Changes to student financial aid in New Brunswick

Changes to student financial aid in New Brunswick
April 4, 2019

Yesterday, the Government of New Brunswick (GNB) announced changes to provincial student financial aid, including the replacement of the Free Tuition Program & Tuition Relief for the Middle Class (FTP & TRMC) with a program called the “Renewed Tuition Bursary”.

Despite the government describing this program as an expansion of FTP & TRMC for students attending private institutions, there are several implications of this new program that will negatively affect UNB students. The UNB Student Union strongly advocates for improved access to UNB education for low-income students and these recent changes hurt this accessibility.

The introduced Renewed Tuition Bursary will supplement the federally funded Canada Student Grant (CSG) to a maximum of $3,000, instead of the $10,000 maximum that was previously provided by FTP & TRMC. For example, students will now receive a maximum of $6,000 when combining the CSG and the Renewed Tuition Bursary, whereas they previously could have received up to $13,000 under the old FTP & TRMC programs.

The Renewed Tuition Bursary program will come into effect later this year, meaning that students returning to UNB in the fall who were relying on FTP & TRMC, will face financial barriers in a few short months.

Additional changes announced yesterday by the provincial government include the abolishment of the Timely Completion Benefit and the reintroduction of the Tuition Tax Credit. The specific details of these additional changes are not clear yet and are still pending approval next January at the NB legislature.  

Your UNB Student Union, along with the New Brunswick Student Alliance, is currently actively communicating these concerns to the GNB Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labour (PETL). We will keep students updated through our website and social media on any major changes regarding this issue.

To send a petition letter to the Minister of PETL directly, click here.

- Your UNB Student Union