Thunder Bay – 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). The program that allows lower income students to attend post-secondary education is letting them benefit from the opportunity.
More than 2949 of those students attend school in Thunder Bay.
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 do not 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 do not have to worry about paying back their Ontario student loans until they are making at least $35,000 a year.
- Free online textbooks to help students cover the cost of buying their textbooks.
“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,” shares Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government
“Affordable access to post secondary education is crucial to success in today’s economy. One of our pillars at Confederation College is access. It means more access for our students from a different demographic. It opens a pathway for many first time students and their families. The financial constraints that the students have such books, tuition, food, rent is part of attending school. With many students working 15 to 20 hrs a week. In regards, to raising the minimum wage this will help out with the extra costs associated with post secondary education,” comments Jodi Afonso, President, Student Union of Confederation College Inc.
“Education is essential to our growth and development in Ontario. Free Tuition will enable thousands of students in Northwestern Ontario greater access to postsecondary education today, so we can build a brighter and more prosperous future tomorrow,” says Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North.
“Free tuition is making postsecondary education affordable for many students from low- and middle-income families. Postsecondary education opens doors, provides more career choices and higher earning power, and is helping to build a more inclusive and successful economy in our province,” states Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan.
- 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.
- Ontario Student Assistance Program
- Ontario’s colleges and universities
- OHIP+ and free pharmacare
- Free online textbooks