Students to McGuinty: Turn your grant into a true tuition fee reduction

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2011 /CNW/ - Students are pleased that the election promise of a new student grant was reaffirmed today by the Ontario Government, but warn that the proposed grant will leave out hundreds of thousands of low- and middle-income students who may believe they are eligible.

"Ontario families should not be confused. The government has not promised to cut tuition fees. Dalton McGuinty is instead offering a grant that one-third of all students will be eligible to receive," said Sandy Hudson Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.

During the election, the Liberal party clarified that students in professional programs, part-time students and students who are independent of their parents will be ineligible for the proposed tuition fee grant. This narrows eligibility to just one-third of all students and will potentially exclude those students who need it most.

"This plan will waste millions of dollars in creating unnecessary bureaucracy to administer a grant with such criteria. Students instead want to see a real tuition fee reduction, for all students," said Hudson.

Students have met with Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Glen Murray to raise these concerns, and look forward to working with the Ministry to ensure that tuition fee policies are equitable and help all students.

Quick facts:

Average undergraduate tuition fees are $6,640, the highest in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. The Ontario Government's $1,600 grant would only amount to 30 per cent if tuition fees were $5,400.

If the money dedicated to this grant were applied to tuition fees directly, all students would receive a 13 per cent tuition fee reduction, and there would be virtually no administration costs.

44% of students currently receiving financial aid through the Ontario Student Assistance Program are considered independent of their parents and will not be eligible for the tuition grant, even though they have demonstrable financial need.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 300,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of Ontario.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Nora Loreto, Communications and Government Relations Coordinator. 416-925-3825 or communications@cfsontario.ca


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