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Archived - Government of Canada makes education more affordable for part time students

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Toronto, Ontario, December 21, 2011 — Today, the Government of Canada announced a new measure to improve access to post-secondary education. Beginning January 1, 2012 new and existing loans for part-time students will be interest-free during study. Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, made the announcement today at the University of Toronto, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley.

“Economic recovery continues to be our top priority,” said Minister Finley. “We’re helping Canadians gain the skills and education required to participate in today’s workforce and contribute to Canada’s overall economic prosperity.”

Currently, an interest rate of prime plus 2.5 per cent applies to part-time student loans. By eliminating the interest on part-time loans during study, on average, students will save close to $350 per year.

“This is a good day for part-time students in Canada,” said Dr. Leitch.  “Our Government is reducing their financial burden so they can balance their responsibilities at work and home while studying.”

Once this new measure takes effect, interest will only begin to accumulate on the loan after the student graduates or leaves school.

For more information on how to plan and pay for post-secondary education, visit

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Alyson Queen
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley

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Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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The Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) offers financial assistance to full- and part-time students pursuing post-secondary education, in the form of loans, grants and repayment assistance. The CSLP delivers student financial assistance in partnership with most provinces and territories. Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut operate their own programs.

In the 2009-2010 school year, the CSLP provided nearly $2.7 billion in loans and grants to more than 400,000 post-secondary students across Canada.

Approximately 2 700 students received part-time loans in 2009-2010 from the Canada Student Loans Program, representing a total of $4.6 million.

Budget 2011 announced several changes to improve access to post-secondary education, including eliminating interest on part-time loans during study. This new measure will be available to new loan applicants as well as students who currently have a Canada Student Loan for Part-Time Studies. For current part-time loan borrowers interest will stop accumulating beginning January 1, 2012.

Budget 2011 also proposes to increase the income eligibility threshold for part-time students used to determine eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants so that more part-time students can afford to pursue post-secondary education. 

Recent changes to part-time student loans have made post-secondary education more affordable and accessible. In 2009-2010:

  • The maximum amount part-time students could receive in loans increased from $4 000 to $10 000.
  • Part-time students were able to defer their loan payments until after completing their studies.

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