TORONTO, May 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Students are encouraged by today's announcement that the Liberal government will be extending the Ontario Distance Grant to Francophone students wishing to study in French, but the grant will not offset previous cuts to assistance to students wishing to study in French. Last year, the Liberals cut the Fellowships for Studying In French in order to offset the costs of the Ontario Tuition Grant.
"Students are encouraged to see that the government recognizes the negative impacts of last year's cuts to student financial aid, including the elimination of the Fellowship for Studying in French," said Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Unfortunately, with tuition fees increasing for the eighth year in a row and funding for post-secondary education being cut, this grant will not address the lack of access to French education in Ontario.
Under the Ontario Distance Grant, Franco-Ontarians studying farther than 80 km from their family home will be eligible for assistance. If a student must relocate for their studies, they will receive $300 per year to assist in travel costs. If a student commutes to their program from this distance, they will receive $500 per semester.
The Fellowship for Studying In French encouraged Ontario students to study in French by providing up to 800 students with a $1,500 grant to pursue their studies.
"Francophone students face significant barriers, including high tuition fees and insufficient program offerings, that often prevent them from studying in their first language," said Anne-Marie Roy, Francophone and Bilingual Caucus Chairperson. "Providing assistance for travel costs for studying in French is a positive step, but it is not enough to ensure Franco-Ontarians have access to a college or university education."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the province's only bilingual student organization representing 300,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of the province.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario
For further information:
Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson, 416-925-3825 or firstname.lastname@example.org