TORONTO, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario students appreciate that the government has not extended the existing tuition framework, which allowed 5 per cent annual tuition fee increases, and are pleased that the government has signaled that they will prohibit the charging of deferral fees for students receiving financial assistance. While it does not go as far as students had hoped, the announcement today makes progress towards a more affordable framework than previously existed, and will slow cost increases for Ontario students compared to what they have experienced under the existing framework.
Students made a number of recommendations for a more affordable tuition framework this past fall in our government submission Ontario's Next Tuition Framework. In it, students recommended that the government freeze tuition for at least one year and increase per-student funding to universities at the rate of inflation to partially compensate. In the event tuition fees would increase in future years, students asked that they not increase above the rate of inflation, as measured by the Ontario Consumer Price Index.
"Students are disappointed that the government has not frozen tuition for a year, nor limited all future increases to no more than the rate of inflation," said Alysha Li, OUSA President. "Although we recognize that the new framework is better than the 5 percent annual increases we've experienced since 2006, at 3 percent, it is still above Ontario's rate of inflation."
Students are pleased that the government has accepted students' recommendation to prohibit charging deferral fees for students receiving financial assistance. Deferral fees, charged to students who could not pay their tuition by payment deadlines that have been set progressively earlier in the summer, are an unfair practice that increases costs for students with the highest financial need.
"Although today's tuition framework announcement does not reflect many of the recommendations of Ontario's students, we do recognize that this is a more affordable alternative to the framework that has been in place for the last seven years," continued Li. "As an organization, we will continue to work with the government to see that the steps taken today towards a more fair, affordable and accessible tuition framework are further developed in the future."
About the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)
OUSA represents the interests of over 155,000 professional and undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at nine member associations across Ontario.
SOURCE: Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
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