CESB opens for post-secondary students



Photo Credit: Harry Sandhu on Unsplash

Photo Credit: Harry Sandhu on Unsplash

As of May 15, university students and recent graduates can apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB).

On April 22, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged his support towards Canadian university students who previously were not eligible for any COVID-19 financial support.

“The future of our economy and our country relies on the opportunities and support we provide to Canadian students today. To promote a sustainable economic recovery, we need a strong workforce and good job opportunities for young people. That means giving them the support they need to continue their studies and encouraging them to serve their communities. Together, we will get through this difficult time,” said Trudeau.

The Liberal government announced $9 billion in support for post-secondary students to ensure the upcoming school year is not jeopardized. In an April 22 news release, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, claimed that the Government of Canada will provide the necessary support for post-secondary students and recent graduates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In order to ensure that post-secondary students are able to confidently continue their studies in the fall, our government is proposing significant measures to support them. From students who were counting on summer employment to pay their tuition to recent graduates who were planning to start their careers, our government has their back during this challenging time,” said Qualtrough.

According to the Government of Canada’s website, the CESB is intended to aid students who did not qualify for the previous financial relief offered to Canadians, namely the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI). Students that are eligible for the CESB will receive $1,250 per 4-week period from May until August. Students living with a dependant will receive $2000 every four weeks from May until August.

In addition to the CESB, the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) was announced. According to an April 22 news release from Trudeau’s office, the CSSG will be available in the fall semester for students who have completed national service or community service during the pandemic. This initiative will provide eligible students with $5,000 in the upcoming year.

The CESB and CSSG will serve eligible students in conjunction with other recently announced financial aid measures. These include doubling the Canada Student Grants and The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents in the 2020/21 school year. Additionally, the Government of Canada committed $75.2 million to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation post-secondary students across Canada. These grants will work alongside the $291.6 million increase in research and scholarship grants via the federal granting councils.

Aside from the increased grants, student loan payment maximums have been increased for post-secondary students. According to the prime minister’s website, the Canada Student Loans Program will increase the maximum weekly loan amount from $210 to $350 for the 2020/21 school year.

The CESB, along with the other measures recently announced by the Government of Canada, will help to alleviate the financial strain put on post-secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students can apply for the CESB at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/emergency-student-benefit/cesb-contact.html

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