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More than One-Third of College and University Students Receiving Free Tuition - more than 6,000 in Kingston

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More than One-Third of College and University Students Receiving Free Tuition - more than 6,000 in Kingston

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 6,000 of those students attend school in Kingston.  

Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, met with students in Kingston 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

“The changes to OSAP will have a generational impact in the lives of students and in the future of Ontario. I am pleased that so many students are able to attend St. Lawrence College and Queen’s University because the obstacle of finances concerns has been lessened by the changes to OSAP. Students should have the ability to attend post-secondary and get the skills and training they need to pursue their dreams.”

Sophie Kiwala

MPP, Kingston and the Islands

“The changes to OSAP and the implementation of free tuition is an extremely positive change for the students of SLC. Students in Ontario and at SLC now have increased access to education, with significant decreases in financial burdens. The OSAP adjustments make it possible for more students to acquire the post-secondary education that they require in order to be successful!”

Beth Insley

President and Executive Director, Kingston Student Association, St. Lawrence College

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