Correction: Making Postsecondary Education More Affordable in Ontario
Increasing Student Assistance, Helping Graduates Repay Their Loans
Ontario is increasing the annual maximum amount of financial aid available to college and university students and introducing new measures to help students repay their Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan.
Ontario is modernizing OSAP by:
- Indexing the Ontario maximum student aid levels annually to inflation, starting with the 2015-16 school year, to help students with the cost of postsecondary education and to add transparency and certainty about future increases.
- Launching the Ontario Student Loan Rehabilitation Program (corrected), a new initiative that will allow past borrowers who defaulted on the Ontario portion of their student loan to bring their loan back into good standing.
To ensure OSAP remains sustainable in the long term, Ontario is also raising the debt cap - the level above which student loans are forgiven - by indexing it to inflation every year. Repayable debt will remain at 60 per cent of the maximum amount of financial aid available to students.
Helping students with the costs of postsecondary education supports the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- The Ontario student loan limit will increase by $5 for the 2015-16 school year, to $155 per week for single students and $355 per week for students who are married or have dependent children.
- Ontario is the first province in Canada to index maximum student aid levels to inflation. By increasing the Ontario student loan limit with inflation each year, a student starting a four-year university degree in 2014-15 would be eligible to receive about $1,000 more in financial aid over the four years.
- For the 2015-16 school year, Ontario will cap student debt to no more than $7,400 for a two-term academic year.
- In 2013, Ontario issued more than $1.3 billion in grants and loans – 70 per cent of this aid was grants that students did not have to repay.
- Ontario’s 30% Off Tuition Grant helped almost 230,000 college and university students in 2013-14 save up to $1,780 in tuition.
“Ontario is committed to making postsecondary education accessible based on a student’s ability to learn, not their ability to pay. By taking important steps to increase the amount of financial aid available to students, improve flexibility in the repayment process and tie debt caps to inflation, our government is ensuring that our student assistance programs remain sustainable and can continue to help all qualified students attend college or university, regardless of their income.”
“We are pleased that Ontario has joined the other provinces in offering a debt rehabilitation program for students, which is especially helpful for students who are returning to school after being in the workforce, providing a clearer path into higher education. As the cost of attending university rises, it's also imperative that loan structures for students are as predictable and consistent as possible. Providing loan and grant maximums that accurately reflect rises in the consumer price index will provide more stability for students who are most in need of financial aid.”
“By indexing Ontario’s maximum student aid levels annually to inflation, this will provide students with more information to help plan for their postsecondary expenses. At the same time, the Ontario Student Loan Rehabilitation Program will allow past borrowers to restore credit levels to good standing. These enhancements show a commitment from the government to improve affordability and accessibility for students in Ontario. The College Student Alliance looks forward to continuing to see the modernization of OSAP to help allow students to attain a postsecondary education in Ontario.”