Students support new tuition grant as significant investment in financial assistance

TORONTO, Jan. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Students welcome the new Ontario tuition grant as a significant step forward for the affordability and accessibility of post-secondary education in Ontario. This new program is going to immediately help thousands of students across Ontario meet the costs of attending post-secondary education.

"Targeted grants that reduce students' up-front costs have been a top priority for OUSA in its work with the government, and we are extremely pleased to see the government come through with the one of the largest investments in grants in the province's history," said Sean Madden, President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA).

The new program launched today will be available to full-time domestic Ontario undergraduate and college students out of high school for four years or less with combined parental incomes of less than $160,000. For this winter term, eligible undergraduates will receive $800. Going forward, the grant will be tied each year to 30% of the average fees for first-entry non-professional students. Unlike other grant programs, students will not need to take out a student loan to access the new grant. The government also announced the phasing out of three other financial assistance programs: the Ontario Trust for Student Support; the Textbook and Technology Grant; and the Queen Elizabeth II Aiming for the Top Scholarship.

"It's unfortunate to see that the new program is being paid for in part by the cancelling of student aid programs and offsets in student support elsewhere. However, OUSA is pleased to see that its recommendation to extend eligibility for students with disabilities has been welcomed by the government," continued Madden. "We are hoping to find ways moving forward to strengthen the program and help other high-need students, such as mature Aboriginal students and older students with children."

"This government understands that the path to prosperity starts by putting students first. We look forward to working with them on the next important step: developing a new tuition framework for September that sustains the value of this investment and is fair, predictable and affordable," said Sam Andrey, Executive Director of OUSA.

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance represents the interests of over 145,000 professional and undergraduate, full- and part-time university students from nine student associations.

SOURCE Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

For further information:

or to arrange an interview, please contact Alvin Tedjo, OUSA Director of Communications, work: (416) 341-9948, cell: (647) 669-6885, email: communications@ousa.ca

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Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

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