Post-secondary students continue to face significant study and living costs in 2022. According to the University of Waterloo, yearly costs for a single student include: off-campus shared housing ($8,400-$20,400), groceries ($4,200), transportation ($300), and books and supplies ($2,880).Ultimately, university students can expect a total annual cost of living between $21,060 and $33,0602, in addition to an average annual tuition of $6,834 (undergraduate) or $7,437 (graduate). 

To help support these rapidly inflating post-secondary expenses, many students have increasingly turned to the Canada Student Financial Assistance (CSFA) program. In 2020, the federal government temporarily increased CSFA grants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to $6000 for full-time students and $10,000 for students with disabilities. However, this investment will expire on July 31 2023, which presents a significant challenge for Canadian students relying on this financial aid who are facing inflated costs substantially higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Summary of Recommendations:

  1. Lower interest rates on student loans by 1% each year through the government’s existing mandate with the final goal of eliminating any interest paid on Canada Student Loans.
  2. Maintain current funding levels to Canada Student Grants past the 2022-23 school year, permanently doubling grant maximums for eligible students from $3,000 to $6,000 per academic year.
  3. Increase the value of graduate scholarships awarded by the Tri-Agencies by 48%, at a cost of $155.4 million ongoing, and double the number of awards given to students at a cost of $190 million ongoing, to ensure awards are internationally competitive and increase with the cost of living.
  4. Increase the number of Canada Apprenticeship Grants to 40,000 per year to address the urgent need for apprentices and skilled trades across Canada.
  5. Create an up-front, non-repayable Canada Student Grant for graduate students with high financial need, at an estimated cost of $381.5 million per year.
  6. Create a new fund of $500 million over 4 years for the hiring of student mental health professionals on post-secondary campuses.
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CASA's 2023 Pre-Budget Submission
CASA's 2023 Pre-Budget Submission
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