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Liberals will enhance Free Tuition and Tuition Relief for the Middle Class programs

September 4, 2018News

A re-elected Liberal Government will enhance its signature Free Tuition program by raising the threshold for the free tuition benefit to $70,000 from $60,000 and thereafter indexing it to inflation, as well as making concurrent increases to the sliding scale used in its Tuition Relief for the Middle Class program.



Gallant explained that a re-elected Liberal Government would also adjust the sliding scale of the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class program in order to keep pace with the enhancements to the Free Tuition program.


In 2016, the Gallant Government created the Free Tuition program which provides unprecedented upfront financial assistance and complements federal programs that subsidize tuition fees for students from low-income and middle class families, ensuring that the full cost of tuition for a New Brunswick student attending a publicly-funded New Brunswick university or college is covered if their family income is under $60,000.


In 2017, the Liberal Government announced the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class program which provides assistance on a sliding scale for students with family incomes of greater than $60,000 based on family income and number of children. The original program covers up to 95 percent of the cost of tuition on a sliding scale for New Brunswick students attending a publicly-funded New Brunswick university or college with the amount of the subsidy decreasing by family income but being enhanced for family size. For example, under the original program, for families of one to two people, the subsidy phases out at $75,000 of income; for families of seven or more people, the subsidy phases out at $123,500 of family income.


Last year alone, 6,319 eligible students benefited from free tuition while attending a publicly-funded university or college in New Brunswick. An additional 1,425 eligible students benefited from the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class program last year.


In addition to helping students who need the most support, the tuition relief programs created by the Liberal Government is encouraging New Brunswick students to study in New Brunswick at publicly-funded colleges or universities.


“Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives are against the Free Tuition program,” said Clare Manzer, Liberal candidate in the riding of Saint John East. “Blaine Higgs will try to pretend that he will maintain the program if the Conservatives were to win this election, but make no mistake, he has made it clear that he would rip up the Free Tuition program even if more than 6,000 New Brunswick students benefited from the investment last year alone.”


The Liberal Government recognizes the critical value of a free or affordable public education, both to individuals and to the province as a whole. This is why the Gallant Liberals have invested more in early childhood and education than ever before in the history of the province, having cancelled the planned cuts by the previous Conservative Government and increasing the overall budget by 15.9 percent since taking office in 2014. Along with new 10-year education plans, the Liberal Government has implemented the following transformational changes in education:


  • More affordable and better-quality early childcare, including free childcare for lower-income parents and financial support for middle-income earners;
  • The addition of 3,000 new childcare spaces and a commitment to expand the total number of spaces in New Brunswick to 30,000 by 2020;
  • An additional 100 teachers within the K-12 system;
  • Investments in literacy that have already generated improved test results;
  • The return of trades to the New Brunswick school system and the addition of new programs like coding.