Government of Canada Announces Financial Support For Students and New Grads Impacted by COVID-19

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On April 22, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $9 billion in funding for students and new grads impacted by COVID-19.

New grads are facing limited opportunities for job prospects amidst this pandemic. And many current students working non-essential jobs have been laid off temporarily impacting their ability to fund their upcoming tuition fees and livelihood. 

Here’s a breakdown on the available financial support for students and new grads:


Canada Emergency Student Benefit

For post-secondary students and recent graduates who are unable to find full-time employment or are unable to work due to COVID-19, the government proposes to provide $1,250 per month for eligible students from May through August 2020, and $1,750 for students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities.

Adjustments to Student Financial Assistance for Fall 2020

Not only has the Government of Canada paused student loan repayment with no accumulating interest for 6 months, but due to many students struggling to seek summer work to fund their upcoming university/college semesters, the government proposes to change the Canada Student Loan Program’s eligibility requirements in 2020-21 to allow more students to qualify for supports and be eligible for greater amounts of funding. This includes doubling the non-repayable Canada Student Grants for full and part time students.

Canada Student Service Grant

Despite limited work opportunities, the government is proposing students participate in national service initiatives. These initiatives would provide valuable labor market and skill development experiences while helping their communities during this tough time.

There are more details to come on this service initiative, but anyone who participates will be recognized for their efforts and support through the Canada Student Grant which will fund up to $5,000 in tuition fee support.

Support for international students

The restriction that prevents international students from working more than 20 hours/ week while classes are in session will be temporarily lifted to accommodate for the current loss of income they are facing. 

There will be restrictions on eligibility for this depending on the field in which students are working.

All in all…

These additional financial support plans specific to students and new grads are all a part of Canada’s Economic Response plan for COVID-19. Many students do not meet the financial or circumstantial requirements to benefit from the initial iteration of this support plan, but with these new student/new grad specific updates, plenty more support is available to ensure everyone has help getting through this financially distressing time.

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