Federal government announces support for students and recent graduates
On April 22, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $9 billion worth of support for students and new graduates affected by COVID-19.
To assist students who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the government is proposing the Canada Emergency Student 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 government is also proposing 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 federal government 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.
- remove the restriction that allows international students to work only a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.
- 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.
Additional new spending and changes can be found in the backgrounder on the Department of Finance website.