So far, 2020 has been a difficult year for students across the country, particularly post-secondary students.
With the winter semester a little more than half-finished, in-person classes were abruptly cancelled due to the pandemic, and institutions scrambled to adjust the rest of the semester to accommodate online learning.
Further, due to many businesses having to either close due to financial strain, or being mandated to close for failing to meet the Province’s “essential business” category, it’s likely the summer job market will be much more competitive this year, and many students could find themselves without one–more than two million jobs were lost in Ontario just in April.
In response to these unfavourable circumstances, the Government is providing a lifeline.
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Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, post-secondary students and recent graduates who do not earn more than $1,000 per month (before taxes), can apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), which provides financial aid up to $1,250 per month–students with dependents are eligible to earn up to $2,000 per month through CESB.
The benefits from CESB will be available from May to August, and should help offset the potential loss of summer employment many students could encounter.
Additionally, to assist recent graduates, the Federal Government has implemented a six-month deferral of OSAP loan payments, as well as interest accrual on OSAP loans from March 30 to September 30, 2020.
Moreover, while it’s still too early to determine what the 2020-2021 academic year will look like, the Province is working with post-secondary institutions to ensure students receive the education required to obtain the careers they have envisioned for themselves.
“Investing in higher education is one of the most important investments a person can make in their future,” Ross Romano, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, said in a news release.
“To help ensure today’s students, and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, innovators and workers can obtain the skills they need to succeed in a highly competitive global economy, our government is helping to remove the financial barriers to postsecondary education,” he continued.