Loan policy punishes students who work—Student Group

CASA calls on the federal government to eliminate a barrier that claws back almost $2900 from the average working student annually.

January 21, 2014—OTTAWA

The average working student who receives financial assistance will miss out on up to $2,900 in financial assistance from the federal government each year, according to the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA).

“Working students are penalized in Canada’s financial aid system,” said Amanda Nielsen, Board Chair of CASA. “Students who work are usually those who depend on financial assistance the most when attending college or university.”
According to the Canadian University Survey Consortium, in 2011 nearly 60% of students worked while studying and spent an average of 18 hours per week on the job. Currently, the Canada Student Loans Program reduces the amount of financial assistance a student can receive for every dollar they earn over $100 per week. CASA is calling on the government to build on improvements it made in 2011 that set the $100 per week limit.
“In Canada nobody should be punished for earning an income, least of all those trying to work their way through school,” said Nielsen. “Youth unemployment is a huge issue right now and we hope the government will help students in the coming budget by eliminating this disincentive for work,” she added.
Individuals over 25 accounted for over 34% of Canadian post-secondary students in 2007, at the same time, these mature students accounted for only 20% of loan borrowers.
“CASA wants to see the government invest in financial aid to help not only young people who pursue post-secondary, but also people returning to the workforce and making mid-career transitions so the economy can continue to grow,” Nielsen concluded.
For more information please contact:
Rob LeForte
Government Relations Officer

office: 613-236-23457 ext. 221