Thousands of N.S. students to receive $1,350 grant in 2024

Thousands of N.S. students to receive ,350 grant in 2024

Nova Scotians going to a university or college with help from the province will be getting $1,350 credited to their student loan accounts in the new year.

For the second year in a row, the provincial government is giving students “a one-time grant” to help them pay their bills. In all, 12,000 students will receive the payment

Minister of Advanced Education Brian Wong called it a “continuation of what the federal government has been doing” to try to help post-secondary students pay for their education and manage their debts.

In the last federal budget, the Trudeau government increased the amount of money students received in grants and also how much they could borrow. As a result, fewer Nova Scotians needed provincial student aid or they needed less of it, which resulted in a $16.2-million savings for the Nova Scotia government.

University students, some wearing masks and some not, are seen from the side typing notes on laptop computers as they sit at long wooden desks in a lecture hall.
Students in a social studies program attend a lecture at University of King’s College Alumni Hall in November 2022. (Robert Short/CBC)

Since it was earmarked to help students, the Houston government decided to distribute it in this one-time grant.

“We always try to help the students that are in the most need, and the students with the most need are of course any student that’s on Nova Scotia student assistance,” said Wong. “And in addition, when the federal government enhanced their program, it also captured some students that would have received Nova Scotia student assistance and kind of took them out of that pot of money. So we ensured that we we included them as well.”

Short-term help

Students Nova Scotia, a group that represents students who attend Acadia, Cape Breton, Saint Mary’s, and St. Francis Xavier universities, is happy to see the money going to students.

“It’s a great help in a short term,” said the group’s executive director Georgia Saleski. “That being said, there’s definitely need to look at sustainable, long-term supports for students.”

Saleski says other measures that would help include making loans eligible to more students, increasing how much they can get and allowing students to keep more of the money they make without it affecting their loans.

The Nova Scotia government, along with the three other Atlantic provinces, is also paying for an online platform that will make textbooks and other course material available for free. The Atlantic Open Educational Resource has been available, in a limited form, since 2021.

According the Nova Scotia government, the “program has saved Nova Scotian students more than $580,000 in textbook costs over the last few years.”