessible for more students. It’s going to help grow the Canadian middle class and help Canadians get the skills and experience they need for good jobs.”
-The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
“I’m delighted that the federal government is moving ahead with its changes to Canada Student Grants to make college and university more affordable for Ontario students. These changes support Ontario’s move forward with one of the most ambitious reforms of student financial assistance in North America, making tuition free for families with income below $50,000 and allowing students to graduate with less debt. When complete, over 150,000 students will receive more in grants than they need to pay tuition, providing them with money for other costs including books.”
–The Honourable Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Ontario Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Minister Responsible for Digital Government
“This funding will enable Humber to continue to support two of our core values: innovation and sustainability. With this announcement, the federal government has acknowledged the significant role that postsecondary institutions play in fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, research and environmental sustainability.”
–Chris Whitaker, President and CEO of Humber College
“After spending several years living and volunteering in Kampala, Uganda, I saw first-hand how vulnerable women and children can be. I’m now completing my nursing degree at Humber so I can return to Kampala one day and specialize in maternal care. Receiving a Canada Student Grant means I will graduate with less debt and be able to go back to Uganda sooner to make a difference.”
–Aimee Duncalfe, recipient of Canada Student Grant and Humber College Bachelor of Nursing student
Quick Facts

Canada Student Loans and Grants
• Budget 2016 provided the first significant increase to Canada Student Grants and the Repayment Assistance Plan income thresholds since 2009.
• Increases to Canada Student Grants are expected to benefit 237,000 students from Ontario.
• Over 9,000 students at Humber College received Canada Student Grants during the 2014-15 school year.
• The increase to Canada Student Grants will provide assistance of $1.53 billion over five years.
• The increase to the Repayment Assistance Plan eligibility thresholds will provide assistance of $131.4 million over five years.
• According to Statistics Canada, over a 20-year period, students with a bachelor’s degree will earn between $442,000 and $728,000 more than someone with only a high school diploma.
Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund
• The targeted, short-term investments under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada’s universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery, and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.
• The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund supports the Government of Canada’s climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure projects.

John O’Leary    8/31/2016


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