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Support for students and recent graduates

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

The Government of Canada is setting up numerous ways for post-secondary students to access funding during the summer of 2020 and in the coming academic year. The programs benefit existing students as well as those intending to start their post-secondary studies in the fall, and recent graduates who completed their studies since December 2019.

Below is a synopsis of the new programs announced, the details of which are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks. These special student initiatives are:

  1. Canada Emergency Student Benefit – flat payment of $1250 starting in May

  2. Canada Student Service Grant – payment for certain volunteer work

  3. Canada Student Summer Jobs wage subsidies for employers to hire summer students

  4. Increases to the Canada Student Loan and Canada Student Grants for fall 2020

  5. Job creation for students and new graduates

  6. Increased support for Indigenous students

  7. More flexibility for International Students to work in essential services

The overall plans have been announced to let students know what is coming, and the application procedures will be open soon for the various student benefits below.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB):

  • Provides $1250/month from May to August 2020

  • Provides $1750/month for students supporting dependents or living with permanent disabilities

  • Available for all post-secondary students and new graduates who are not eligible for the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit)

  • Delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG):

  • Up to $5000 stipend per student

  • Available for 15,000 national service positions being created

  • Open to returning students who volunteer their services in the COVID response

  • Administered through the Canada Service Corps

  • Available from participating organizations through a new platform called "I Want to Help" providing information about available service opportunities

Canada Student Loan and Grant Increases

  • Doubling the non-repayable Canada Student Grants to $6000 for full-time and $3600 for part-time students for 2020-21 school year

  • Doubling the non-repayable Canada Student Grants for students with permanent disabilities and students with dependents

  • Raising the maximum weekly Canada Student Loan disbursement from $210/week to $350/week

  • Broader eligibility for student loans by removing the expected student or spousal contributions during 2020-21, recognizing that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year

Wage Subsidies for Employers

  • Provides subsidies for employers hiring summer students, up to 100% of wages

  • Administered through Canada Summer Jobs Program

  • Designed to give incentives to employers to hire summer students – expected to create up to 70,000 jobs for youth ages 15 to 30

Job Creation

  • Expand existing federal youth employment and skills development programs to create job placements and training opportunities to help students find employment and develop skills

  • Funding for a range of measures in high-demand sectors such as agriculture, technology, health and essential services, creating 6,000 additional job placements

  • Student Work Placement Program to support up to 20,000 post-secondary students to obtain paid work experience related to their field of study

  • $40 million to Innovation, Science and Economic Development to support Mitacs in order to create 5,000 new job placements

  • Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) to create a further 5,000 to 10,000 new student placements

Increased Support for Indigenous Students

  • Increased support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation post-secondary students by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21

International Student Employment

  • Applies to International Students

  • Normal rule, namely maximum of 20 hours of work per week while classes are in session, is set aside for students working in essential jobs, such as health care, critical infrastructure or the supply of food or other critical goods

  • The Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada's Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada during the COVID-19 Outbreak is the reference source for whether the work is essential

  • This temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020

More Graduate Research Scholarships and Fellowships

  • Extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants through the federal granting councils

  • One-semester extensions for eligible students whose research scholarships or fellowships end between March and August 2020 and who intend to continue their studies

  • Three-month extension in funding for holders of federal research grants to support eligible trainees and staff paid out of these awards

  • These extensions cannot be combined with other income supports

  • Enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada

There is also one initiative for high school students whose education may be at risk. Funding of $15 million is being given for the Supports for Student Learning Program to serve an additional 14,700 youth to complete high school and transition to post-secondary education to help ensure that vulnerable children and youth do not become further marginalized as a result of COVID-19.

Also, on March 30, 2020, the Government of Canada placed a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying.

Calgary post-secondary schools through their student unions are also trying to assist students in practical ways. For more information and supports see your student union:

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