Evaluation of Student Financial Assistance Programs for Indigenous Learners - SRDC

Evaluation of Student Financial Assistance Programs for Indigenous Learners

SRDC is undertaking an evaluation to provide recommendations on improving access to postsecondary education for Indigenous learners. Key questions include: whether Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP)-eligible First Nations and Inuit students who are turned down for PSSSP funding apply for provincial and federal student financial assistance; whether these learners are more likely to abandon or delay their plans for postsecondary; whether Indigenous learners are more debt-averse than non-Indigenous learners, including variation between populations; whether certain groups are more likely to apply for and receive assistance; whether Indigenous learners who receive assistance are more likely to default on loans, and if so, what are the reasons for this.

These questions are being answered through a combination of three research and evaluation activities: reviews of existing research evidence on learners’ financial barriers to accessing post-secondary education and available sources of financial aid, as well as evidence on debt aversion; analysis of administrative records on applicants and recipients of federal and provincial aid; and primary data collection with Indigenous people. The project will conclude with recommendations for federal and provincial governments to improve post-secondary education access for Indigenous learners, including an impact analysis of proposed program changes.

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