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7 financial supports for students during COVID-19

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Things are changing so quickly during this pandemic, especially when it comes to financial relief. It seems like every other day there is an announcement about a new funding support or changes to eligibility for existing ones. It can be hard to keep on top of the information, but we’re here to help with a list of supports you – as an NSCC student – should know about. Whether you’re starting a new program or returning to studies this coming academic year, you might have to do a little bit extra to make sure you’re financially prepared.

1. Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) – this is open to students and recent graduates who are unable to work, or unable to find work, due to reasons related to COVID-19. The benefit provides $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. Review the eligibility criteria carefully before you apply to make sure you qualify, or you may be required to pay back the benefit in full.

2. Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) – available for students who choose to do national service and serve their communities. The CSSG will provide up to $5,000 for education in the fall. Details about the application process are still being finalized. Stay connected to Canada’s Economic Response Plan to keep informed.

3. Increased grants and broadened eligibility for student loansreview the many changes, including:

  • Doubling Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students. There is no separate application process for grants. You will automatically be considered when you apply for a student loan.
  • Broadening eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions.
  • Raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student from $210 to $350.

4. Expansion of federally funded jobs and placements for students – the federal government has expanded federally funded employment opportunities for students. If you’re looking for full-time or part-time work, start your search with the federal job bank

5. Scholarships, bursaries and awards – more than $1 million is available to support students through NSCC’s Student Awards. Log in to the Student Awards Portal to get matched to those you’re eligible for based on your program, campus and information that you provide us.

6. Expanded employment hours for international students in essential services – the 20 hour per week restriction has been removed for international students working in an essential service or function such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food until August 31, 2020.

7. Decreasing expenses – another way you may find relief is by decreasing your expenses. Here are some things to consider:

  • Many utility providers (electricity, heat, phone, cable, etc.) are providing flexible payment options. Make a list of your providers and contact them to see what options might be available.
  • If you’re a homeowner, you may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral for up to 6 months. Find out more online and contact your financial institution for details.
  • If you’re repaying student loans, the Nova Scotia and federal governments have suspended payments for borrowers until September 30, 2020.

NSCC students can stay connected to the financial aid section (login required) of the Learning Commons to keep up to date with financial relief programs and/or reach out to your Student Services Advisor (login required) who will help you get financially prepared for the year ahead.