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.
— CFS-Ontario (@CFSON) June 19, 2019
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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.
I am receiving HALF the amount of #OSAP funding that I received last year. I’m nearly in tears, as I worry about being able to afford school this year. So thank you @fordnation for making it nearly impossible to go to school and shaping our future for the worse. pic.twitter.com/5N8hJPu1k0
— Marianne (@Mariann84249936) June 18, 2019
Another says rather than worrying about what she’s doing post-grad, she’s worrying if she can even afford to finish school.
I’m going into my fourth year of university, and instead of worrying about what I’m going to be doing post-grad, I’m gonna be worrying about whether or not I can even afford to attend school to finish my degree #osap
— nicole (@m00nriverr) June 19, 2019
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.”
NEVER tell me or students across the province that there isn’t enough money to support their PSE. Seeing these #OSAP slashes is a slap across the face to people who KNOW that the money is there but that this gov is CHOOSING not to provide it
— nour alideeb (@nouralideeb) June 19, 2019
I’m in college currently. If I can’t afford tuition in September, I will be forced to drop out and go on welfare. Take your pick @fordnation.
— Not Laura (@isinginthebath) June 20, 2019
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.
— Michael Coteau (@coteau) June 19, 2019