Financial Aid Available for Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities in New Brunswick
Moving west to east, we have now arrived at New Brunswick: this province will be the focus of this article, the next in this series of articles exploring each Canadian province and territory’s approach to financial assistance for post-secondary students with disabilities. Although there are similarities, there are enough differences in eligibility, application requirements, and the amount of funding available that each place warrants their own article.
In the Government of New Brunswick’s Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, it is the Student Financial Services that is responsible for processing and administering financial aid. Funding comes from both the Government of New Brunswick and the Government of Canada. This is significant for two reasons.
One, anyone applying for aid in the form of loans, grants, and bursaries need only submit one application in order to be considered for funding from both levels of government. Make note that it is the province’s Student Financial Services that will handle all applications.
Two, all students with disabilities in this province may apply for the following two federal grants:
- The Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities
The Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities provides a maximum of $2000 per academic year. It is geared towards covering costs like tuition, education materials, and living expenses.
This is a federal grant so you would think that the eligibility requirements are the same across Canada but because it is New Brunswick that is administering the grant, the eligibility requirements are comparatively more extensive than other provinces’. For example, there is still the shared requirements of having financial need; enrollment in either part-time or full-time studies; and documentation of permanent disability. The New Brunswick Student Financial Services also stipulates applicants must achieve satisfactory academic performance; must not be in default of any previous student loans; must not be studying beyond the program’s length; and must not be beyond their lifetime assistance limit. This limit is the maximum total number of weeks a student may receive financial assistance and for students with permanent disabilities, the limit is 520 weeks.
- The Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities for Services and Equipment
This grant is geared towards ensuring students with permanent disabilities have equitable access to higher education and the attendant benefits. The maximum annual coverage is $8000 and this is meant to pay for necessary education-related costs like educational attendant care fees, specialized transportation to and from campus, and educational materials in alternative formats.
Students applying for the Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities apply via the online application; they must indicate that their status and provide medical documentation. However, if applying for the Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities for Services and Equipment, a separate application is required. All sections of this application must be completed by the student, with the exception of one specific section that must be completed by an official at the student’s educational institution. Part of the application must indicate what services and equipment the funding is going to cover, and once the funding is provided, all receipts must be saved in order to demonstrate the funds were appropriately utilized. Any amounts remaining must be returned to Student Financial Services.
Post-secondary students in New Brunswick have access to both provincial and federal funding. For students with disabilities, there are two federal grants specifically geared towards their needs. Because it is the provincial government that administers the funding, make sure you check and double-check all requirements—eligibility, documentation, deadline—before hitting submit.