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More than One-Third of College and University Students Receiving Free Tuition - more than 11,500 in Hamilton

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More than One-Third of College and University Students Receiving Free Tuition - more than 11,500 in Hamilton

Ontario is Making Life More Affordable for Students

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

This school year, more than one-third of all full-time college and university students in Ontario are receiving free tuition thanks to the new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). More than 11,500 of those students attend school in Hamilton.  

Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, met with students in Hamilton today to talk about how the new OSAP and other proposed programs will make life easier for students, including:

  • Free pharmacare so that youth under 25 don't have to worry about paying for prescription medication, starting January 1, 2018.
  • Raising the minimum wage so that students can earn more money to help them afford the cost of school.
  • Improved repayment assistance so that students don't have to worry about paying back their Ontario student loans until they're making at least $35,000 a year. 
  • Free online textbooks to help students cover the cost of buying their textbooks.

Making postsecondary education more affordable for students and families is part of our government's plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Students from families with a combined income up to $175,000 will benefit from more generous grants and loans to assist with college and university expenses.
  • Applications to OSAP grew by more than 10 per cent in 2017, compared to last year. This school year, more than 210,000 students will receive free tuition.
  • Students attending college and university this fall are the first to benefit from the new OSAP.
  • 95 per cent of all students who are receiving OSAP are getting generous grants to help them pay for college or university.
  • The OSAP application for the 2018-19 school year will open on November 8, 2017, earlier than ever before.
  • Starting in 2018, the minimum salary a borrower needs to make before they are required to start repaying their Ontario student loans is increasing from $25,000 to $35,000.
  • OHIP+ will provide pharmacare coverage for children and youth under 25 who are covered by OHIP, starting January 1, 2018.
  • Ontario is partnering with eCampusOntario to develop and provide free and low-cost digital textbooks to students. A similar open textbook initiative in British Columbia has helped learners save over $4 million since 2012.

Additional Resources


“Going to college or university is a wonderful opportunity for young Ontarians. That’s why this government is committed to making it as easy and affordable as we possibly can for students, so that they can pursue their dreams, fulfil their potential and get the skills they’ll need for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Deb Matthews

Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government

“So many local post-secondary students are now benefitting from Ontario’s modernization of OSAP. This financial relief will allow students to access and benefit fully from their educational opportunities and lead them to greater likelihood of securing good employment upon graduation. Congratulations!”

Ted McMeekin

MPP Ancaster Dundas Flamborough Westdale

“Nearly 75 per cent of Mohawk College students rely on the Ontario Student Assistance Program and the supports and services offered by the Mohawk Students’ Association are heavily used. The changes made to OSAP mean the students we represent will spend less time worrying about how to make ends meet and more time focusing on what they’re learning in their programs.”

Samantha Hoover

Mohawk Students’ Association President

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