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Students: Here's Everything We Know about Emergency Student Benefits

On Wednesday, April 22, the Government of Canada dropped the news that they are initiating a $9 billion program for students impacted by the effects of COVID-19. Though the information is limited right now, let us help walk you through the available and upcoming benefits you can access.

Update: As of Friday, May 15 at 6:00 am EST, the CESB application is live.
The application is available at the Canada Revenue Agency website, but we recommend you don't go in without a little help. Get our complete guide to How to Apply for Emergency Student Benefits now!


Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Prior to this new announcement, the Canadian government launched its Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

The CERB is available to workers over the age of 15 who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19. Though this funding is targeted towards working professionals, it still may apply to some students. It is worth exploring the application as you may be eligible to receive up to $500/week.

Get further details on qualifying for the CERB here.

However, many students will not qualify for the CERB. This is why the new program, titled Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), was announced. The CESB will have slightly different parameters from the CERB to prevent those who do not qualify for CERB from falling through the cracks.

Qualifying for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

According to the government, the CESB is “for post-secondary students and recent graduates who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or for Employment Insurance, but who are unable to find full-time employment or are unable to work due to COVID-19.”

Eligible students, from May through to August 2020, will be provided with $1,250 per month with an additional $500 for a max of $1,750 per month for those with dependents or permanent disability.

The CESB will be delivered by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), so if you set up direct deposit this tax season, it should be easy to receive this benefit!

Update: The CESB application is now live. The application is available at the Canada Revenue Agency website, but we recommend you don't go in without a little help. Read our complete guide to How to Apply for Emergency Student Benefits now!

It’s Now Easier to Qualify for Student Loans

In addition to both of these benefits, the government is widening the parameters for receiving student loan funding.

There are no specific details at this time, but if you have ever applied and been denied, lift up your head and try again soon! Student loans are a great way to pay for a life-changing education. In fact, 50% of our Briercrest students use student loans to help cover some of the costs of their studies.

For more on how to pay for college, check out these 9 sources you can use to fund your education (you probably have access to four!).

Expensive, But Worth It

It’s true, college is costly, and Christian higher education is no different. However, our students believe it is worth the cost. The cumulative focus on spiritual development, Christian community, and university level education is what sets Briercrest apart from any other school in Canada.

Our VP of Recruitment and Marketing AJ Crocker jumped on a live webinar to talk through the 9 ways our students are accessing funding to pay for their education. If saving money is worth 30 minutes of your time, you can watch it on-demand here!

More on Government Student Aid

Updates from the government are quite frequent and everything is changing quickly. As new updates arise, we will keep you up to date on what you need to know as a student. 

We understand these are uncertain times that carry burdens and questions that are hard to digest. Our Student Finance and Admissions teams are here to serve you and work alongside you as you navigate how you will pay for school. To let us know how we can best serve you, please connect with us at or


Adam McNeil

Graduating from Briercrest College in 2019 as Student Body President with his B.A. in Business, Adam now works alongside students across Canada to help them find life at Briercrest. Alongside his passion for Briercrest, Adam McNeil internationally competes at catching a ball on a cup (not even a joke), consumes copious amounts of hipster coffee, and loves to share the Gospel at summer camps across Canada.

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