Many young adults in Ontario find it difficult to pursue a post-secondary education given the financial strain associated with attending college or university.
Now, however, it seems as though students may not have to worry any longer. The Ontario Student Assistance Program has announced a new program boasting free tuition for upwards of 210,000 students.
A press release from the provincial government reads:
“Removing the financial barriers to higher learning and making postsecondary education more affordable is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.”
Deb Mathews, the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, was quoted saying:
“We’re modernizing OSAP in many ways, from the very large to the very small. The biggest change is free average tuition for postsecondary students from many low- and middle-income families, and more grants for most students. But we have also heard from current students that navigating the OSAP application can be difficult. With our new, user-friendly application, as well as our handy OSAP calculator, students now have the tools in hand to better plan for their future education and career paths.”
The OSAP site now features an online calculator tool that allows students to enter their income and expenses, and then provides an estimate of how much funding they may be eligible to qualify for from the government. The tool also breaks down the estimated funding into loan and grant amounts, so students understand how much they will be required to pay back in the future.
Not only is OSAP is available to students directly out of high school, but also those with spouses, children, or who have been out of the formal education system for a substantial amount of time. Students with children may be eligible to receive extra funding to cover the cost of childcare.
If you are an Ontario resident thinking of attending post-secondary and would like to know an estimate of the funding you’ll receive, you can access the online calculator here.