Part-time students welcome increase in federal support

An increase to the income eligibility thresholds for federal loans and grants to part-time students is being welcomed as a measure to ensure their access to post-secondary education.

The Canadian government announced May 16 it will invest approximately $22.5 million over the next 10 years to increase accessibility for student financial assistance. It is projected that over 2,500 additional part-time students will be eligible for a Canada Student Loan in year one, rising to just under 8,000 in year five.

“This is a great sign that part-time students are being taken more seriously by the federal government,” said Maryan Amalow, executive director of the Organization of Part-time University Students. “As many people must drop to part-time studies to be able to afford their education, boosting aid programs for part-time students is critically important.”

This measure builds on steps the government has already taken—eliminating in-study interest on part-time student loans and increasing the maximum to $10,000.

Kellie Leitch, parliamentary secretary to the minister of human resources and skills development, said the government’s “top priorities” are job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

“We recognize the important role postsecondary education and training plays in ensuring a strong, competitive and flexible workforce in the future,” she said.

Read Government of Canada increases support for part-time students on the Web site of the Council of Ontario Universities.