5 MAIN Benefits Ottawa Students Will Get In 2019-20 Academic Year

2 months ago

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The 2019-2020 academic year will bring Ottawa students some pleasant changes foreseen by the federal budget announcement. The range of benefits includes "more affordable student loans, increased assistance for students with disabilities, adjustments to the federal six-month grace period and assistance for students in “vulnerable” life situations" as reported by Ottawacitizen. The Typical Student team learned ablout 5 MAIN benefits that Ottawa students will get this academic year. 

 

#1 Making student loans more affordable

 

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With about 1M people repaying student loans in Canada, changes need to be implemented. In 2019-2020 school year, studens can expect: 

  • lower interest rates for the Canada Student Loans Program borrowers;
  • floating interest rate will be changed as the budget plans to remove the set 2.5%. Students with a floating interest rate loan will only need to pay the prime rate.
  • fixed interest rate has been lowered to "prime" + two percentage points (previously it was prime + five percentage points).

 

#2 An interest free-grace period

 

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Previously, a six-month grace period was granted to federally-administered student loans to give graduates a buffer period to find a job before repaying their loans. This year's budget has laid out plans to make that federal grace period interest-free. This will save students about $2,000 as they wouldn't accumulate any interest on their loans within the grace period.

 

#3 Making loans more accessible for students with disabilities 

 

An attempt has been made to assist students with disabilities and students in “vulnerable” life situations. To make student loans more accessible for these catergories, the federal government has proposed a $15M investment over the next five years. The Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities annual cap will increase from $8,000 to $20,000.

 

#4 Making loans more accessible for students in difficult life situations

 

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The government plans to help "financially vulnerable students in default get a handle on their finances" by:

  • letting them access to the Repayment Assistance Plan so they can afford to make payments again;
  • introducaing new interest and payment-free leave period for students taking leave from their studies for parental, medical or mental health reasons;
  • stackable six-month period duration is up to 18 months to let students take care of their lives outside of school.

 

#5 Provinces and territories will get compensation

Canadian provinces and territories partnered with the Canada Student Loans Program will get a compensation of $20M over five years ($4M annually). Under the new budget, the provinces and territories afford the costs proposed to better help students in need of financial assistance.

 

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