Committed To Building Brighter Future For Our Youth

Ontario Liberals Have A Plan to Help Youth Reach Their Full Potential

TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - Ontario Liberals are committed to making postsecondary education more accessible and affordable to help our young people reach their full potential, building a brighter future for all Ontarians, Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.

"If we're going to win the future, we need all young Ontarians at their best," McGuinty said to a crowd of Ontario Young Liberals in Toronto.  "That's why we're committed to helping our youth achieve success in school, go on to postsecondary education and get a good job."

Working together, we've added 200,000 more postsecondary spaces, brought back up-front grants, doubled student aid, increased the graduation rate and helped more students get a job within six months of graduating.

"What we've achieved together in postsecondary education for our students over the last eight years is nothing short of amazing," McGuinty said. "We've made education a top priority.  And today, we have the highest postsecondary education attainment rate among all 34 OECD countries. But there is more to do."

To continue to make sure postsecondary education remains accessible and affordable and stays within everyone's reach, Ontario Liberals are going to help lower- and middle-income families with a 30 per cent postsecondary undergraduate tuition grant for full-time students. That means — every year — the families of five out of six full-time, undergraduate students will save $1,600 per student in university and $730 per student in college.

"We understand the importance of getting a high-quality, affordable education," McGuinty said.  "That's why our plan continues to make education a priority.  We'll make the necessary investments to increase the number of spaces available and reduce average tuition by 30 per cent tuition for lower- and middle-income families."

Ontario Liberal Plan to make postsecondary education more accessible and affordable also includes:

  • Increasing postsecondary attainment by adding 60,000 new spaces;
  • Building three new undergraduate satellite campuses;
  • Continuing to cap student debt at $7,300 for each year of undergraduate study; and
  • Providing students who work in the not-for-profit sector with an additional six-month interest-free grace period after graduation — meaning one full year after of no payments, no interest.

"Ontario Liberals are the only party that truly champions postsecondary education," McGuinty said.  "Postsecondary is a big part of our record of success for Ontario families and is a bigger part of our plan to keep Ontario moving forward, together."

The Hudak PCs have $14 billion in unfunded giveaways and tax cuts that would mean deep cuts to schools and hospitals.  The Horwath NDP would introduce a crushing $9 billion in job killing taxes.  And last time the NDP were in government they promised to eliminate tuition — instead they raised it 50 per cent.  Both would take us off track at the worst time.

Only the Ontario Liberals have made postsecondary education a priority and will continue to make postsecondary education more accessible and affordable for Ontario families.

The full platform is available at www.theontarioway.ca.

backgrounder


September 25, 2011

NEW TUITION GRANT FOR STUDENTS

Ontario Liberals have been working hard to build the best-educated workforce in the world — from full-day kindergarten to university, college and apprenticeships.

A postsecondary education is as necessary today as a high school diploma was a few generations ago. Experts say 70 per cent of the jobs created in the future will need workers with a high level of skill and education.

Ontario Liberals want every student to have the opportunity to succeed and we're giving them the support they need to get there. In particular, we're going to support all lower-and middle-income families with a new tuition grant for full-time undergraduate students.

This will improve access to education for more Ontario students and help us reach our goal of having 70 per cent of all Ontarians get a postsecondary education.

We are already well on our way. Today, Ontario has the highest rate of enrolment in postsecondary education in Canada.

Since 2003, enrolment has increased in postsecondary education by 26 per cent, representing a roughly 4 per cent growth rate each year since 2003. The average growth rate for the rest of the country is about half that.

Our plan builds on our success in postsecondary education. To reduce postsecondary costs, we currently provide grants for lower-income Ontario families.  Now, we're taking the next step.

HELPING ONTARIO'S MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES

We need to make sure postsecondary education remains accessible and affordable for lower- and middle-income families because 70 per cent of future jobs are going to require it.

Starting in January 2012, full-time undergraduate students with family incomes under $160,000 — and who are less than four years out of high school — will qualify for the new tuition grant. The new tuition grant will save families $1,600 per student in university and $730 per student in college, each year.

Students will receive this grant every school year — for up to four years of an undergraduate program.

These amounts are based on a 30 per cent average undergraduate tuition for college and university in Ontario. A student will not receive more than these amounts if their tuition is higher than the average. However, a student will still receive these amounts if their tuition is lower than the average.

The amount of the grant will always be 30 per cent of average tuition, so it will increase proportionately with the rate of tuition inflation. Students will begin receiving the grant in January 2012, prorated on a half-year basis.

The new tuition grant will benefit 86 per cent of the full-time undergraduate student population. In total, it will save each student up to $6,400 for an undergraduate university program and $2,920 for an undergraduate college program.

This will bring the average amount of tuition paid by undergraduate students in Ontario to well below the Canadian average.

The new tuition grant will be paid directly to universities and colleges and will be deducted from students' tuition bill. Students will not have to qualify for OSAP to be eligible for the new tuition grant.

ONTARIO ACCESS GRANT AND ONTARIO STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES GRANT

Thanks to Ontario Liberals, the Ontario Access Grant (OAG) and the Ontario Student Opportunities Grant (OSOG) are already giving more students the chance to attend university or college.

The new tuition grant builds on these two grant programs by extending grant support for the first time to all middle-income students with family incomes under $160,000.

The Ontario Liberal plan builds on our success in postsecondary education. We're moving forward together, building a better Ontario for our children and grandchildren.

SOURCE Ontario Liberal Party

For further information:

Ontario Liberal Party Media Office:
416 961-3800 ext. 328

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