FEDERAL REG

SOR/2016-198: Regulations Amending the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations

REGISTRATION OF FEDERAL REGULATION - VIA OIC DATABASE, PRIOR TO PART II OF THE GAZETTE

Registered
June 23, 2016


REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Regulations.) Issues The Low-Income (LI) and Middle-Income (MI) Thresholds set out in Schedule 3 to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations (the Regulations) are used to determine eligibility based on family income, family size and province or territory of residence for Canada Student Grants (CSG) and Part-Time Ca... (Click for more)


Published on June 23, 2016

Bill Summary

SOR/2016-198: Regulations Amending the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Regulations.) Issues The Low-Income (LI) and Middle-Income (MI) Thresholds set out in Schedule 3 to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations (the Regulations) are used to determine eligibility based on family income, family size and province or territory of residence for Canada Student Grants (CSG) and Part-Time Canada Student Loans (PT-CSL) as follows: LI Thresholds are used to determine eligibility for the CSG for Students from Low-Income Families (CSG-LI), CSG for Students with Dependants (CSG-DEP), CSG for Part-Time Studies (CGS-PT) and CSG for Part-Time Students with Dependants (CSG-PTDEP). MI Thresholds are used to determine eligibility for the CSG for Students from Middle-Income Families (CSG-MI) and PT-CSLs. Each year, the LI and MI Thresholds are adjusted according to inflation to ensure that students remain eligible for CSGs and PT-CSLs in the subsequent academic year. Without these annual adjustments, the real value of the LI and MI Thresholds would decrease, and eligibility for CSGs and PT-CSLs would become more restrictive. If the thresholds are not adjusted, approximately 650 students in the 2016–2017 academic year would be affected in the following ways: students who qualified for CSGs in previous years may find themselves ineligible in 2016–2017 academic year; to replace grant funding, students may seek additional loans and accumulate higher Canada Student Loan (CSL) debt; the unmet financial need may increase for those students who are at the maximum CSL funding limit ($210/week); and some part-time students may no longer qualify for a PT-CSL, and may be unable to pursue post-secondary studies. Background The Government of Canada provides CSLs and CSGs to improve access to post-secondary education through the provision of repayable and non-repayable financial assistance to eligible post-secondary students. Introduced in August 2009, CSGs were a Budget 2008 initiative aimed at improving access to post-secondary education by providing more effective grant funding than the previous mix of Canada Study Grants, Canada Access Grants, and Canada Millennium Scholarship Grants that were available to CSL recipients. Participating provinces (all provinces except Quebec) and one territory (Yukon), as well as the private sector service provider D+H, administer CSLs and CSGs. Since the introduction in 2009, CSG amounts have remained the same. However, Budget 2016 proposed to increase the amount of CSG-LI, CSG-MI and CSG-PT by 50% to ensure students receive student financial assistance that better reflects the rising cost of post-secondary education, and keeps debts loads manageable. A parallel regulatory amendment to the Regulations is implementing the increases to the CSG amounts. As per the changes introduced by Budget 2016, a student is eligible for one or more of the following CSGs if their family income is below the LI Thresholds, corresponding to his/her family size and province or territory of residence: the CSG-LI, which provides qualified students with $375 in non-repayable assistance per month of full-time study; the CSG-DEP, which provides qualifying students with $200 in non-repayable assistance per dependant (under the age of 12) per month of full-time study; the CGS-PT, which provides up to $1,800 in non-repayable assistance per loan year (August 1 to July 31); and the CSG-PTDEP, which provides between $40 and $60 in non-repayable assistance per week of part-time study, up to a maximum of $1,920 per loan year. A student is eligible for a CSG-MI if their family income falls between the LI and MI Thresholds, corresponding to his/her family size and province or territory of residence. The CSG-MI provides qualified students with $150 in non-repayable assistance per month of full-time study. Budget 2016 also committed to working with provinces and territories to expand eligibility for CSGs. Going forward, the current LI and MI thresholds would be replaced with a single progressive threshold under which grant amounts would decline based on family income and size. It is expected that the new CSG eligibility thresholds would be implemented for the 2017–2018 academic year. Objectives The objective of this amendment is to ensure that CSGs and PT-CSLs continue to target students from LI and MI families. The amendment will also ensure that the LI and MI Thresholds align with inflation so that CSGs and PT-CSLs remain available to LI and MI students to assist with the cost of their post-secondary education. Description The amendment will increase the LI and MI Thresholds set out in Schedule 3 to the Regulations to reflect growth in the relevant provincial Consumer Price Indices (CPI) between 2014 and 2015 (a period during which the overall Canadian CPI grew by 1.1%). “One-for-One” Rule The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change in administrative costs to business. Small business lens The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs to small business. Consultation Provincial and territorial participants, as well as student and educational stakeholder groups, were consulted during the development and implementation of the CSGs in 2008 and 2009. These partners and stakeholder groups are supportive of the use of the CPI as a proxy to keep LI and MI Thresholds up to date. Moving forward, further consultations with provinces and territories will take place to work towards a new single progressive threshold model to expand eligibility for CSGs. Rationale The amendment ensures that eligibility for CSGs and PT-CSLs takes into account inflation, ensuring that LI and MI students continue to have access to grants, and that part-time students retain access to PT-CSLs to support their pursuit of post-secondary education. Although the amendment does not impact the value of individual grants and loans, approximately 650 students are expected to be impacted by the amendment, through retained eligibility, with an estimated cost to the federal government of $550,000 for the 2016–2017 academic year. Implementation, enforcement and service standards The amendment will come into force on August 1, 2016, in time for the 2016–2017 academic year. Provincial and territorial participants will be made aware of the amended LI and MI Thresholds prior to their coming into force to ensure that these thresholds are considered in their analysis of student financial needs. Given that the amendments are routine in nature, no incremental implementation, enforcement or service standard activities are anticipated. Contact Steven Coté Director Canada Student Loans Program Employment and Social Development Canada 200 Montcalm Street, Tower II, 1st Floor Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0J9 Telephone: 819-654-8775 Fax: 819-654-8398 Email: [email protected] Footnote a S.C. 2013, c. 40, s. 234 Footnote b S.C. 1994, c. 28 Footnote 1 SOR/95-329

This Bill does not amend any statutes.

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