Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

August 05, 2009 11:45 ET

Federal Assistance Making Post-Secondary Education More Accessible Now Available to Students

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 5, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced that students can now benefit from two new student financial assistance measures: the Canada Student Grants Program and the Repayment Assistance Plan.

"Our government's new student financial assistance measures will help students and families manage the cost of post-secondary education and provide important support, especially in these times of economic uncertainty," said Minister Finley.

The Government of Canada is investing $350 million in post-secondary education through the new Canada Student Grants Program, being offered under the Canada Student Loans Program. Students may qualify for one or more of the Canada Student Grants, which include new grants for students from low- and middle-income families, part-time students, students with permanent disabilities, and students with dependants. Students are not required to pay the money back.

Eligibility for most Canada Student Grants is automatically assessed when a student qualifies for a Canada Student Loan. A separate application is not required. More than 245,000 college and undergraduate students are expected to benefit from the new grants each year, an increase of over 100,000 students.

The new federal Repayment Assistance Plan will make it easier for student loan borrowers to manage their debt by paying back what they can reasonably afford based on their family income and family size. Borrowers with low or no earnings will not need to make loan payments, while all monthly payments will be limited to less than 20 per cent of a borrower's income. No borrower will have a repayment period of more than 15 years, or 10 years for borrowers with permanent disabilities.

The federal government and most provincial or territorial governments work in partnership to deliver federal and provincial or territorial student loan and grant programs. These partnerships help simplify the process for students to apply for, manage and pay for post-secondary education. Students apply for student financial assistance through their province or territory of permanent residence.

Eligibility criteria, application forms and additional information about student financial assistance are available on www.canlearn.ca, the Government of Canada's online source for information and tools on post-secondary learning resources in Canada.


BACKGROUNDER

NEW CANADA STUDENT GRANTS AND REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE PLAN

The new Canada Students Grants and Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) are available to Canadian students as of August 1, 2009. To be eligible for a Canada Student Grant, students must apply and qualify for a Canada Student Loan. Students who qualify for a Canada Student Loan will be automatically assessed for a Canada Student Grant. Students may also be eligible to receive more than one grant simultaneously. A separate application is required for the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities.

Students must apply for student financial assistance through their province or territory of permanent residence. The grants will be issued by the provinces and territories that participate in the Canada Student Loans Program through the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC).

The new RAP and RAP for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability are also available to Canadian students as of August 1, 2009. These new measures will make it easier for student loan borrowers to manage their debt by ensuring that they pay back only what they can reasonably afford.

To be eligible for the RAP, borrowers must be residents of Canada, have signed their Consolidated Student Loan Agreement, and be unable to afford their calculated monthly loan payment amount.

Students must apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan. Enrolment is not automatic. Students should call the NSLSC at 1-888-815-4514 for information, or their provincial or territorial student financial aid office to discuss repayment assistance options. Student loan borrowers who received student loans before 2000 can ask for an application from their financial institution and submit the completed application to their financial institution.

The Government of Canada will continue to work with participating provinces and territories to implement the new Canada Student Grants Program. Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut offer their own student financial aid programs. Contact the student financial assistance office in your province or territory of permanent residence to learn more about available student financial aid programs. Additional information is available at www.canlearn.ca.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    National Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559