Post-secondary students are feeling the economic impacts of COVID-19. Many students were preparing to start a summer job in May, and are now worried about how to pay rent and cover basic living expenses, while recent graduates are struggling to find meaningful work. This is a critical point in their lives, and we must do everything possible to support their future.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced comprehensive support of nearly $9 billion for post-secondary students and recent graduates. This plan will help provide the financial support they need this summer, help them continue their studies in the fall and help many get the experience they need to start their careers. These measures include launching:
- the proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020.
- the new Canada Student Service Grant, which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.
The Government of Canada will expand existing federal employment, skills development, and youth programming to create up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities to help students find employment and develop valuable skills this summer and over the coming months. In addition, to help students continue their studies in the fall, the government will:
- double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21.The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
- broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
- enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
- increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.
- extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work
- opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.
Taken together, these programs will not only help ensure more students get the financial support they need, but the opportunities and experience many students were counting on.
The government will continue to monitor and respond to the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19. We are ready to take additional actions as needed to stabilize the economy and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on Canadians.
(SOURCE: Press Release, Office of the Prime Minister, April 23, 2020)