FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, April 20, 2022 - In a time of consistent financial precarity, nine student advocacy organizations across Canada have come together to release Shared Perspectives: A Joint Publication on the Changing Landscape of Student Financial Aid. This year's publication looks at how both provincial and federal governments can strengthen financial aid programs and frameworks to equitably distribute funding that targets students’ needs, especially following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many communities across the country, students faced a significant financial hit from the pandemic, jeopardizing the affordability of post-secondary for both current and prospective students.
Shared Perspectives includes contributions from:
- the Alliance of BC Students (ABCS);
- the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA);
- the College Student Alliance (CSA);
- the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS);
- the Manitoba Alliance of Post-Secondary Students (MAPSS);
- the New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA);
- the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA);
- Students Nova Scotia (StudentsNS);
- the University of Prince Edward Island Student Union (UPEISU).
Shared Perspectives provides region-specific analysis on the disparities and areas for improvement among various jurisdictional financial aid programs. Over the past several years, the landscape of student financial aid has seen ongoing changes, where programs that once offered benefits to students have been retracted or where newly proposed initiatives do not adequately address student affordability. In particular, student organizations have noted the disproportionate impact this has on low-income, disabled, Black, and Indigenous students. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the pressing need for programs that best support students’ ability to finance their education through various means like upfront non-repayable grants, targeted funding, and increased allowances, among others.