Crown Wards Get More Help At School

Archived Release

Crown Wards Get More Help At School

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

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McGuinty Government Creates Championship Teams And Improves Financial
Support
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TORONTO, Feb. 19 /CNW/ -
NEWS
Ontario is helping Crown wards succeed at college and university.
Three new Education Championship Teams will offer mentorship, peer support, motivation and guidance in three Ontario communities. Teams include volunteers from local school boards, children's aid societies, postsecondary institutions, community agencies, Employment Ontario and provincial ministries.
In their first year of operation, four Championship Teams helped approximately 350 students. The government's investment increases the number of teams helping Crown wards to seven.
Crown wards who pursue postsecondary education and training may also receive financial aid through tuition grants, reimbursement of university/college entrance application fees, and certain exemptions from Ontario Student Assistance Program (https://osap.gov.on.ca/eng/eng_osap_main.html) income assessments.
Support for Crown wards is also a component of Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy (http://www.growingstronger.ca/english/default.asp), which will reduce the number of children living in poverty by 25 per cent over 5 years - lifting 90,000 kids out of poverty - by boosting benefits for low-income families and enhancing publicly-funded education.
QUOTES
"By removing the barriers to education faced by Crown wards, we are closer to realizing our goal of ensuring all Ontarians are equipped for success in our knowledge-based economy," said John Milloy (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/biography/tcu_minister.html), Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
"We know that young people who have been in the care of children's aid societies experience unique challenges as they enter adulthood," said Children and Youth Services Minister Deb Matthews (http://www.gov.on.ca/children/english/ministry/minister/index.html). "But with a good education and the right supports, I'm confident they can achieve their dreams."
"Crown Wards often face multiple obstacles in their quest for succeeding in high school and in the pursuit of post-secondary education and training," said Leeanna Pendergast, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. "These new championship teams will provide them with the educational support needed to pursue the road to higher education."
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QUICK FACTS
- There are approximately 9,500 Crown wards in Ontario, and 53
Children's Aid Societies.
- Three new Championship Teams in Waterloo/Guelph/Wellington, Simcoe and
Hamilton/Brant/Haldimand-Norfolk will receive start-up funding of
$150,000 each.
- Existing teams in Toronto, London, Ottawa and Thunder Bay will receive
additional funding of $75,000 each.
LEARN MORE
- Financial help specifically for students who are Crown wards is
explained in this Backgrounder
(http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/nr/09.02/bg0219a.html).
- Support for Crown wards is also a component of Ontario's Poverty
Reduction Strategy.
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BACKGROUNDER
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REMOVING BARRIERS TO CROWN WARDS' EDUCATION
One of the barriers to postsecondary education faced by Crown wards is the challenge of paying for it. Ontario offers a number of financial support programs and incentives for Crown wards and for students from low-income families:
- Students may receive up to $3,500 in scholarships and bursaries before
there is any reduction in student loans provided to Crown wards
through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
(https://osap.gov.on.ca/eng/eng_osap_main.html).
- Savings from the Ontario Child Benefit Equivalent will not reduce the
OSAP loans available to Crown wards. Withdrawals from Registered
Education Savings Plans established by children's aid societies on
behalf of Crown wards are also exempt.
- The Ontario Access Grant for Crown Wards (http://osap.gov.on.ca/eng/not_secure/Plan_Grants_full_newapp_CW_12345.htm)
provides current (and former) Crown wards with a tuition grant for
each year of their first postsecondary program for up to four years.
This grant is available regardless of the number of years the student
has been out of high school.
- A student in a one-year postsecondary program receives a one-time
grant covering 100 per cent of tuition costs (maximum $3,000). A
student in a two-year-or-longer program receives a grant covering
50 per cent of tuition costs (maximum $3,000) for each year of the
program, for up to four years.
- The Crown Ward Postsecondary Application Fee Reimbursement Program
(http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/tcu/students/ocwp.html) refunds
students' college and university application fees.
- There are 53 children's aid societies in Ontario; many also offer
bursaries to current and former Crown wards under their care.
- New funds equivalent to the Ontario Child Benefit will be set aside
for older Crown wards and can be used to fund postsecondary education
and will not reduce the OSAP loans available to Crown wards.
Withdrawals from Registered Education Savings Plans established by
children's aid societies on behalf of Crown wards are also exempt.
- In addition, the new funds equivalent to the Ontario Child Benefit
will ensure recreational, educational, cultural and social
opportunities are accessible to children and youth in care across the
province.
- The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will launch new
web pages on its website
(http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/tcu/students/ocwp.html) that describe
financial support and other information specifically for Crown wards
moving on to postsecondary education. The web-based resource will come
online in Spring 2009.
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Disponible en français
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For further information: Annette Phillips, Minister's Office, (416) 326-5748; Tanya Blazina, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2746