More Student Spaces, More Grants, More Assistance

    Student Loan Default Rate Lowest Ever Measured

    TORONTO, March 7 /CNW/ - McGuinty government initiatives are producing
more postsecondary education opportunities than ever before and more student
aid is going to the students who need it the most.
    "Over 86,000 more students have the opportunity to go to college and
university since our government started - a 22 per cent increase. More
students are receiving grants - there are three times as many grants going to
120,000 students," said Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Chris
    Directing more assistance to students who need it most helps those
students get into college and university. Students are now eligible for $2,550
more - a 27 per cent increase - for a total of $11,900 in maximum annual
assistance after an 11 year freeze. More grants and enhanced debt management
programs also help to limit student debt. In 2006, the student loan default
rate was 10.3 per cent, its lowest-ever recorded rate and less than half the
23.5 per cent rate in 1997.
    Under the $6.2 billion Reaching Higher plan, the McGuinty government has
invested in more opportunities, more assistance and greater quality. Some

    -   Funding 86,000 more student spaces in college and university compared
        to 2002-03, a 22 per cent increase.
    -   Providing about $700 million more this year for more faculty, staff,
        student services and equipment - a funding increase of 21 per cent
        since 2004-05 - compared to decreased funding from 1991-2003.
    -   Investing $25 million from 2005-07 to help postsecondary institutions
        deliver programs that improve access for francophones, Aboriginal
        peoples, persons with disabilities and those who would be the first
        in their families to attend college or university.
    -   60,000 upfront tuition grants for low- to middle-income students this
        year; tuition grants were reintroduced by the government in 2005-06.
    -   Limiting student debt with Ontario Student Opportunity Grants for
        about 80,000 students by forgiving all OSAP over $7,000 a year.

    The new OSAP Access Window website - available at - helps
college and university students more easily access increased financial aid and
scholarships. The Access Window helps students estimate the cost of tuition,
books, mandatory fees and living expenses alongside the amount of loans and
grants that are available to help pay for their studies through OSAP.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Sheamus Murphy, Minister's Office, (416)
325-7215; Tanya Blazina, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2746; Public
Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

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