Weekly MP Report from Jay Hill

MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.

“Coming this Fall: New Student Grants and Loan Repayment Assistance”

It’s hard to believe that the summer is half over, and that means back-to-school plans are likely well underway if someone in your family is heading to college or university.

The logistics and expense of post-secondary education, whether it’s local or in another city, can be overwhelming. And the current global economic turmoil has served to highlight the importance of college, university and trades training. This means that Canadians of all ages are planning to “hit the books” in September.

While some families are fortunate to have been able to save for their children’s education, most Canadian students require financial assistance through grants or loans.

To ensure that students have better access to funds to help them manage the cost of post-secondary education, our Conservative Government has introduced new grants and loan repayment assistance measures for students. These new programs will launch in time for the 2009-10 school year.

First, there’s the new up-front Canada Student Grant for full-time students from low- and middle income families. This grant will provide $250 every month to low-income students and $100 a month to students from middle-income families who qualify for Canada Student Loans.

Low-income students with children will get an additional $200 a month for every child under 12 years of age. Grants do not need to be paid back. Your eligibility for most Canada Student Grants is automatically assessed when you apply and qualify for a Canada Student Loan.

The new Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) will help student loan borrowers who have difficulty paying back their student loans. The plan will make it easier for student loan borrowers to manage their debt by ensuring that they can afford their loan payments.
Under the plan, loan payments will be based on the borrower’s income and family size. In addition, no borrower should have a repayment period of more than 15 years, or 10 years if they have a permanent disability, while on the plan. You must apply for RAP as enrolment is not automatic.

For part-time students, we’ve introduced a grant worth up to $1,200. Part-time students may receive up to $10,000 in Canada Student Loans, which is an increase from $4,000. In addition, the Grant for Part-Time Students with Dependants offers up to $1,920 for one year of study for students with dependants under 12 years of age. No payments will be required until six months after leaving school, although interest will accumulate during the study period.

Since coming to office, our Conservative Government has taken aggressive measures to assist post-secondary students by: introducing a new text book tax credit; exempting all post-secondary scholarship and bursary income from tax; expanding the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP); increasing the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG); and introducing the Apprenticeship Grant and the Apprenticeship Completion Grant.

To help you save, plan and pay for post-secondary education, go to www.CanLearn.ca. The website includes a new Student Financial Assistance Estimator and Repayment Assistance Estimator tool.

Best wishes to all students for the 2009-2010 school year!

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