New Tuition Framework
The new Ontario government is limiting tuition increases to an average of three per cent for university and college students in the four-year tuition framework released today.
For the coming year, this means that tuition increases for most full-time arts and science undergraduate students and most college students will be limited to three per cent, only one percentage point above the average rate of inflation in Ontario over the past 10 years. The tuition policy applies to all publicly funded programs at Ontario's colleges and universities.
Flexibility is still built into the tuition framework. As long as an institution's tuition increases average three per cent per year, tuition for professional and graduate university programs and high-demand college programs may increase by up to five percent -- down from eight per cent in the previous framework.
To make postsecondary education more accessible, Ontario has made major investments in student financial aid. This year, the Ontario Student Assistance Program issued about $1.5 billion in grants and loans to students, including taking 30 per cent off tuition for students of low- and middle-income families.
Enhancements to student aid over the past decade have included delivering more assistance through upfront grants such as Access Grants, lower financial contribution requirements from parents, higher aid limits, and introducing Distance Grants for students from rural and remote communities attending college or university. More than 20 different provincial and federal grant, bursary and scholarship programs are available to Ontario postsecondary students.
Starting in the 2014-15 academic year, the government will introduce a more fair approach to deferral fees to better align the timing of tuition fees with Ontario Student Assistance Program deadlines. This will ensure students are not unfairly asked to pay for their tuition before their student assistance arrives. In addition, flat fee changes will be addressed following further consultations with postsecondary institutions and student groups over the summer.