Ontario Provides Free Tuition for Eligible Students

Yvan Baker highlights new OSAP at Silverthorn Collegiate Institute on January 13

Jordan Ray, Toronto.

Ontario is making college and university more affordable for students and families in Etobicoke Centre and across the province through a new OSAP program. Ontario is also providing students a new tool to better understand the financial aid available to them and the cost of post-secondary education.

MPP Yvan Baker spoke to Gr. 11 and Gr. 12 students at Silverthorn Collegiate Institute on January 13 about how the province is transforming the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). MPP Baker was welcomed by Silverthorn’s Principal, Sam Iskandar, and joined by TDSB Superintendent Glen Duffus, Trustee Chris Glover and Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Steering Committee member, Colin Aitchison.

More Ontario students are now graduating from postsecondary programs than ever before, but some people hesitate to apply for college or university because they worry about the cost. The new OSAP will make average tuition free for students whose families make less than $50,000 a year. Students from families that earn more will also benefit from more generous grants and loans, and about 80% of all OSAP recipients will graduate with less provincial debt. The new OSAP will help more students seek an advanced education.

A new calculator on the OSAP website will allow students to better understand the costs of programs and the financial supports available to them for their studies. By entering basic information at Ontario.ca/osap, in just a few clicks students will learn how much aid they could receive from the new OSAP and how much their program will be expected to cost.

QUOTES
“Since I was elected as MPP for Etobicoke Centre, I have focused on addressing youth unemployment by enhancing student access to post-secondary education and ensuring students are informed to navigate post-secondary programs in Ontario. The new OSAP will expand access to universities and colleges for all students, regardless of their financial backgrounds. The new OSAP tool will help students better understand the costs of post-secondary education and the supports available to them. By enhancing access and supporting students in making more informed choices, students will graduate with less debt and better job prospects.” Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre

“We’re moving forward with the most ambitious reform of student financial assistance in North America because our government believes that a person’s ability to access postsecondary education should be based on their ability to learn, and not on their ability to pay. The new OSAP will provide over 150,000 students across the province with free average tuition.”Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government

“The new OSAP calculator will help students better prepare for the cost of their education in the upcoming year, leading to more informed decisions. Additionally, this tool will allow for the parents of perspective students to plan ahead with an accurate idea of the aid that their child will receive, allowing for them to develop stronger financial plans prior to their children beginning studies.” Colin Aitchison, VP, University Affairs, Wilfred Laurier Students’ Union and Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Steering Committee Member

Quick facts

  • Students applying to college and university for September 2017 will be the first to benefit from the new OSAP.
  • The new OSAP will allow mature students to qualify for more grants so they can go back to school to upgrade their skills.
  • If you are a single parent, have three children and earn $60,000 a year, for example, the new OSAP calculator will tell you that you are eligible for over $16,000 of non-repayable aid, making average university tuition free with money left over for books and fees.
  • The calculator ensures that families clearly see upfront the difference between the sticker price for tuition and what students would need to pay.
  • In 2014-15, Ontario issued almost $1.3B in student grants and loans.