Students feeling effects of Ford government's $670 million cuts to OSAP funding

Jun 20 2019, 3:50 pm

Thousands of students in Ontario have learned they are receiving significantly less OSAP funding this year following the Ford government’s drastic cuts.

Earlier this year, the PC’s announced a number of changes that would affect post-secondary students, including eliminating free tuition for low-income students, while imposing a 10% across-the-board tuition fee cut. The government also made several once-mandatory student fees, such as those that fund campus organizations and clubs, optional.

The six-month grace period on student loan interest was also cancelled, in addition to $670 million in cuts to OSAP funding.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario called the cuts “unacceptable” and a poll from the organization found that 77% of students won’t be able to cover their expenses next year because of the cuts.

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Now, students are realizing how their OSAP is being impacted and one student says she’s receiving half the amount that she received last year.

Another says rather than worrying about what she’s doing post-grad, she’s worrying if she can even afford to finish school.

Another student called the funding cuts “a slap across the face,” while another says if they can’t afford tuition in September they’ll be “forced to drop out and go on welfare.”

Felipe Nagata, the organization’s chairperson, said: “a government that is truly for students would be investing on youth by creating more grants, not loans.”

“Cuts to OSAP are just going to create barriers for people to access education.”

Michael Coteau, Liberal MPP for Don Valley East says we’re seeing “the reality” of the Ford government’s drastic cuts to OSAP.

“The pre-Ontario Liberal government made huge investments to lowering tuition by increasing OSAP grants because we believe that income shouldn’t dictate whether you go to college or university,” said Coteau.