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Free Tuition for More Students in Oakville with the New Ontario Student Grant

Ontario Making College and University More Affordable and Accessible

Ontario is making college and university more accessible and affordable for low- and middle-income students in Oakville through the single-largest modernization ever of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).

As announced in the 2016 Budget, the government will create a single, targeted, non-repayable grant — the Ontario Student Grant — starting in the 2017-18 school year. The changes to OSAP will make average tuition free for more than 150,000 eligible low- and middle-income students across the province and will reduce the cost for many more by: 

  • Providing the majority of eligible students whose parents earn the median annual income of $83,300 or less with enough in grants to more than cover their tuition costs
  • Eliminating provincial student loan debt for eligible students whose parents earn less than $50,000
  • Ensuring that no eligible student receives less non-repayable aid through the new grant than they currently do through the 30% Off Ontario Tuition Grant. 

The Ontario Student Grant will provide additional support for full-time mature and married students, and eligibility will no longer be tied to the number of years a student has been out of high school. This predictable, upfront grant will allow families to plan for their education on the basis of net price — the difference between the sticker price of tuition and what a student actually needs to pay. The government will work closely with the postsecondary sector to develop planning tools that more accurately calculate the net tuition and net price of a university or college education.

Breaking down barriers 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 investing in talent and skills, including 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 investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and 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.

QUOTES

“Modernizing our province’s student assistance program will make an important difference for a significant number of students in our community. Never in the history of this province has a government invested so significantly into our future workforce as this government. With the tuition and job-training investments introduced in the 2016 budget, which includes the Ontario Student Grant, students have more access to postsecondary education. I’m proud of the investment that our government is making in Ontario’s future.”  — Kevin Flynn, MPP for Oakville 

“By making average tuition free for tens of thousands of students and increasing eligibility for support to so many more, we are demonstrating how firmly we believe in the importance of investing in Ontario’s people. All students should be able to afford to go to college or university in Ontario. This transformative grant will be more generous and more straightforward, breaking down barriers that might be preventing residents of Oakville from getting a postsecondary education while continuing to help students who are currently benefiting from important grant support.”  — Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities 

“Sheridan students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and stages of their careers. Through the Ontario Student Grant, the Government of Ontario is opening doors to postsecondary education to thousands of students – whether they’re just beginning their career or looking to upgrade their skills – and making a crucial investment in Ontario’s present and future workforce.”  — Jeff Zabudsky, President and Vice Chancellor, Sheridan College

“The Ontario Student Grant responds to the very real barriers many students face when considering higher education. This expanded support will bring college and university within reach for students in need throughout Ontario, and will make it easier for them to plan for their future.”  — Sylvia Ibrahim, President, Sheridan Student Union

“A country's most important asset is their people. The Halton Poverty Roundtable welcomes the opportunity that the new Ontario Student Grant will provide to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their unique potential and, in doing so, help Ontario and Canada to  thrive.”  — June Cockwell, Co-Chair, Halton Poverty Roundtable 

QUICK FACTS

About 80 per cent of OSAP recipients, or 250,000 Ontario students, are expected to end up with lower student loan debt as a result of the changes to OSAP than they would under current OSAP rules.

  • 300,000 students are expected to receive the same amount of grant support or more as a result of the changes to OSAP than they would under current OSAP rules.
  • Ninety per cent of dependent college students whose parents earn less than $50,000 are expected to receive OSAP grants that are greater than average college tuition.
  • Seventy per cent of dependent university students whose parents earn less than $50,000 are expected to receive OSAP grants that are greater than average university tuition.
  • The $50,000 family income threshold is based on Statistics Canada’s Low-Income Measure for a four-person household, before tax.  

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