McGuinty Government Helping Crown Wards Succeed



    Tuition Grants, Mentoring Program To Help Some Of Ontario's Most
    Vulnerable Youth Pursue Higher Education

    OTTAWA, Aug. 2 /CNW/ - Premier Dalton McGuinty today announced new
investments that will help send kids under the Province's care to college,
university or apprenticeship training.
    "It's a tremendous responsibility and an honour to help Ontario's current
and former Crown wards find the right path in life," said Premier McGuinty.
"By giving them the guidance and support they need to succeed in school, we
can help them reach their full potential - and that helps everyone in Ontario
succeed."
    The McGuinty government is building on the upfront Access grants
introduced in the Reaching Higher Plan with new tuition grants for all current
and former Crown wards.
    Starting in fall 2008, the government will provide current and former
Crown wards who are already eligible for Access grants with new grants
covering half their third and fourth year's tuition costs up to a maximum of
$3,000 each year.
    In addition, current and former Crown wards in programs less than two
years will also be newly eligible for a tuition grant of up to $3,000. The
McGuinty government will also cover the college and university application
fees for Crown wards starting in 2008.
    The government is also investing $500,000 to set up four education
championship teams - in Toronto, London, Ottawa and Thunder Bay - made up of
advocates and experts from children's aid societies, local school boards and
colleges and universities. The teams will offer mentoring, tutoring and
counselling to help Crown wards complete high school and transition to
college, university or apprenticeship training. The program will eventually be
available throughout the province.
    Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, joined
the Premier for today's announcement at the University of Ottawa.
    "As wards of the province, these youth are our responsibility - so it
falls to us to help them access and succeed in college, university or
training," said Bentley. "By providing special tuition grants for current and
former Crown wards and by creating education championship teams, we're helping
some of Ontario's most vulnerable youth overcome the many obstacles they face
on the road to higher education and fulfilling careers."
    "Providing stable educational supports for Crown wards throughout their
postsecondary education is key to providing them with the opportunity to
thrive," said Mary Anne Chambers, Minister of Children and Youth Services.
"Youth who are or have been under our care have told us that these kinds of
educational supports are needed to assist them in preparing for a successful
transition towards independence."
    The investments announced today are part of the McGuinty government's
strategy to help first generation students pursue postsecondary education. The
three-year, $30-million investment includes $3 million for Ontario First
Generation Student Bursaries to help students who need it most.
    Increasing access to postsecondary education is just one way the McGuinty
government is getting results for Ontario's youth.
    Other initiatives include:

    
      -  Investing $6.2 billion over five years in postsecondary education
         and training
      -  Doubling annual investment in student aid since 2003-04, helping
         nearly 200,000 students pay for the cost of higher education this
         year
      -  Establishing a new student access guarantee to ensure all qualified
         Ontario students can attend college or university, and
      -  Increasing the number of new apprenticeship registrations to 26,000
         annually by the end of 2007-08.

    "Education truly is the key to helping our kids fulfill their dreams,"
said Premier McGuinty. "We're going to keep working hard to help each and
every young person in Ontario make their hopes and dreams come true."

    Disponible en français

                   www.ontario.ca/premier  www.fairness.ca
    





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For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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