Who will bailout students?

    TORONTO, Sept. 4 /CNW/ - 16.4% of students in Canada were unemployed in
the month of August, according to a report released today by Statistics
Canada. This has been the hardest summer since Statistics Canada began
collecting student unemployment data in 1977.
    "Students have been unable to find summer employment and have not earned
enough to pay the bills," said Dan Moulton, President of the Ontario
Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). "It's time for the government to take
responsibility and provide greater assistance to help students endure the
economic downturn."
    Last year 226,476 students needed the Ontario Student Assistance Program
(OSAP) in order to attend post-secondary education. OSAP requires each student
to contribute a minimum amount of summer income toward his or her education,
regardless of whether or not the student was employed. OSAP then deducts this
amount - at least $2,710 - from the loan the student receives.
    High unemployment this summer has drastically reduced students' ability
to contribute to their education. Students have long advocated for an OSAP
system that takes into account actual cost of living and a reasonable student
contribution. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) stands with
the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) in calling on our
provincial and federal governments to remove the required summer income
contribution for the upcoming school year.
    "Given the current economic climate, it's unreasonable to assume all
students will earn enough to meet the minimum OSAP contribution," said
Moulton. "It's crucial that the Ontario government show leadership on this
issue by immediately waiving the minimum summer contribution."

    OUSA represents the interests of over 140,000 professional and
undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at seven Ontario

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact:
Alvin Tedjo, Director of Communications & Public Relations, OUSA, Ontario
Undergraduate Student Alliance, (O) (416) 341-9948, (F) (416) 341-0358, (C)
(647) 669-6885, communications@ousa.on.ca; Dan Moulton, President, OUSA, (519)
788-3223, president@ousa.on.ca; Alexi White, Executive Director, OUSA, (416)
341-9948, alexi@ousa.on.ca

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Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

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