On Campus

More financial aid, but needy students shortchanged

Yesterday, the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation released Ten Things You Need to Know About Financial Support for Post-Secondary Students in Canada, a report on the Foundation’s analysis of student financial aid spending by federal and provincial governments and post-secondary institutions.

Here’s a short summary of the findings from The Canadian Press:

Although the federal and provincial governments made major boosts to student aid in the last 10 years, a study shows the share going to those who need it most is dropping.

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation says student financial aid from all levels of government hit a record $7.1 billion last year.

But, it adds only 61 cents of every dollar was targeted to students based on need, compared with 80 cents 10 years ago.

The foundation’s study says the change is driven by increasing use of programs such as tax credits and postgraduation rebates by governments, causing a growing share of aid to go to those who can already afford higher education.

The study found student financial aid is higher than it was a decade ago in the four western provinces as well as Quebec and Nova Scotia, but lower in Ontario.

It also found the portion of aid that students receive as non-repayable grants also varies, from a low of 12 per cent in British Columbia to a high of 48 per cent in Manitoba.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.