Ford government announces changes to OSAP eligibility, grace period

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By The News Team

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) will soon be reverting back to the 2016-17 framework, announced Ontario’s minister of training, colleges and universities on Thursday.

It is unclear if this means students from low-income families will receive grants covering their full tuition, a program which was introduced in 2017.

Family income thresholds for students qualifying for OSAP will be reduced for the 2019-20 school year.  The provincial government, led by Doug Ford, will now charge interest during the previous six-month grace period for returning loans after students graduate.

Among other changes to post-secondary finances, students will be able to choose which student fees they want to pay, and what the fees are put toward.  

In a press release, minister Merrilee Fullerton noted that ancillary fees can cost students up to $2,000 per year.

“We will ensure students have transparency and freedom of choice regarding the campus services and organizations which get access to their money,” said Fullerton. “Students are adults and we are treating them as such by giving them the ability to see where their money is going.

“The previous government believed in handing out OSAP money to some of Ontario’s highest income earners with virtually no meaningful criteria for success.”

Fullerton also formally announced that post-secondary tuition will be lowered by 10 per cent.

“Ryerson University recognizes the financial benefit a reduction in tuition will bring to our students,” the university said in a statement to The Eyeopener. “We will be assessing how these changes may affect our students and the operating budget for the university.”

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