Canada's 2021 budget included investing $4.1 billion into financial assistance for college and university students. Namely, Canada announced it would waive interest on all federal student loans until March 31, 2023, and double student grants for two more years.
However, Quebec is the only Canadian province that doesn't participate in federal student grant and loan programs — so where does that leave Quebec students? MTL Blog asked the province's Ministry of Education what financial support it's offering to Quebec students navigating the pandemic.
Quebec's COVID-19 student assistance
In Quebec's 2021-2022 budget, tabled in March, the provincial government announced it would eliminate interest on student loans from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022 — about a year less than the federal waiver extension.
Between 2020 and 2021, Quebec has temporarily increased loan amounts by $96 per month for students who live with their parents and $205 per month for those who don't.
L’éducation demeure une priorité pour notre gouvernement. On investit 80 M$ de plus en 2020-2021 et 521 M$ en 2021-… https://t.co/PTqs0VtAfz— François Legault (@François Legault) 1616704683.0
Bryan St-Louis, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, told us that the provincial government also permanently increased its monthly living allowance from $434 to $456 for students living with their parents and from $929 to $975 for students living on their own.
Students who get an additional allowance for "training support materials" — an optional loan that allows students to buy, replace or repair their equipment, especially computers — will also see a permanent increase.
The previous $150-per-semester allowance for equipment has been increased to $500 per four months of study.
Quebec's upcoming lump-sum payment for full-time students
Quebec's 2021 budget included a lump sum of $100 per semester for full-time students in CEGEPs and universities to "ease the financial burden on students, and help them bear the consequences of the health and economic crisis," St-Louis told MTL Blog.
However, the lump sum is only being offered for two semesters. Quebecers who were full-time students in the fall of 2020 and winter of 2021 are eligible, amounting to a total payment of $200.
St-Louis told MTL Blog that information on eligibility criteria, how to apply, application and payment dates, as well how the amount will be paid, will be announced in the coming weeks.