Talk about a bombshell.
The Ontario government just announced its 2016 Budget. And low-income students with the hopes of attending post-secondary are front of mind. To begin, families with an income under $50,000 will be receiving large grants to offset tuition costs. Middle-income families will be getting a break, too.
- College students from low-income families will receive more than $2,768, which is said to be the average college tuition.
- University students from low-income families will receive more than $6,160, which is said to be the average university tuition.
- Some 50% of middle-income students (families grossing $83,000 or less) will be eligible for grants totalling their tuition costs.
- Grants will depend on the student’s situation. Ie. do they live away from home, family size, family income, etc.
- In total, the government has earmarked $1.3 billion in grants for 2017.
What This Means for Rest of the Country
Well, it’s a start. This move will definitely turn heads in other provinces. But Ontario isn’t the first. Earlier last year, Newfoundland and Labrador made headlines when they announced they would drop student loans in favour for non-repayable grants. These actions are a definite move in the right direction, but there are more questions to be asked. Like what about low income students that want to go into engineering, which has an annual tuition price-tag north of $10,000? The tuition freeze is to end when this comes into effect. What will that mean for overall cost of tuition for other students?
What SLNers Are Saying
We asked Ontario students to weigh in. Here’s what they had to say:
@StudentLifeNet I think it’s going to open up opportunities for a lot more people, and certainly lighten the student debt burden. #ONbudget
— Raeci Jane (@raeraegck) February 26, 2016
@StudentLifeNet great idea. However people who think this money comes from no where are ignorant. You pay for it somehow. — Connor Koch (@ronnockoch) February 26, 2016
@StudentLifeNet I need to move to Ontario.
— James Israelson (@TheIsraelson) February 26, 2016
This gives me so much hope for the next few years of my life… #fuckyeahontario https://t.co/0e1Yjeyh9n — Marian (@_fictionality_) February 26, 2016
@StudentLifeNet this is such an amazing step forward for post secondary education. I’m so proud to live in Ontario!!
— Elizabeth Avery (@elizabeth_avery) February 26, 2016
Thats amazing! @SaskParty Will you do this? https://t.co/jS58tETaRf
— nicole tryhorn (@TryhornNicole) February 26, 2016
This is such a huge step forward in funding Canadian education, way to go Ontario!! https://t.co/nZPQMXJcX1
— アティラ (@a_mihalicz) February 26, 2016
— bri برِنين (@brinean) February 26, 2016
Have your say. What are your thoughts? Go to school outside of Ontario? Fire off in the comments.
Illustration by SLN’s Satesh Mistry.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.