Comparing Student Aid Programs in Canada
Authors: Bouchard St-Amant, Pier-André and Fortier-Martineau, Camille
Student aid programs base aid awards on an assessment of uncovered needs. All students except Québec students undergo a federal and a provincial assessment. We model the student aid awarded that is based on those assessments to examine to what extent the total aid awarded is consistent with any of the two assessments. We also analyze how federal aid is channelled to students. We find that, except for three provinces, provincial programs are designed to eliminate federal assessments, although guaranteeing that the federal money is spent first. We further show discrepancies in how Registered Educational Saving Plans (RESPs) and other sources of income are treated depending on the student status. Using simulations, we show that despite assessments being need based, the total aid awarded for single independent students varies little according to student income.
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