TORONTO, March 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Despite having been elected on the promise to reduce college and undergraduate tution fees by 30 per cent, Dalton McGuinty's 2012 budget cancels nine scholarship programs and increases tuition fees by five per cent, on average. Even when accounting for the limited help of the Ontario Tution Grant, the average student will have $1.20 of student aid clawed back through cuts and tution fee increases for every $1.00 invested.
"The Ontario 2012 budget further downloads costs onto students, contributes to a cumulative tution fee increase of up to 71 per cent since 2006 and eliminates grants that help Ontario's poorest students," said Sandy Hudson, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "'Education Premier' Dalton McGuinty continues to betray students through schemes, tuition fee increases and cuts to accessibility programs."
Students in Ontario currently owe a collective $9 billion in student debt to the provincial and federal governments. Today's budget eliminates $100 million in existing scholarships and assistance programs: Textbook and Technology Grant, Queen Elizabeth II Aiming for the Top Scholarship, Ontario Trust for Student Support, Ontario Special Bursary Program, Ontario Work Study Program, Fellowship for Studying in French, Aird Scholarship, Sir John A. MacDonald Scholarship, and the Ontario-Quebec Exchange Scholarship.
"Increasing tuition fees and eliminating scholarships is a recipe for disaster for Ontario students," said Hudson."This government has betrayed students for too long. We need the opposition parties to be strong advocates for an affordable, accessible post-secondary education system and demand changes to this budget."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 300,000 college and undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of the province.
For further information:
Sandy Hudson, chair, 416 722 8824
Nora Loreto, communications coordinator, 416 846 6672