This year, spaces for more than 42,000 new full-time students are being created in colleges and universities across Ontario, making post-secondary education more accessible than ever.
Dozens of building projects at colleges and universities also support 3,300 graduate students and 379 new medical students working to pursue their career goals and succeed in the workforce.
Seven out of 10 jobs will need a post-secondary education in the future. That’s why the provincial government is providing students with more financial assistance than ever before, making it easier for students to access a post-secondary education by:
•providing the Student Access Guarantee (this ensures no qualified student will be prevented from going to college or university due to lack of financial support);
•making enhancements to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), including grants for students from low- and middle-income families and increased financial support for books and tuition;
•new supports for students who need help to repay their loans (graduates experiencing financial difficulties will never be asked to pay more than 20 percent of their family income towards their loans, with loan forgiveness after 15 years, or 10 years for students with disabilities); and
•ensuring a stronger start with less debt for students who work (students will be able to keep more of the income they earn while in school without it affecting their OSAP funding).
These improvements are part of the provincial government’s “Open Ontario” plan to help every student succeed and give the province a competitive edge in securing a strong economy for the future.
“We recognize that the skills and knowledge of our people are our province’s greatest strengths,” said Training, Colleges and Universities minister John Milloy.
“In 2010, our government took steps to encourage more students to pursue and complete college and university,” he noted.
“Building a stronger and better educated workforce will help Ontario meet the demands of the new economy,” Milloy added.
This year, the government is providing $81 million in additional financial support for college and university students.
Since 2003-04, there has been a 56 percent increase in the number of Ontario college and university students qualifying for OSAP.
Ontario’s 62 percent post-secondary education rate is one of the highest in the world.
The government’s “Open Ontario” plan will raise the number of Ontarian’s with a post-secondary education credential to 70 percent.