MPP LECCE BACKS ONTARIO GOVERNMENT'S PLAN TO LOWER STUDENT TUITION BY 10 PER CENT
Updated: Jan 24, 2019
First ever province-wide tuition reduction will make college and university more affordable for students and families in Vaughan and King Township
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2018
Toronto - Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, along with member of Parliament (MPP) Stephen Lecce, announced that for the first time in Ontario's history, students at every publicly-assisted college and university will see their tuition rates go down by 10 per cent. The tuition rate reduction is the latest step in the Ontario's Government's plan to keep more money in the pockets of students and families.
“We believe that if you’ve got the grades, you deserve access to an affordable post secondary education,” said Minister Fullerton. “By lowering tuition across the entire province, our Government is ensuring that all qualified Ontario students will have more affordable access to high quality skills, training, and education.”
“For the first time in Ontario’s history, our government is lowering tuition fees for all students by 10%. This means we are putting money back into the pockets of hardworking students and their families,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan, Deputy Government House Leader, and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier and Minister of Infrastructure. “Students across Vaughan and King Township will benefit from a reduction in tuition fees ranging on average between $330 to upwards of $1000 depending on their program, whether they attend Seneca College in King, commute locally to York University, or study away from home at any other publicly-assisted college and university in Ontario.”
As part of its overall reform of post secondary education affordability, Minister Fullerton also announced that the Government will be refocussing the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to ensure it remains sustainable and viable for future students while directing a greater proportion of OSAP funding to families with the greatest financial need.
“The previous government believed in handing out OSAP money to some of Ontario’s highest income earners with virtually no meaningful criteria for success,” said Minister Fullerton. “It is no surprise that student enrolment has remained flat while tuition rates skyrocketed. Instead of using OSAP to indirectly subsidize future rounds of tuition hikes, we will focus our resources on the families in greatest need while challenging our partners in the post secondary sector to deliver better value for the high tuitions they already charge.”
Minister Fullerton also announced a Student Choice Initiative, giving every student in Ontario the freedom to choose which student fees they want to pay, and how that money will be allocated. Fees for essential health and safety initiatives will continue to be mandatory.
Student fees in Ontario can range as high as $2000 per year and, too often, force students to pay for services they do not use and for organizations they do not support. The opt-out initiative will ensure students have transparency and freedom of choice regarding the campus services and organizations which get access to their money.
Reducing tuition and increasing the affordability of college and university is part of the government’s plan to help people get the training they need to get good paying jobs.
“We are making post secondary education more affordable in Vaughan and King Township through these historic reforms, refocussing supports to our students and families who need it most,” said MPP Lecce. “These changes will help set up the next generation for professional success without the financial burden, giving more of our students opportunities to find a job and build a career right here in Ontario.”
The government’s historic tuition reduction for 2019-20 represents the first time Ontario student tuition has decreased across all funding-eligible programs
Average university tuition in Ontario has increased significantly since the mid-1990s and is currently the highest in any Canadian province.
A student attending Seneca College – King Campus enrolled in a nursing degree program would see a $680 reduction in their 2019-20 academic year tuition.
An arts and science undergraduate student at York University would see a reduction of $700.
Students pay fees in addition to tuition, which can range from approximately several hundred dollars to $2,000 per academic year.
The Auditor General recently tabled a report highlighting concerns with the way OSAP was administered, as well as drastic overspending. The report concluded that despite the previous government’s excessive spending, OSAP did not result in proportionately higher enrolment.
The government will administer a fund to help smaller, Northern institutions adjust to the tuition rate reduction.