Budget 2023 provides much-needed relief and aid for students but needs more long-term permanent measures

For Immediate Release
March 29, 2023

OTTAWA, ON – The Alma Mater Society (AMS) of the University of British Columbia (UBC) is pleased to announce its support for Budget 2023, a Made in Canada Plan that provides much-needed financial assistance to Canadian students. The budget includes several provisions that will help alleviate the financial burden of post-secondary education and create more opportunities for students to succeed, but more permanent changes still need to be made to ensure all students have equitable access to post-secondary education in Canada.

The federal budget includes an increase in Canada Student Loan (CSL) limits from $210 to $300 per week, which is part of the larger $813.6 million investment in the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program (CSFAP). This much-needed increase will provide students with more financial support to cover the rising costs of education.

The budget also includes a significant investment in the Canada Student Grant program, raising the grant amounts by up to 40%. This will allow eligible students to receive up to $4,200 in non-repayable student aid starting August 1, an increase from the previous $3,000 limit. This type of upfront, non-repayable financial aid is vital to helping low-income and middle-class students who are struggling to pay for their education. While the grant still has not been permanently increased to match the pandemic-level funding of $6,000/grant which we wish to see maintained, this change will regardless ensure that students are now better supported. 

Student employment opportunities were also prioritized in this budget, with the the budget allocating $197.7 million in 2024-25 to the Student Work Placement Program, which will generate more work-integrated learning opportunities for students. These opportunities will help students gain valuable work experience while still in school and will help them transition into the workforce after graduation.

The AMS is additionally pleased with the government’s decision to waive the requirement for mature students, aged 22 years or older, to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for federal student grants and loans. This decision will remove an unnecessary barrier for mature students who are returning to school to upgrade their skills.

“While we appreciate these extensions, we look forward to working with the federal government on more long-term measures to address the affordability and accessibility of post-secondary education” said Erin Co, the Vice President External Affairs for the Alma Mater Society (AMS) of UBC. “We will continue to advocate for federal policies that support students and ensure that every and any Canadian has access to post-secondary education.”

Contact: AMS Vice President External Affairs 

vpexternal@ams.ubc.ca ∙ (604) 822 2050

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