FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier Brian Gallant announced a new post-secondary education grant program, Tuition Relief for the Middle Class (TRMC) today. This new program will make post-secondary education more accessible by providing more upfront financial assistance to New Brunswick students. In addition to providing more financial support for New Brunswick students, Gallant also announced health care support for international students.

“If we want to grow the economy and improve the quality of life for New Brunswick families, the best investment we can make is in education and training,” said Gallant. “That is why your government has invested more in education than any government in New Brunswick history.”

Combined with the Free Tuition Program, it is expected that the TRMC will help up to 70 per cent of students.

“Our government is committed to making post-secondary education more affordable and more accessible,” said Gallant. “This new financial assistance program will help more students and continues to focus on making it easier for low and middle income students to attend post-secondary institutions in New Brunswick.”

Under the TRMC, coupled with existing federal grants, students will receive tuition relief in the form of a non-repayable provincial bursary of up to 98 per cent of their tuition. The TRMC is based on family size and income.

The TRMC will be available to New Brunswick students who are enrolled full time in an undergraduate degree, diploma or certificate program at a publicly funded university or college in the province on or after Aug. 1, 2017; and meet other criteria of the program. The amount of tuition relief decreases as the student’s family income increases, until they reach the maximum income cut-off. The amount of tuition relief will also change based on the size of the family to a maximum family size of seven. This will help make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible for families with multiple children attending university or community college.

In determining the appropriate amounts for family income thresholds, the federal government’s income thresholds for Canada Student Grants were used and adjusted based on how New Brunswick wages compare nationally.

In addition to providing more financial support for students, Gallant was pleased to announce that the provincial government will now provide health care coverage to international students enrolled and studying at New Brunswick universities and community colleges to help address additional out-of-pocket expenses international students face when studying in New Brunswick. This will make post-secondary education more accessible and affordable for international students.

“Many post-secondary education institutions in Canada face significant enrolment challenges moving forward. By offering the Free Tuition and the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class to New Brunswickers attending a public university or college in New Brunswick and by making us more competitive when it comes to recruiting international students we are curbing enrolment challenges and helping our universities and colleges recruit students,” said Gallant.

The TRMC is in addition to a variety of financial assistance programs that are currently available to help make post-secondary education more accessible and affordable for New Brunswick students, including:

  • the Free Tuition Program helping students with families earning less than $60,000 to pursue their studies at a publicly funded college or university;
  • the Timely Completion Benefit to help post-secondary graduates address accumulated student loan debt and to encourage the successful completion of studies in a timely manner;
  • the New Brunswick Bursary helping eligible New Brunswick residents access post-secondary educational opportunities which was made more accessible by eliminating the spousal and parental contribution from the calculation for loans and grants;
  • the Youth Employment Fund giving youth more opportunity to stay in New Brunswick and the chance to get hands-on work experience; and
  • the One Job Pledge encouraging employers to hire recent post-secondary graduates in their field of study.

Student Financial Assistance program applications for the 2017-18 school year are expected to be available by June 1.