Students can apply for free tuition starting today
Starting today, students can apply for the new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for the 2018-19 school year — the earliest launch of OSAP applications ever.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at Glenforest Secondary School today to talk with students about the new OSAP and changes that are making college and university more affordable for Ontario families. Wynne said, this year, more than 210,000 full-time university and college students are receiving free tuition for the first time ever. Almost all students who receive OSAP get some or all of their funding as a grant — money they will never have to pay back. The province is also making the process of repaying student loans fairer and more flexible. Students will not have to start repaying the Ontario portion of their student loans until they are earning a minimum of $35,000 a year, a $10,000 increase from the previous minimum of $25,000.
“Students and their families need to know about these changes to OSAP, because for the majority of families in Ontario the new OSAP means a vastly more affordable college or university education. Through free tuition, by providing more upfront grants and by giving young people more time to pay back their loans, we are building a fairer postsecondary system for everyone,” stated Wynne.
The updated application process includes an OSAP calculator that lets students quickly see what financial assistance they could get. Students will receive an estimate of costs including tuition and available financial aid — helping students and their families get the information they need to make decisions and plan for the future.
Other actions underway to make life more affordable for students include:
- Protecting student renters against unfair rent increases and evictions
- Working with eCampusOntario to develop and provide free and low-cost online textbooks
- Raising the minimum wage so working students can better afford the costs of going to school
- Free prescription medications for children and youth under 25 starting this January.
- The new OSAP application is launching four months earlier than in previous years. Applications for OSAP are up by nearly 20 per cent for the 2017-18 academic year.
- Immediately upon completing their online university or college application, students can apply to OSAP and be directed to the application.
- Students from families with a combined income of up to $175,000 will benefit from more generous grants to assist with college and university expenses.