Ontario Making College and University More Affordable
Premier Wynne Meets with First Cohort to Benefit from New OSAP
Premier Kathleen Wynne met with Grade 12 students at Central Technical School in Toronto today to talk about reforms to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). Students in Grade 12 will be among the first to benefit from Ontario's single largest modernization of student financial assistance when the Ontario Student Grant launches as part of the reformed OSAP in September 2017.
Today, more Ontario students are graduating from postsecondary programs than ever before. But some youth hesitate to aspire to a college or university education because they worry about the costs or graduating with debt from student loans. The Ontario Student Grant will help OSAP empower more students to seek an advanced education based on their abilities and potential, not their family's income. The new OSAP will:
- Allow eligible students whose parents earn less than $50,000 to graduate without having to pay back provincial student loans
- Provide the Ontario Student Grant to make the average cost of college and university tuition free for thousands of low- and middle-income students
- Ensure that no eligible student receives less aid than they are eligible for now under the 30% Off Ontario Tuition Grant, which the new OSAP will replace.
Ontario's highly educated workforce is one of its greatest economic strengths -- 67 per cent of adults in the province now have a degree or diploma, higher than any country in the OECD and up from 56 per cent in 2002. By addressing the affordability barrier that can deter students from low- and middle-income families, these OSAP reforms will help meet or exceed the target of 70 per cent postsecondary attainment.
Investing in access to postsecondary education is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- About 150,000 students are expected to benefit from the reformed OSAP when implemented in 2017.
- The Ontario government will work closely with colleges and universities to ensure that families see clearly up-front the difference between the sticker price for tuition and what the student would need to pay.
- The new OSAP will allow mature students to qualify for more grants so they can go back to school to upgrade their skills.
- Since 2002–03, Ontario has increased investment in publicly funded colleges and universities by $2.2 billion — an 82 per cent increase.
“We are leveling the playing field so all students can go on to college or university no matter how much money their parents make. Changes to OSAP will build a more fair society by expanding access to education to help all Ontarians flourish — and strengthen our economy by further equipping our highly skilled and educated workforce.”
“We believe that access to postsecondary education should be based on the ability to learn and not on the ability to pay. That’s why we’re moving forward with one of the most ambitious reforms of student financial assistance in North America.”