Students applaud Liberal commitment to increase affordability of post-secondary education

TORONTO, Sept. 5, 2011 /CNW/ - College and university students welcome a proposed new grant that would significantly reduce the cost of accessing post-secondary education in Ontario. The Ontario Liberal Party announced today that, if elected, they will provide a new grant to full-time college and undergraduate students with family incomes under $160,000. The grant will be available to approximately five out of six dependent students and will be equal to 30% of average tuition fees.

"Access to post-secondary education is the single greatest investment for the future of Ontario," said Natalie Cockburn, Vice President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. "By providing more grants and reducing students' up-front costs, this plan will help hundreds of thousands of students afford a higher education."

The new grant will be available this January and will automatically provide $1,600 to eligible undergraduate students and $730 to eligible college students each year. This commitment of over $400 million will be tied to tuition increases and will dramatically increase the funding available for need-based grants.

"This proposal should bring the cost of accessing post-secondary education in Ontario below the national average. This represents a significant and positive shift for students" added Anthony Boland, Vice President of the College Student Alliance.

In addition, the party has committed to target funding for three new satellite campuses that will concentrate on quality for undergraduate students. Students have long called for a renewed focus on teaching quality at our institutions, and today's plans demonstrate a willingness to address both growth and quality moving forward. The Ontario Liberal Party has also indicated that the student debt ceiling will remain in place and that tuition increases will continue to be regulated.

As part of the It's Your Vote campaign launched last week, college and university students released a joint platform, Our Vote, Our Future, which called for significant increases in need-based aid. Students are eager to work with all stakeholders toward enhancing the affordability, accessibility, quality and mobility of the post-secondary education system.

The College Student Alliance and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance represent over 280,000 college and university students at 34 student associations in communities across Ontario.

SOURCE Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

For further information:

or to arrange an interview:

Sam Andrey Executive Director, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
telephone: 416.727.0959

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Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

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