New Grads: Tuition Fee Rebates Across Canada
UPDATED Sptember 2014...
If you're a new Canadian grad searching for extra ways to pay off that student loan debt, check out Canada's provincial tuition rebate programs. Who couldn't use an extra $20,000 or $25,000?
I'll list the universal programs here - the ones most grads can obtain.
Some provinces, such as BC, only offer rebates, debt reduction or partial loan forgiveness just to small groups of people. An example recent grads working in B.C.'s civil service (the 'Pacific Leaders' program).
Another example of this limited approach is in Saskatchewan, which now has a hefty tuition rebate for nurses and nurse practitioners worth up to $20,000.
But of course society needs people working in all kinds of fields. That's not reflected when government programs limit aid to an elite group of chosen employees.
So let's focus here on universal programs. These offer a generous tuition tax rebate for all - or at least for all with an undergraduate degree. Each province varies, so some will help you if you have other diplomas as well.
The principle with all of these tuition tax rebates is to reward relatively new grads for working in these provinces over a handful of years. And most don't require you to have received your degree in that province!
Other things being equal, these rebate programs offer an extra financial strategy for grads. You can pay your loan debts way faster - and save tons of interest charges - by making extra payments with that rebate money.
Here's a summary for each rebate province, plus direct government links if you want more info.
SASKATCHEWAN has a 'Graduate Retention Program' that offers up to $20,000 against your tuition costs. I've written about that before, regarding some other advantages of moving to this province.
Here is an info resource for Saskatchewan's Grad Retention Program.
NEW BRUNSWICK has expanded their 'New Brunswick Tuition Fee Rebate' to offer 50% of tuition fees up to the same $20,000 maximum rebate. (In NB, this used to be called the 'Tuition Tax Cashback Credit'.
New Brunswick offers this tax break to all students from 2005 onwards.
Here is the NB government’s description, which includes changes made to the rebate back in 2009-2010.
NOVA SCOTIA has offered residents the 'Graduate Retention Rebate.' This is a $2,500 rebate for the year of university graduation and for the next five years up to a maximum of $15,000.
Nova Scotian graduates of diploma or certificate programs get half that amount. They get $1,250 per year to a total $7,500.
But Nova Scotia is ending their program this year (2014). So this is your last chance to collect that one. To see if you'd qualify for the final tax year - 2013 - check out this government website.
MANITOBA started offering its 'Tuition Fee Income Tax Rebate' to college and university graduates in 2007. It offers 60% of your fees to a maximum $25,000.
This is currently Canada's most generous tuition rebate program. Manitoba's pretty good to students.
Below are three Manitoba government links. Between them, you'll find all the details about it's own tuition fee rebate program:
Oh and if you've got friends or siblings still planning for post-secondary, tell them check out Manitoba's relatively low tuition rates.