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Ontario is making college and university tuition more accessible and affordable for low- and middle-income students in Brantford 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 household income is $83,300 or less with enough in grants to more than cover their tuition costs
- Ensuring eligible students whose household income is less than $50,000 will graduate with no OSAP debt.
- 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 in Brantford 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 in Brantford 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.
“We know that many young people abandon their dreams of attending university or college, believing it is out of reach, worrying about the debt they will incur. We also know that access to education is key to helping children and youth reach their full potential. These changes to student financial assistance will mean that more kids from low-income families will get the education they need to succeed, helping them to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.”
— Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
“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 Brantford 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
“The new Ontario Student Grant will improve access to a university education. The changes announced in the Budget mean easier access to financial assistance and more grants for the students who need it most.”
— Brian Rosborough, Senior Executive Officer, Laurier Brantford
“The new Ontario Student Grant Program will enhance the accessibility for low income families in pursuing a post-secondary education while preventing the burden of excessive financial debt for the student. This investment in our youth provides considerable employment opportunities and retention of skills within our community as well as supporting the goal of poverty reduction.”
— Chuck Dowdall, Executive Director, St. Leonard’s Community Services
- Over 2,800 students from Brantford were enrolled full-time in college and university programs in 2014-15.
- 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 household income is 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 household income is 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.
- Find out more about Ontario’s colleges and universities.