Every high school student in the country would be eligible for at least $4,000 in student grants under a Liberal government, leader Michael Ignatieff announced this morning. A $1,000 payment would be provided every year while a student is between the ages of 14 and 17, if their parents open a Registered Education Savings Plan account. Students from low-income families would receive $1,500 a year, or a total of $6,000. The grants, called the Learning Passport, would be paid out while the student pursues post-secondary education, and could be used to fund university or college. The plan, part of the Liberals party’s Canadian Learning Strategy, would cost $1-billion a year, and would be on top of existing support for students. Funding would be provided by reversing corporate tax cuts.
UPDATE: The Liberals have clarified how the Learning Passport would be applied to CEGEPs in Quebec. Because tuition for the junior colleges only costs $500 per year, instead of payouts of $1,000 or $1,500 being made over four years, they would be made over five years, the Globe and Mail reports. Further changes could be announced to take into account differences in other provinces besides Quebec.
Additionally, as was announced this morning, the new grant would replace, while providing “significantly” more funding, than the education tax credit and the textbook tax credit.