Ontario students join federal call for renewal of grant funding

    TORONTO, Sept. 27 /CNW/ - Ontario students have joined a call from
student organizations across Canada who are concerned about the looming
$350 million hole in Canada's financial aid system. In 2009, the mandate of
the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation is set to expire and students are
demanding that the Federal government commit to the preservation of funding
which significantly impacts the accessibility of post-secondary education in
Canada according to the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.
    The Foundation provides approximately 140 million dollars in access
bursaries and awards to students across Ontario, the majority in the form of
non-repayable grants. Each year since its inception, the Foundation has
distributed approximately 100,000 non-repayable awards at an average of $3,000
each. To date, the Foundation has delivered more than half a million bursaries
and scholarships worth more than $2.2 billion to students across Canada.
Removing the funding from the student financial aid system would mean that
thousands of students in Ontario would see the elimination of the Millennium
Bursaries, Access Bursaries or the Millennium Excellence Awards provided by
the foundation.
    "The grants and bursaries provided with the current funding help students
in our province pay for post-secondary education," said David Simmonds,
President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. "Removing this
funding would cripple the students with the highest need. Our federal
government should be working to improve access; the absence of real leadership
on this challenge is threatening access and affordability for thousands of
students in Ontario".
    Ensuring every qualified student is able to attend post-secondary
education is essential for the future prosperity of our nation. This is a time
to increase investments in students, and nurture the innovative economy that
Canada needs. Failure to address this challenge moves Canada in a regressive
    OUSA joined the following organizations in their call to government:
Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations (ANSSA), Alberta College and
Technical Institute Student Executive Council (ACTISEC), the Canadian Alliance
of Student Associations (CASA), College Student Alliance (CSA), Council of
Alberta University Students (CAUS), New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA).
    For more information on OUSA's current policy and campaign initiatives,
please visit http://www.ousa.ca/

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
David Simmonds, President, OUSA, (519) 932-0018; Chris Locke, Executive
Director, OUSA, (647) 285-7082

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Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

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