TORONTO, June 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario's universities are giving the opportunity of a postsecondary education to current and former Crown wards and youth leaving the care of Children's Aid Societies.
"A university education can transform lives, and Ontario's universities are so happy to partner with the province to provide this opportunity for young people leaving care," says Alastair Summerlee, Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and President of the University of Guelph.
"There is no greater gift than the opportunity of a postsecondary education," says COU President and CEO Bonnie M. Patterson. "Ontario's universities are making a difference in the lives of young people who can achieve independence and make their mark on society. Universities and the government are dedicated to ensuring that finances are not a barrier to accessing postsecondary education; all qualified and willing students should be able to attend."
For the 2013-14 school year, postsecondary institutions and the government will increase financial aid provided for youth in and leaving care by:
- Providing a Living and Learning grant of $500 a month to youth aged 21 to 24 enrolled in Ontario Student Assistance Program eligible programs.
- Covering 100 per cent of their tuition fees, up to a maximum of $6,000 a year.
Through the new 100% Tuition Aid for Youth Leaving Care program, Ontario will cover the first half of tuition costs through the Access Grant for Crown Wards and the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant for eligible students. All Ontario's public universities will cover the remaining cost of tuition, for up to four years of study.
A university education is one of the best investments young people can make in their future, leading to better career opportunities, higher incomes and life-long skills.
- The latest statistics show that 87.5 per cent of Ontario students are finding employment within six months of graduation, and 93.1 per cent are employed within two years.
- University students are earning an average of $42,403 six months after graduation, more than those with any other level of education.
- Within two years of graduation, 82 per cent of graduates working full time say their work is related to the skills they gained in their university programs.
- A recent report by CIBC listed 25 occupations showing signs of a skills shortage over the next several years. Almost all of these occupations require a university degree.
COU is a membership organization of 21 publicly assisted universities in Ontario. It works closely with the provincial and federal governments to shape public policies that help universities deliver high-quality programs for students, and the research and innovation that improves the social, cultural and economic well-being of Ontarians.
SOURCE: Council of Ontario Universities
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