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More than One-Third of College and University Students Receiving Free Tuition - Over 7,000 in Windsor and Sarnia

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More than One-Third of College and University Students Receiving Free Tuition - Over 7,000 in Windsor and Sarnia

Ontario is Making Life More Affordable for Students

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 7,000 of those students attend university or college in Windsor and Sarnia. 

Free tuition is part of Ontario's plan to make life more affordable to students. Along with the new OSAP, Ontario students will have access to additional proposed financial supports 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

  • More than 3,000 students from the University of Windsor, more than 3,000 students from St. Clair College, and about 1,000 students from Lambton College are receiving free tuition this year.
  • 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. And 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% 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 September 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 new OSAP program is making it far easier for thousands of University of Windsor students to fulfil their dream of earning a university degree. Post-secondary education is one of the best ways of preparing for a lifetime, and on behalf of those students who no longer have to pay tuition, and their families, I want to thank the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development for making their education more affordable.”

Dr. Alan Wildeman

President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Windsor

“A college education in Ontario has never been more affordable and accessible, thanks to the many initiatives of the provincial government. What may have been an unreachable dream for many financially disadvantaged young people is now within their grasp. Both they and the province as a whole can now achieve their full potential. St. Clair College is thrilled to be able to spread the news of these expanded and enhanced opportunities to prospective students in southwestern Ontario.”

Patti France

President, St. Clair College

“The Free Tuition model has assisted more students to access post-secondary education and removed one the largest barriers faced by many families. Our early numbers show that nearly half of the domestic students enrolled at Lambton College this semester were able to benefit from the new OSAP model. We’re pleased to see the impact of these grant changes reflected at our College and the positive effect this new funding model has had on those wanting to pursue higher education.”

Judith Morris

President and CEO, Lambton College

Media Contacts



Education and Training Government