Budget 2021, the first Canadian federal budget since 2019, contains some good news for students. Many of the programs and incentives put in place early in the pandemic have been extended, and new programs are coming to help out Canadian youth.
Currently, the budget is just a proposal, and needs to be officially implemented before these ideas become law. Still, there's a good chance this will happen, so it's worth taking a look at the money on the table for Canadian students in the new federal budget.
Canada Student Grant doubled through 2023
The Canada Student Grant is for full- and part-time students who are in financial need. If your family income is low, and you need a hand paying for school, chances are this includes you. This grant provides an average of $2,600 to over half a million Canadian students each year.
The Canada Student Grant is worth up to $6,000 for full-time students, and $3,600 for part-time, and this will continue until July 2023. You need to attend a designated school, which includes institutions outside Canada, and your annual family income must be below a certain threshold.
If you're a mature student who's been out of high school for at least 10 years, you could also be eligible for an additional $1,600 through Skills Boost funding.
You don't need to apply for the grant specifically: it's automatically calculated when you apply for provincial or territorial student aid. And the best part? You don't need to pay the grant money back!
Canada Student Loan interest waived until 2023
Most student loans consist of two parts: a provincial or territorial portion, and a federal portion. Budget 2021 plans to introduce a law to waive any interest charges on the federal portion of your student loan until 2023.
This means the 1.5 million Canadians who are currently repaying their student loans will have two years of interest-free time to work on paying that money back.
More good news: new legislation will ensure that anyone making $40,000 or less won't need to make payments on their federal student loans at all, and for everyone else, your loan payments won't exceed 10% of your household income each year. This equates to more money in your pocket.
Supports for students with disabilities
Increased funding is coming for students with disabilities that are "persistent or prolonged, but not permanent," meaning about 40,000 recipients each year will be able to access $22,000 in additional assistance.
Connecting students with employers
More money is also coming for the Student Work Placement Program, which helps place students in co-op and internship positions with companies and organizations across the country. The wage subsidy will be increased to 75%, meaning employers taking on student workers will have most of the costs covered. This translates to more co-op and work-integrated learning opportunities for you!
The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy program is also getting a boost over the nest few years. In 2021-22, the program has led to over 30,000 new placements ? the new funding will increase this by about 7,000.
Further, the Canada Summer Jobs program will receive more money, too, to fund nearly a quarter of a million summer jobs over the next two years. This will make it easier for employers to hire students like you through the summer.
Support for Indigenous and First Nations students
Budget 2021 will also introduce millions of dollars in additional funding specifically for Indigenous students in post-secondary, through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program and the Inuit and M?tis Nation Post-Secondary Education Strategies program. This will help supplement Indigenous learners pursuing college or university educations over the next year.
While Budget 2021 can't help everyone, there's certainly news to be thankful for, especially for Indigenous people, people with low incomes, student loans, and students looking to find work during the school year and beyond.
Keep an eye on your news feed and the Discover section of this site to learn more about these initiatives as they pass from the budget into law.
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