Advanced Education Minister Brian Wong in this file photo from an interview earlier in 2022. (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER/BEAVER BANK: The Minister of Advanced Education had some good news for post-secondary students in the province on Nov. 29.

Brian Wong, who is also the MLA representing Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, announced the province is providing additional funding to help post-secondary students with the rising cost of living.

About 11,000 students who receive Nova Scotia student assistance in the 2022-23 academic year will receive a one-time payment of $550.

“We know the rising cost of living is affecting students, and we’re looking at ways we can help so they can focus on their studies and future,” said Wong.

“I want students to know that we are listening to their concerns and finding solutions to help make things more affordable, especially for those with the highest need.”

The $550 grant will not have to be repaid and represents a $6.2-million investment in post-secondary students, available due to one-time savings within the student loan program.

To be eligible for the one-time grant, post-secondary students must be Nova Scotia residents, qualify for and receive Nova Scotia student assistance during the 2022-23 academic year and attend university, Nova Scotia Community College or a private career college.

Students do not have to apply. The grant will be deposited automatically into the bank accounts of most eligible students in January. The timing for some students will depend on the start date of their studies.

The announcement followed recent improvements made to student loan programs to make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible for students and graduates.

On October 20, the Department of Advanced Education announced it would increase income thresholds in Nova Scotia’s repayment assistance plan and provide more people living with disabilities access to student loans.

“As affordability pressures continue to grow, students are increasingly struggling to balance the rising costs of education, housing, groceries and transportation. This investment in students comes at a critical time and will help over 11,000 borrowers in financial need focus on their studies instead of wondering how they will make their next rental payment or keep the lights on for the winter term.”
     – Kyle Cook, Chair, Students Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:
— the Nova Scotia student assistance program provides needs-based assistance to students who would be unable to attend post-secondary study because their resources are not sufficient to cover costs
— all Nova Scotia students who qualify for Nova Scotia student assistance get 40 per cent of their assistance as a non-repayable grant upfront
— every Nova Scotia student who attends a Nova Scotia university full-time receives the Nova Scotia university student bursary of $1,283 annually; this money is applied directly to the student’s tuition fees and doesn’t need to be repaid

Additional Resources:
Nova Scotia student assistance: