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Changes To Postsecondary Student Financial Support In Ontario

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http://www.omsa.ca/news/2016/3/23/press-release-re-changes-to-postsecondary-student-financial-support-in-ontario

 

 

 

 

"Most problematically, access to the OSG will be limited to 4 years of eligibility. Each year a student has previously received Ontario Tuition Grant support will eliminate one year of OSG eligibility. The 4-year limit will immediately exclude many medical students. Unfortunately, the excluded medical students will be those whose financial situation is dire enough to have required grant funding for their (much cheaper) undergraduate education. These students become the medical students most in need of support. Prohibiting their access to the OSG program may threaten to increase the debt load of this key demographic. "

 

There's no details yet as to how this is exactly going to work. But, from what I read, if you USED the OSG in the past, you may be limited since you can only use it for up to 4 years. However, 30% off tuition, if eligible, makes a big dent in the med school debt ( about 8k a year). Have you guys heard anything about this? 

 
 
 
What do you guys think?

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After my interviews I haven't really had the chance to think about tuition for medical school.That does sound unfortunate but it doesn't really concern me because I don't expect tuition to be a significant issue if I get accepted, though maybe I should think about it because I can't expect any external help with my funding, my parents don't have that kind of disposable income. I haven't looked too far into it but I will probably just end up taking loans from a bank.

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I feel like the financial barriers to medical education in Canada are becoming ridiculous. The MCAT, applications and interviews are already incredibly expensive. We need something like the Fees Assistance Program that we see in the US. 

 

For me this rule works out, but only because of my family's financial status. I only become eligible to apply to government assistance now that I have been out of high school for a period of time and would be able to cash in on the system for medical school. That being said, I don't have much debt and am not the person who needs this funding. 

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It seems that higher grants will be available for students from low-income families, but it'll be interesting to see how that will be applied if the students qualifying for those higher grants will have already been ineligible due to the 4-year limit. This could be wishful thinking, but could it be possible that the 4-year limit only applies for each degree level? (i.e. only four years per undergrad, so an extended or second undergrad will not be eligible, but medical school or graduate training will qualify for another category of funding?)

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It seems that higher grants will be available for students from low-income families, but it'll be interesting to see how that will be applied if the students qualifying for those higher grants will have already been ineligible due to the 4-year limit. This could be wishful thinking, but could it be possible that the 4-year limit only applies for each degree level? (i.e. only four years per undergrad, so an extended or second undergrad will not be eligible, but medical school or graduate training will qualify for another category of funding?)

 

 

I would hope so. Cause OSAP is helpful during undergrad for like 7K (30% of that is what... 2100$?). but 30% of 28 000... that's 8400$! I 

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It seems that higher grants will be available for students from low-income families, but it'll be interesting to see how that will be applied if the students qualifying for those higher grants will have already been ineligible due to the 4-year limit. This could be wishful thinking, but could it be possible that the 4-year limit only applies for each degree level? (i.e. only four years per undergrad, so an extended or second undergrad will not be eligible, but medical school or graduate training will qualify for another category of funding?)

 

Does anyone know how this works?

 

I used OSAP for my UG and currently owe a hefty amount, however, I will need to apply for OSAP in Medicine as well... Am I unable to do so given I have used 4 years of OSAP already?

 

EDIT: Just read OP and it states: 

"The 4-year limit will immediately exclude many medical students. Unfortunately, the excluded medical students will be those whose financial situation is dire enough to have required grant funding for their (much cheaper) undergraduate education. These students become the medical students most in need of support. Prohibiting their access to the OSG program may threaten to increase the debt load of this key demographic."

 

Who really qualifies for these circumstances?

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This is bad.

 

In UG, your OSAP is dependent on parental income. For you not to need OSOG means parental income is high, and so you can get OSOG in medical school. OSOG in medical school is higher than OSOC in UG.

 

If, during UG, your parental income is low, you get OSOG. By medical school, you would have used up the 4 years and can't get anymore when you really need it.

 

So the ones who really need it are the ones being shut out, whereas those who don't really need it will still be eligible

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This is frustrating. As someone with significant OSAP debt from UG and my Masters, it's unfortunate that I won't be eligible for this grant. I should qualify for a bank loan, and that's what I've planned for, but this is a slap in the face for low-middle income families. Isn't this a demographic we should be encouraging to pursue medicine? Barring grants from the institution, the cost of applying and completing medical school is becoming more and more prohibitive. I expect to be graduating with 250,000 to 300,000 dollars of debt (before the interest I'll accrue lol), and that's terrifying. Having the 30% off tuition is good, but any bit helps for those who need it.

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This is bad.

 

In UG, your OSAP is dependent on parental income. For you not to need OSOG means parental income is high, and so you can get OSOG in medical school. OSOG in medical school is higher than OSOC in UG.

 

If, during UG, your parental income is low, you get OSOG. By medical school, you would have used up the 4 years and can't get anymore when you really need it.

 

So the ones who really need it are the ones being shut out, whereas those who don't really need it will still be eligible

 

This is frustrating. As someone with significant OSAP debt from UG and my Masters, it's unfortunate that I won't be eligible for this grant. I should qualify for a bank loan, and that's what I've planned for, but this is a slap in the face for low-middle income families. Isn't this a demographic we should be encouraging to pursue medicine? Barring grants from the institution, the cost of applying and completing medical school is becoming more and more prohibitive. I expect to be graduating with 250,000 to 300,000 dollars of debt (before the interest I'll accrue lol), and that's terrifying. Having the 30% off tuition is good, but any bit helps for those who need it.

 

 

I totally 100% agree. I can't seem to find the logic behind this. Unless we misunderstood it...

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I don't think it will preclude anyone from attending medical school. People will still get OSAP but most likely a much higher portion of that will be loans instead of grants as compared to before.

 

I don't agree with the changes as they are as this is putting another barrier for low SES individuals to become physicians.

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For those interested:

 

I called OSAP about this and they said you are still eligible to receive funding if you have held 4 years of OSAP. I explained my situation where I used OSAP all throughout undergrad and was looking to receive funding during my medical degree, they ensured me that this is completely fine.

 

Not sure if the same holds for pursuing other degrees like a graduate degree etc.

Sauna and Ozymandias like this

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For those interested:

 

I called OSAP about this and they said you are still eligible to receive funding if you have held 4 years of OSAP. I explained my situation where I used OSAP all throughout undergrad and was looking to receive funding during my medical degree, they ensured me that this is completely fine.

 

Not sure if the same holds for pursuing other degrees like a graduate degree etc.

 

From what I understand, getting OSAP is not limited, but the getting the 30% back on tuition has a 4 year limit. 30% off  6000$ tuition is nothing compared to 30% off 26 000$ :/

quacksflaptogether likes this

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the government's arguement with all of these always seems to be that anyone in a professional program doesn't need assistance as they will get a great job at the end. 

 

I don't like that answer - I really don't like it actually - but in all of the variations that happen that seems to be the common theme. 

 

Cannot raise tuition more than something close to inflation - oh, except if it is a professional degree program like medicine, dent, law, vet.....those we can much more than that. Why - because there is job at the end people will pay for it and that is cheaper for the system than having the government pay for it. Side note - originally computer science was in that list as well when things are IT hot and jobs where everywhere.  In the long run those increases (which are getting close at this rate to doubling the tuition in 10 years) are the real killer. 

 

Now this OSAP thing - even if you get the max 30% off under this new plan somehow, I got basically the same amount under the old forgiveness system. I didn't have to do anything special or somehow hedge on using it up in my UG vs my medical school degree. Plus I got it as well for my UG. So overall that isn't good either. 

 

Not all extreme doom and gloom - but there is a point here where enough is enough, and the impact on who goes to medical school is just that much more affected. 

Edited by rmorelan
PhD2MD likes this

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I thought they announced that you don't have to pay tuition for UG anymore if you need financial assistance, then what happens to the rest of us who owe so much money?

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