Ontario Students Seek Acknowledgment of Post-Secondary as a Core Tool in Poverty Reduction

    TORONTO, March 24 /CNW/ - Representatives of the Ontario Undergraduate
Student Alliance will be available for comments following the release of
tomorrow's provincial budget. During the budget consultation process, students
across Ontario made a strong case for the need to increase funding to at least
the national average, the importance of making further improvements to student
financial assistance and the benefits of replacing the tuition and education
tax-credits with targeted grants for underrepresented students.
    "The McGuinty government has outlined their interest in enabling Ontario
by reducing poverty," said David Simmonds, President of OUSA. "We look forward
to hearing the McGuinty team acknowledge the important role that education
plays in our social prosperity and economic vitality."

    Priorities that must be addressed by the provincial government include:

    -   A commitment to provide additional operating and capital funding to
        universities in order to bring us to the national funding average.
    -   The replacement of the tuition and education tax credit with an
        annual $300 million up-front, non-repayable grant to students in
        post-secondary education.
    -   A commitment to provide students from low-income families with up-
        front access grants through to degree completion. This would
        constitute an annual investment of $140 million.
    -   Lower the current interest rate paid on student loans to prime-minus
    -   Increased funding for early outreach programs across the province
        targeting underrepresented youth.

    Available for comments after the budget release:

    David Simmonds
    President, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

    Chris Locke
    Executive Director, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

    For more information on OUSA's policy and campaign activities, please
visit www.ousa.ca.

    OUSA represents the interests of more than 140,000 professional and
undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at seven institutions
across the province.

For further information:

For further information: Chris Locke, Executive Director, OUSA, (416)
341-9948; David Simmonds, President, OUSA, (519) 932-0018; Howie Bender,
Director of Communications, OUSA, (416) 341-9948

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Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

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