Federal government invests in student financial aid

- April 22, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that the federal government will provide $9 billion in financial aid for post-secondary students and recent graduates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money will support students who may struggle to find summer employment or pay for fall tuition, as well as recent graduates who are now trying to start their careers.

“Dalhousie applauds Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement today outlining additional supports for students,” says Dalhousie President Deep Saini. “Investing in students is an investment in our future. Helping our young people continue their studies supports families, communities and Canada’s economy.”

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

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The CESB will be available to students who are Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Applicants will need to indicate that they had planned to work on a full-time or part-time basis, and that their summer work is no longer available. CESB recipients will need to reapply every four weeks.

Canadian Student Service Grant and other support for work placements

Also announced today is the new Canada Student Service Grant, which will support students taking part in volunteer placements this summer. Eligible students can apply to receive up to $5,000 in funding for their education in the fall.

The government plans on expanding federal employment, skills development, and youth programming, and will create 116,000 jobs, placements and other employment opportunities for students this summer.

Canada Student Loans Program

Canada Student Grants will be doubled for eligible students, including up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students per academic year. Weekly maximum student loan levels will increase from $210 to $350, and students’ and spouses’ contributions in 2020-21 will be removed to broaden the eligibility criteria.

Indigenous student supports

The government will allocate $75.2 million to increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students.

Support for graduate students

Federal granting councils will receive $291.6 million to extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants. Eligible students whose grants expire between March and August 2020 can receive a one-semester extension.

Support for Dalhousie students

Full details on all these new and expanded government programs will be available in the coming days and weeks as the proposed programs move through legislation. For more information about the government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, visit the Government of Canada's website.

Dalhousie has created a list of various resources for students facing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19. For more information on bursaries, government programs, community resources, and other supports, visit dal.ca/financialresources.

Today’s announcement of the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit and other student-targeted initiatives will help Dalhousie focus its university financial support on students who may not be eligible for these programs as well as those in other areas of need.


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