The Ontario Government has provided free tuition to over one-third of full-time post-secondary students through the new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
Applications to OSAP grew more than 10% this year compared to last year, with over 210,000 students getting free tuition, according to the province.
In its new terms, students from families with a combined income up to $175,000 will benefit from more grants and loans to assist with college and university expenses.
“Going to college or university is a wonderful opportunity for young Ontarians,” said Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government, in a statement. “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.”
— Advanced Education (@ONAdvancedEd) September 11, 2017
The province says that 95% of all students who are receiving OSAP are getting “generous grants” to help them pay for college or university.
Additionally, to make school more affordable, the province partnering with eCampusOntario to develop and provide free and low-cost digital textbooks to students. Currently, a similar open textbook initiative in BC has helped studentss save over $4 million since 2012.
Looking ahead, OSAP applications for the 2018-19 school year will open on November 8, 2017, which is earlier than ever before. And as for graduates, 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.
Last year, the province also announced it would provide free pharmacare to youth under 25 starting January 1, 2018.