Ontario's students demand more effective financial aid

    Students are deeply concerned with the way in which student funding is
    currently delivered.

    TORONTO, Oct. 22 /CNW/ - This morning the Canada Millennium Scholarship
Foundation (CMSF) released a report entitled, Ten Things You Need to Know
about Financial Support for Post-Secondary Students in Canada. This report
outlines the troubling fact that a large percentage of student financial
support in Ontario is delivered in the form of untargeted, post-graduation
    "With a looming budget deficit in Ontario, it is extremely important that
we create a student financial support system that functions as effectively as
possible," said Trevor Mayoh, President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student
Alliance (OUSA). "For Ontario students, this means reforming programs like
OSAP, the textbook and technology grant and tax-credits, which do not truly
focus on helping students with the highest need."
    OUSA has always worked hard to ensure that students in Ontario receive
the maximum amount of funding for post-secondary education. As a result, a
full 30 per cent of all student financial support across the country is now
non-repayable, a level which is twice as high as it was 15 years ago.
Unfortunately, these increases are in part due to the millennium access
bursaries, money which is coming to an end in 2009.
    "7.1 billion dollars in student financial assistance should be increasing
access to high quality, post-secondary education across the country," said
Howie Bender, Executive Director of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
(OUSA). "However, a near 10% drop in real dollars for Aboriginal funding
across the country and increases in untargeted aid are not something to be
applauded." OUSA looks forward to engaging Ontario's leaders in serious
discussions about utilizing the existing money invested into post-secondary
education as effectively as possible. This will ensure that investments target
those most in need and reduce the financial, social and informational barriers
for underrepresented groups.

    OUSA represents the interests of over 135,000 professional and
undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at seven institutions
across the province. For more information, please visit: www.ousa.ca

For further information:

For further information: Trevor Mayoh, President, OUSA, (416) 341-9948;
Tammy McQueen, Director of Communications, OUSA, (416) 341-9948

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Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

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