We will make post-secondary education more affordable.
For too many Canadians, rising costs have made post-secondary education increasingly out of reach.
It is harder and harder for middle class families to save for their kids’ education, while many lower-income families are not able to save at all. At the same time, the federal government spends billions each year on non-refundable tax credits that offer little direct help for students when they need it.
We will provide direct help to students from low- and middle-income families to help them pay for their education and ensure that debt loads are manageable. We will increase the maximum Canada Student Grant for low-income students to $3,000 per year for full-time students, and to $1,800 per year for part-time students.
In addition, to help more students from middle class families qualify for Canada Student Grants, we will increase the income thresholds for eligibility, giving more Canadian students access to even larger grants. This investment will be funded by cancelling the poorly targeted education and textbook tax credits. The tuition tax credit will be maintained.
This will increase the level of non-repayable grant assistance to students by $750 million per year, rising to $850 million per year by 2019/20.
We will also make our student loan system more flexible. We will ensure that no graduate with student loans will be required to make any repayment until they are earning an income of at least $25,000 per year.
This will be done by changing the income thresholds in the Repayment Assistance Plan for recent graduates. The federal government will continue to pay the interest on student loans until graduates begin to earn sufficient incomes to take over their own payments and repay their own loans.
We will work with provinces and territories to ensure that they do not assume any additional costs, and to make sure these investments go directly to students. Appropriate compensation will be offered to provinces and territories that do not participate in the Canada Student Loan program.
We will also work collaboratively with provinces and territories to improve promotion of RESPs and Canada Learning Bonds, and to make registration simpler for all families.
We will invest $50 million in additional annual support to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program, which supports Indigenous students attending post-secondary education, and will allow the program to grow in line with increasing demand.
Seema’s parents earn $65,000 each year. Under our plan, she would be eligible for an annual grant of $2,000 instead of the $800 she is eligible for today.
Tyler comes from a single-parent family that earns $30,000 each year. He would be eligible for an annual grant of $3,000 under our plan, compared to the $2,000 he is eligible for today.