First ever province-wide tuition reduction will make college and university more affordable for students in Niagara
News from the Constituency Office of Niagara West and Ontario Conservative MPP Sam Oosterhoff
Posted January 19th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – For the first time in Ontario, students at every publicly-assisted college and university will see their tuition rates go down by 10 percent thanks to a tuition rate reduction introduced by Ontario’s Government.
This is the latest step in the Government’s plan to keep more money in the pockets of students and families.
“We believe that if you’ve got the grades, you deserve access to an affordable postsecondary education,” said Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “By lowering tuition across the entire province, our Government is ensuring that all qualified Ontario students will have more affordable access to high quality skills, training and education.”
“We are making postsecondary education more affordable in Niagara through these historic reforms, refocussing supports to our students and families who need it most,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.
Fullerton also announced that that the Government will be refocussing the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to ensure it remains sustainable and viable for future students while directing a greater proportion of OSAP funding to families with the greatest financial need.
“The previous government believed in handing out OSAP money to some of Ontario’s highest income earners with virtually no meaningful criteria for success,” said Fullerton. “It is no surprise that student enrolment has remained flat while tuition rates skyrocketed. Instead of using OSAP to indirectly subsidize future rounds of tuition hikes, we will focus our resources on the families in greatest need while
challenging our partners in the postsecondary sector to deliver better value for the high tuitions they already charge.”
The Minister also announced a Student Choice Initiative, giving every student in Ontario the freedom to choose which student fees they want to pay, and how that money will be allocated. Fees for essential health and safety initiatives will continue to be mandatory.
Student fees in Ontario can range as high as $2000 per year and, too often, force students to pay for services they do not use and organizations they do not support. Reducing tuition and increasing the affordability of college and university is part of the Government’s plan to help people get the training they need to get good paying jobs.
“These changes give students freedom of choice about how their money is spent, while restoring accountability, affordability and access to postsecondary education,” concluded MPP Oosterhoff. “We are giving students more opportunities to find a job and build a career right here in Ontario.”
- The government’s tuition reduction for 2019-20 represents the first time Ontario student tuition has decreased across all funding-eligible programs.
- Average university tuition in Ontario has increased significantly since the mid-1990s and is currently the highest in any Canadian province.
- A Niagara College student enrolled in a Game Development program would see a $650 reduction in their 2019-20 academic year tuition.
- An arts and science undergraduate student at Brock University would see a reduction of $700, while a students in the Masters of Applied Disability Studies will see a reduction of $1,760.
- A recent Auditor General report highlighted concerns with OSAP administration, as well as drastic overspending. It concluded that despite the previous government’s excessive spending, OSAP did not result in proportionately higher enrolment.
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