By Mariana Ionove
The Ontario Liberals have promised a tuition grant that will save low- and middle-income students up to $1,600 each year.
The initiative is part of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s platform for the upcoming election and would reduce tuition by 30 per cent across the board, saving university students $1,600 and college students $730 each year. The Liberals also promised to cap student debt at $7,300 per year and reduce loan repayments for unemployed and low-income graduates.
But Melissa Palermo, Ryerson Students’ Union vice president of education, said McGuinty’s postsecondary education platform would only benefit some students because the grant is designed for families with an annual income below $160, 000.
“We believe education should be affordable and accessible for everyone,” said Palermo.
She also noted that the Liberals have made no promise to reduce tuition fees, which she believes would be a more effective way to make post-secondary education affordable. McGuinty pledged that tuition fees will not increase by more than five per cent annually, but Palermo said that’s not good enough for students.
“What saves students money is a reduction or a freeze on tuition fees,” said Palermo.