FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, APRIL 7, 2015 - The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is pleased with the government’s announcement today of an expansion to the Canada Student Grants Program. Announced by Prime Minister Harper, students attending programs with a duration of less than 60 weeks will now be eligible for grants.
“We support this expansion to the Canada Student Grants Program,” said CASA Board Chair, Travis Gordon, “this program is one of the best mechanisms for ensuring that those students with the greatest need receive the support they require”.
Non-repayable forms of financial aid, such as grants, help to reduce student debt and increase affordability of post-secondary education. Targeted forms of financial aid have been shown to increase access to education amongst populations that are traditionally underrepresented.
“We need to ensure that these changes will lead to an increase in the ability for students to attend Canada’s public post-secondary institutions. This announcement is an acknowledgement that grants are working, and deserve continued investment as a tool to improve access” said Gordon.
CASA is concerned that this announcement will benefit for-profit institutions who provide low returns and poor employment outcomes for their students. CASA maintains that public dollars should be targeted towards students attending public institutions.
Currently, the Canada Student Grants Program reaches nearly 357,000 students attending post-secondary institutions in Canada, providing over $695 million in non-repayable financial aid. The program began in 2009, replacing the previous “Canada Access Grants” and “Canada Study Grants” programs.
– 30 –
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit national student organization composed of 22 student associations representing 280,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
FOR INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
Matthew Rios, Government Relations and Communications Coordinator
Office: 613-236-3457 ext. 221