New measures to support students affected by COVID-19
Many Canadians are facing unprecedented financial challenges because of COVID-19 and students are no exception. Not only have their studies been disrupted, but many have lost part-time jobs and are facing the prospect of spending the entire summer unemployed, losing out on much needed financial support.
Colleges and Institutes Canada has been advocating on behalf of members and their students since the beginning of this unprecedented crisis, as previous measures designed to help Canadians did not address the specific challenges they are facing. Today we are so pleased that the federal government announced new initiatives worth $9B specifically for students who require support in these exceptional times.
The Canada Emergency Student Benefit will provide $1250 per month to eligible Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in a post-secondary program, or have recently graduated, and otherwise ineligible to the Canadian Emergency Response benefit (CERB). These payments will be offered from May to August and top-ups of an additional $500 will be applied for students living with a disability or who have dependants.
Additionally, the government is recognizing that students have a critical role to play in supporting their communities through this pandemic and will encourage them to volunteer. The Canada Service Grant will provide students up to $5000 for their education in recognition of their contribution.
The government also announced it will double the Canada Student Grants for low-income students. These grants will be raised from $3,000 to $6,000. The federal government will also raise the cap on Canada Student Loans from $210 to $350 a week.
All these measures, along with the previously announced expansion of the Canada Summer Jobs Program, will offer some relief to the countless college and institute students facing financial uncertainty in the coming months. We applaud the federal government for taking action to support Canada’s students.