OTTAWA, January 25, 2018 – The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) applauds the federal government’s announcement yesterday of a new $1,600-per-year Canada Student Grant and new flexibilities to Employment Insurance. CASA believes these measures will help to ease the financial burden on adults looking to return to school later in life.
Adults who have been out of school for several years face considerable barriers when looking to upgrade their skills through education. Beginning this fall, low- and middle-income Canadians who graduated from high school 10 years ago or more, could receive an additional $1,600 per year in government grant money for their studies.
“Adults are often deterred from returning to studies due to the significant time and financial investments required, obligations to family, and the fact that there is no guarantee these sacrifices will pay off,” explained CASA’s Board Chair, Shifrah Gadamsetti. “We are hopeful that this new grant will help make returning to school more feasible for adults with families and other financial obligations.”
Eligibility requirements for Canada Student Grants will also be changing, as government moves to using current income, rather than last year’s income, to calculate eligibility for those whose earnings changed significantly. Because many adults returning to school were working prior to re-entering studies, this change has the potential to open up grant funding to many students with financial need who previously would have been denied it.
Some adults look to school as an option to upgrade their skills and increase their employability when experiencing difficulty finding work. However, returning to school in this instance often means losing Employment Insurance benefits used to afford daily expenses like housing and groceries. According to yesterday’s announcement, this will no longer be the case beginning in fall 2018.
Ms. Gadamsetti continues, “We are very pleased to see the federal government introducing measures to help make it easier for adults to return to school later in life. We hope to continue seeing supports introduced for groups, such as adult learners, who face particular difficulties obtaining a post-secondary education.”
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 255,000 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.
Lindsay Boyd, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Phone: 613-236-3457 ext. 224