One goal of the 10-year education plans is to make post-secondary schools more accessible to New Brunswickers. When government invests in education, it is also investing in the economy, the workforce and the quality of life of New Brunswickers.
The government recently implemented a number of non-repayable bursaries to provide immediate and up-front financial support to New Brunswick students.
The first step in removing financial barriers to education was the creation of the Free Tuition Program, previously known as the Tuition Access Bursary. The Free Tuition Program is a provincial bursary available to students from families with incomes of $60,000 or less. Full tuition will be provided with funding available throughout the established duration of their program.
The program rolled out during the 2016-17 academic year with more than 5,000 students qualifying for free tuition across the province. This number is expected to increase in years to come as students graduate from high school with the knowledge that financial barriers to obtaining post-secondary education have been significantly reduced.
A year after the Free Tuition Program was announced, a supplementing program was introduced. Tuition Relief for the Middle Class provides support to students based on a sliding scale linked to income level and family size. Students with a family income of greater than $60,000 and up to a threshold of $123,500 can be provided with financial assistance to help cover the cost of tuition.
Students under the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class bursary program will receive varying amounts of financial support, ranging from less than the full cost of tuition to a minimum bursary amount of $100. Amounts of financial support provided are based on individual needs and financial circumstances of applicants.
The program has been made available to students enrolled in a full-time undergraduate degree, diploma or certificate program at publicly-funded post-secondary institutions in the province of New Brunswick, as of August 1, 2017.
The Free Tuition Program and Tuition Relief for the Middle Class follow the same rules and criteria for student qualification purposes, meaning, among other things:
- Students must apply to the New Brunswick Student Financial Assistance Program and demonstrate eligibility for federal and provincial funding;
- Students must be enrolled full-time on/after August 1, 2017, in an undergraduate degree, diploma or certificate program, at a publicly funded university or college located in New Brunswick;
- Assistance will be provided for a maximum number of years, depending on the program;
- Students must be registered in a program approved by the Minister.
These programs are funded in conjunction with federal grants, such as the Canada Study Grant.
The government offers a variety of additional student financial assistance programs that complement the Free Tuition Program and the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class program.
The New Brunswick Bursary is a repayable loan which provides eligible students with a maximum of $130 weekly throughout the duration of their study program. This program is designed to encourage students to successfully complete post-secondary programs in a timely manner.
The Timely Completion Benefit also provides graduates incentives to graduate in a timely manner. Eligible students that have graduated from a post-secondary program within the designated timeline with a student loan debt in excess of $32,000 will have 100 per cent of student loans in excess of $32,000 forgiven.
Updated: August 2017
MEDIA CONTACT(S): Jason Hoyt, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, (506) 453-4090, firstname.lastname@example.org