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Restoring financial sustainability to OSAP

Under the previous government, OSAP had grown into a program that was fiscally unsustainable. A recent report from the Auditor General notes that by 2020-21 OSAP could cost the province over $2 billion - a 50 per cent net increase from spending in 2016-17. In fact, the cost of OSAP is already $2 billion in 2018-19 alone. The Auditor General's report also highlighted concerns with the way OSAP was administered under the previous government. The report supports the urgent need for financial sustainability, so future generations of Ontario's students can access financial support for postsecondary education. 

For the 2019-20 school year, OSAP will:

  • Continue to provide grants to students with the greatest financial need;
  • Ensure that students who receive OSAP are those who have shown they have financial need and eliminate the non-needs-based portion of the Ontario Student Grant;
  • Increase the share of funds going to low income families from 69 to 72 per cent;
  • Ensure 82 per cent of grants will go to students with a family income of less than $50,000, up from 76 per cent under the previous government;
  • Reduce the family income thresholds associated with eligibility for the Ontario Student Grant, provide some provincial loans to low-income students and increase the per-term cap for the Ontario Student Loan;
  • Base the calculation for student financial assistance on a contribution from students that reflects the recent increase to minimum wage and increase and restore parental contribution rates back to 2017-18 amounts;
  • Make the computer allowance reflect a one-time purchase, rather than an expense eligible for each year of study;
  • Change the definition of independent student for Ontario aid to a student who has been out of school for six years, up from four years, with parental income factored into the OSAP needs assessment for students up to six years out of high school, to address concerns outlined in the recent Auditor General's report;
  • Change the grant-to-loan ratio to a minimum of 50 per cent loan from Ontario for students in second-entry programs (e.g. post-graduate college certificates, graduate degrees, law, etc.) at publicly-assisted Ontario institutions and for students attending institutions outside of Ontario;
  • Maintain the current $25,000 annual income threshold for the Repayment Assistance Plan, ensuring that students can get on their feet after school before they need to start repaying their loan; and
  • Align Ontario's repayment terms with that of the federal government by charging interest during the six-month grace period, to reduce complexity for students.


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Awesome. Given the thin about extending the time before you become an independent student, I, and many other students, will not be eligible for OSAP for our first/second/in some cases 3rd year of medical school. I was lucky enough that I got some help from my parents through undergrad, but, very reasonably, am supporting myself through all of med school without help. I don't really want to put an extra 15k+ on the LOC, but too bad for me I guess...

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So.. Ontario took away tuition tax credits under the Wynne government to increase OSAP grant amounts. Now Doug is dropping tuition 10% (cool), decreasing grant amounts and likely total loan amounts. I'm certain that the decrease in OSAP will be greater than the decrease in tuition. I see this as a lose, lose, lose for us. At least bring back the tuition tax credits if you're going to do this...

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11 minutes ago, canada747 said:

@la marzocco What do you think this is going to do for OOP students? They can't cut tuition prices outside of Ontario but definitely can cut our funding :(

I think your speculation is correct. Tuition prices would be set by the OOP institutions but our funding would see a decrease. It's unfortunate. As an aside, Ontario residents studying OOP were previously treated differently than those studying at an IP institution. There used to be 3 tiers of support: IP universities/colleges, then OOP universities/colleges, then international universities/colleges. I think Wynne changed the rules circa 2015? to treat Ontario residents studying OOP to be treated to the same level of grants and loans as an Ontario resident studying at an IP institution. Ontario residents studying internationally still had minimal support. My biggest sigh of relief was that he didn't change the rules on those studying OOP. So I guess that is the silver lining?

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