Ontario Making College and University More Affordable for Adult Learners by Offering Free Tuition
Ontario is transforming student assistance to make college and university more affordable, including free tuition for qualifying adult learners, so that they can go back to school and upgrade their skills.
Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, joined by Education Minister Mitzie Hunter and Beaches-East York MPP Arthur Potts, met with students and community members at the City Adult Learning Centre in Toronto today, to talk about how 150,000 people in Ontario will be eligible to receive free tuition as a result of the improvements the provincial government is making to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
“We’re moving forward with the most ambitious reform of student financial assistance in North America because our government believes that a person’s ability to access postsecondary education should be based on their ability to learn, and not on their ability to pay. The new OSAP will provide over 150,000 students across the province with free average tuition.” — Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government
The new OSAP will make average tuition free for students, including mature students and adult learners, whose family income is less than $50,000 per year. Students with children may be eligible to receive OSAP funding for child care costs, and students from higher-income families will also benefit from more generous grants and loans.
Ontario has also launched a new online calculator to allow students to find out instantly whether they qualify for free tuition or other grants from the province. For example, if you are a single parent, have three children and earn $60,000 a year, the new OSAP calculator will tell you that you are eligible for more than $16,000 of non-repayable aid, making average university tuition free with money left over for books and fees.
Expanding access to college and university is part of our government’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Students applying to college and university for September 2017 will be the first to benefit from the new OSAP.
- About 80 per cent of all OSAP recipients will graduate with less provincial debt.
- In 2014-15, Ontario issued almost $1.3 billion in grants and loans to students.
- Adult education offered by school boards provides opportunities for adults to return to complete their high school diploma and/or to complete specific courses required for entry into postsecondary education institutions and apprenticeship programs.
- More than 1,700 candidates were successful in writing their General Educational Development tests and acquired an Ontario Equivalency Certificate last year.