Canadian Federation of Students

Canadian Federation of Students

November 14, 2005 16:43 ET

Student Grant Increases Welcomed

Tuition Fees Still a Major Source of Concern Attention: Assignment Editor, Education Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA/ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 14, 2005) - Increases to the low-income grant introduced in today's Economic Update were welcomed by the Canadian Federation of Students. In the Update, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale announced increased spending on a grant created in 2004 for students from low-income backgrounds.

"We're relieved that the federal government has responded to our campaign for increased grant aid", said George Soule, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students, "However, if tuition fees are allowed to increase, the ability of this grant to improve access will be totally undermined."

Currently, only low-income first-year students are eligible for a grant valued at 50% of tuition fees up to a maximum of $3,000. Today's Economic Update expands eligibility to students from low-income backgrounds in all levels of post-secondary study.

Tuition fees have more than doubled over the past ten years as a direct result of federal cuts to post-secondary education. Average tuition fees for an undergraduate arts program has climbed to $4,214. As a share of Gross Domestic Product, post-secondary education spending is near a 25-year low.

"The federal government must cooperate with the provinces on a strategy to reduce tuition fees", said Soule, "Without a plan to reduce fees, access to post-secondary education will be a constantly moving target."

The Update failed to keep a key 2004 Liberal election promise to create a dedicated transfer payment for post-secondary education. In June 2004, Prime Minister Paul Martin promised students on national television to create a dedicated transfer of $7 to $8 billion-an increase of at least $4 billion dollars. IN: EDUCATION, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • George Soule, National Chairperson
    Primary Phone: 613-232-7394 ext. 21
    Secondary Phone: 613-282-5307