50% increase in education grants for post-secondary students: federal budget

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first budget has allocated a 50% increase in what students can receive through the Canada Student Grant program to cover their post-secondary education costs.

Beginning in the 2016-17 academic year, students from low-income families will be eligible to receive $3,000 per year, up from $2,000 previously. Grants for middle-income students will be raised from $800 to $1,200 while grants for part-time students will go up from $1,200 to $1,800.

However, tax credits on education and textbooks have been eliminated to offer the upgraded program to the nation’s students. The changes are expected to benefit 247,000 students from low-income families, 100,000 students from middle-income families, and 16,000 part-time students.

Changes to the student loan program are also being implemented, beginning in 2016-17. Students will not enter loan repayment until they are making a minimal income of at least $25,000 per year after

Approximately $1.53 billion has been budgeted over five years to support the increases in the Canada Student Grant program, and another $131.4 million over five years will provide the brace needed for the student loan program changes.

Even teachers stand to benefit directly from the new budget. Teachers and early childhood educators can receive a 15% refundable tax credit on up to $1,000 in school supplies. This program alone will cost the government $140 million from the 2015-16 to 2020-21 school years.

Additionally, Justin Trudeau will fulfill his fall election campaign promise of reducing taxes for the middle class and increasing taxes for the upper class. Effective this year, taxes will decrease from 22% to 20.5% for those earning between $45,282 and $90,563 while those who earn more than $200,000 will see a tax increase from 29% to 33%.

 

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