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).
Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, met with students in Ottawa today to talk about how the new OSAP and other proposed programs will make life easier for students, 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.QUICK FACTS
- 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. 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 per cent 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 January 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.
“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
“Access to affordable high-quality postsecondary education is an important part of building a fair and inclusive economy. The government’s changes to OSAP, including free tuition, will have a life-changing impact for students at Algonquin College. Beginning this fall, more students than ever will be able to focus on achieving their goals rather than worrying about their finances.”
— The Honourable Bob Chiarelli, MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean
“Algonquin College students were happy to have an opportunity to engage with Minister Matthews this morning and talk about the issues that affect us and the hope we have for the future. We welcomed the Minister’s words about OSAP because financial concerns should not be barriers to access. The changes to OSAP will mean that about 75 per cent of Algonquin College students will have fewer financial worries as they pursue their studies.”
— Victoria Ventura, President, Algonquin College Student Association