ARCHIVED — Vol. 147, No. 10 — May 8, 2013

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SOR/2013-72 April 18, 2013

CANADA STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE ACT

Regulations Amending the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations

P.C. 2013-378 April 18, 2013

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, pursuant to section 15 (see footnote a) of the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADA STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE REGULATIONS

1. Schedule 3 to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:

SCHEDULE 3
(Paragraphs 14.3(b), 38(1)(d), 38.1(1)(e), 38.2(1)(f), 40.02(1)(d) and 40.021(1)(d))

INCOME THRESHOLDS

TABLE 1
LOW-INCOME THRESHOLDS, 2012 ($)

Province

ON

NS

NB

MB

BC

PE

SK

AB

NL

YT

Family Size

1 person

 23 647 

 20 366 

 20 366 

 23 647 

 23 647 

 20 240 

 20 366 

 23 647 

 20 366 

 23 647 

2 persons

29 439

25 353

25 353

29 439

29 439

25 196

25 353

29 439

25 353

29 439

3 persons

36 192

31 168

31 168

36 192

36 192

30 975

31 168

36 192

31 168

36 192

4 persons

43 941

37 842

37 842

43 941

43 941

37 609

37 842

43 941

37 842

43 941

5 persons

49 839

42 919

42 919

49 839

49 839

42 655

42 919

49 839

42 919

49 839

6 persons

56 209

48 407

48 407

56 209

56 209

48 109

48 407

56 209

48 407

56 209

7 or more

62 581

53 893

53 893

62 581

62 581

53 562

53 893

62 581

53 893

62 581

TABLE 2
MIDDLE-INCOME THRESHOLDS, 2012 ($)

Province

ON

NS

NB

MB

BC

PE

SK

AB

NL

YT

Family Size

1 person

 42 756 

 37 446 

 32 921 

 36 534 

 41 032 

 34 142 

 36 143 

 45 644 

 32 819 

 44 426 

2 persons

59 859

52 425

46 090

51 147

57 447

47 798

50 600

63 901

45 948

62 196

3 persons

74 313

65 233

57 194

64 057

74 631

60 766

63 377

76 592

57 406

73 100

4 persons

84 569

74 315

65 076

73 215

86 818

69 970

72 435

85 589

66 350

80 839

5 persons

92 530

81 364

1 188

80 324

96 270

77 104

79 463

92 577

73 283

86 840

6 persons

99 024

87 125

76 180

86 133

103 996

82 937

85 211

98 280

78 952

91 752

7 or more

104 525

91 994

80 404

91 041

110 529

87 864

90 065

103 105

83 742

95 895

COMING INTO FORCE

2. These Regulations come into force on August 1, 2013.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Background

The Low- and Middle-Income Thresholds that are set out in Schedule 3 of the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations (CSFAR) are used to determine eligibility for (1) the Canada Student Grant for Students from Low-income Families (CSG-LI); (2) the Canada Student Grant for Students from Middle-income Families (CSG-MI); (3) the Canada Student Grant for Students with Dependants (CSG-DEP); (4) the Canada Student Grant for Part-time Students (CGS-PT); (5) the Canada Student Grant for Part-time Students with Dependants (CSG-PTDEP); and (6) Part-time Canada Student Loans (PT-CSL).

Introduced in August 2009, the Canada Student Grants Program (CSGP) was a Budget 2008 initiative aimed at improving access to post-secondary education by providing more effective grant funding than the previous mix of Canada Study Grants, Canada Access Grants, and Canada Millennium Scholarship Grants that were available to Canada Student Loan (CSL) recipients.


The CSG-LI and the CSG-MI provide qualifying students with $250 and $100, respectfully, in non-repayable assistance per month of full-time study; the CSG-DEP provides qualifying students with $200 in non-repayable assistance per dependant (under the age of 12), per month of full-time study; the CSG-PT provides up to $1,200 per loan year (August 1 to July 31); and the CSG-PTDEP provides between $40 and $60 per week of part-time study, up to a maximum of $1,920 per loan year. Eligibility for these grants is based on family size and income level, as defined in the Low-Income Thresholds table (used for the CSG-LI, CSG-DEP, CSG-PT, and CSG-PTDEP) and the Middle-Income Thresholds table (used for the CSG-MI) under Schedule 3 of the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations (CSFAR). These thresholds vary by province and territory and according to family size.

