Updated: Government of Canada Announces $9 Billion in Financial Aid for Students

By Logan Bright Modified on May 13, 2020

Monthly grants of $1,250 will go out to college and university students to support them in the absence of summer employment.

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Updated: The Canada Emergency Student Benefit is Open!

As of May 15, a $1,250 per month federal benefit is open to students. If you can't find a job due to COVID-19, and you're a post-secondary student, a new high school grad, or you expect to graduate in 2020 — and you intend to go to college or university next year — you could qualify for up to four months worth of benefits. Check out this article for info on how to get started!



$1,250 per month over the summer for students

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government of Canada has introduced legislation to enact the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). Many in college and university are having a hard time finding summer jobs in this environment, so the government is acting to help.

From May through August, the typical span of a summer job, you could be eligible for $1,250 per month. This could jump to $2,000 if you're taking care of someone or have a disability. If you've recently graduated, but not yet found a job, you're eligible!


Eligibility

When the benefit becomes law, it will be available to the following students:

  • Students enrolled in post-secondary at the degree, diploma, or certificate level
  • Students who ended their studies or graduated in or after December, 2019
  • High school graduates who have applied for and will start post-secondary in the coming months
  • Canadian students studying abroad who meet the above criteria

Unfortunately, CESB will not be available to international students, though if you're studying in Canada from abroad, you may still be eligible for CERB if you lost your job due to COVID-19.


Subsidizing volunteers and doubling grants

The program goes further, though. If you're volunteering over the summer, you could be paid between $1,000 and $5,000 for your efforts, depending on your hours. If you choose to spend your summer serving your community, you should be eligible. Details on this are a little fuzzy at present, but more info should come to light soon.

The government is also doubling student grants for those who qualify. If you're a full-time student, you could get a grant of up to $6,000, while part-time students could receive up to $3,600. These grants are part of the existing federal student loans and grants program.

Post-grad research and Indigenous supports to get a boost

Another part of the government's $9B funding announcement is intended for federal granting councils to support graduate research and post-doctoral fellowships. $291 million will go to supplementing ongoing projects.

Beyond that, $75 million will go to additional supports for Indigenous college and university students across the country.

Legislation to enact these measures has not been put forth in Parliament yet.

No changes to CERB

Importantly, this $9B in support for post-secondary students makes no changes to the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB). If you earned at least $5,000 last year, and were working but lost your employment when COVID-19 hit, you'll qualify for CERB — but not this new student benefit. Like CERB, this new program will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. Check out their website in the coming days for more details.


With so much news coming so quickly, details are sparse. What is clear is this is the biggest student support package in the world right now! CESB is on top of the moratorium on student loan payments announced in March.

We'll share the latest as soon as we're able. You can check out video of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau making the announcement below.




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