  • The Low-Income Thresholds were established using estimates from Statistics Canada’s Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO), which are used by programs targeting benefits or assistance to low-income Canadians. LICO is a measure indicating the income level below which a family is likely to spend significantly more of its income on food, shelter and clothing than the average family.
  • The Middle-Income Thresholds are based on the Canada Student Loans Program’s Moderate Standard of Living indicators (MSOL). MSOL is a measure intended to determine the income level at which a student, or a student’s family, has enough discretionary income to contribute to the cost of post-secondary education.

In order to ensure that the income thresholds continue to reflect the financial realities of students, they must be updated annually to account for inflation.

Issues and objectives

Without annual adjustments to account for inflation, the real value of the income eligibility thresholds would decrease, and eligibility for CSGs and PT-CSLs would become more restrictive (as students who qualified for assistance in the previous years may find themselves ineligible in 2013 without having experienced any real change in income). This would result in (1) higher Canada Student Loan (CSL) debt for those students who would receive additional loans to replace grant funding; (2) unmet financial need for those students who are at the loan limit (i.e. they are assessed maximum CSL funding); or (3) the inability to attend postsecondary studies in the event that a part-time student no longer qualifies for a PT-CSL. Consequently, a regulatory amendment to Schedule 3 of the CSFAR is required to adjust the Low-Income Thresholds (Table 1) and the Middle-Income Thresholds (Table 2).

The objective of this amendment is to ensure that students continue to be eligible for the financial assistance they require in order to pursue their post-secondary education.

Description

This regulatory amendment increases the Low-Income Thresholds (Table 1) and the Middle-Income Thresholds (Table 2), found in Schedule 3 of the CSFAR, by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of 1.5% for 2012.

The CSFAR [sections 14.3 and subsections 38(1), 38.1(1), 38.2(1), 40.02(1) and 40.021(1)] stipulate that

  • (1) in order to qualify for a CSG-LI, a CSG-DEP, a CSG-PT, and/or a CSG-PTDEP, a student’s family income must be below the income threshold set out in Table 1 of Schedule 3, corresponding to his/her family size and province or territory of residence;
  • (2) in order to qualify for a CSG-MI, a student’s family income must fall between the income thresholds set out in Table 1 and in Table 2 of Schedule 3, corresponding to his/her family size and province or territory of residence; and
  • (3) in order to qualify for a PT-CSL, a student’s family income must be below the income threshold set out in Table 2 of Schedule 3, corresponding to his/her family size and province or territory of residence.

Consultation

The provinces and territory that participate in the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP), as well as student and educational stakeholder groups, were consulted during the development and implementation of the CSGP in 2008 and 2009. At that time, they were made aware of the CSLP’s intention to update the income thresholds on an annual basis to account for inflation. Overall, these partners and stakeholder groups are supportive of the CSLP using a proxy, such as CPI, to keep the income thresholds up to date.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs to small business.

Rationale

Adjusting the income thresholds according to the CPI for 2012 ensures that students will continue to be eligible for the financial assistance they require in order to pursue their post-secondary education.

Approximately 400 students are expected to be impacted by this regulatory amendment at a cost to the federal government of $368,000 per year. This value was determined by estimating the number of students who would no longer qualify for a CSG or a PT-CSL under the current thresholds if their income increased by 1.5%, with a small adjustment for projected increases in enrolment.

If the Low- and Middle-Income Thresholds are not adjusted for inflation

  • low-income students who are currently at the upper limit of the low-income thresholds would no longer qualify for the CSG-LI, but would become eligible for the CSG-MI;
  • low-income students with dependants who are currently at the upper limit of the low-income thresholds would no longer qualify for either the CSG-LI or CSG-DEP, but would become eligible for the CSG-MI;
  • middle-income students who are currently at the upper limit of the middle-income threshold would no longer qualify for the CSG-MI;
  • low-income part-time students who are currently at the upper limit of the low-income thresholds would no longer qualify for the CSG-PT or CSG-PTDEP; and
  • middle-income part-time students who are currently at the upper limit of the middle-income thresholds would no longer qualify for PT-CSLs.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

These Regulations come into force on August 1, 2013. The participating provinces and territory, as well as the federal service provider administer CSLs and CSGs on behalf of the CSLP. The provinces and territory have the capacity to update the tables used in the assessment of need for student financial assistance on an annual basis. There are not expected to be any significant challenges with respect to implementation, enforcement, and service standards.

Contact

Atiq Rahman
Director
Operational Policy and Research
Canada Student Loans Program
Learning Branch
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
200 Montcalm Street, Tower II, 1st Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0J9
Telephone: 819-994-4518
Fax: 819-953-6661
Email: atiqur.rahman@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca