U of O students prepare to sit year out due to OSAP cuts
As the university year gets underway, the consequences of the cut to Ontario’s student grant and loan program are becoming clear — particularly for students from low-income families.
A number of University of Ottawa students say they’ve had to alter their course loads because of the $600-million cut to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
Others, like political science student James Casey, have decided to sit out the year to make ends meet.
“It’s very frustrating and very stressful,” said Casey, who this month was supposed to begin his third year.
Casey, who qualifies as a low-income student, said he knew he was in trouble when his OSAP grant was about $2,000 less than last year.
“I was on track to go back to school full time. But these cuts have been an enormous step back on the amount of time it’s going to take to graduate.”
PCs say program was unsustainable
The previous Liberal government’s program effectively offered free tuition to students from families making less than $50,000 a year.
The new Progressive Conservative government decided the program was unsustainable, however, slashing OSAP’s budget by 40 per cent.
- Twitter outrage: Students react to OSAP cuts
- ‘I’ve been just so upset’: Meet some of the students affected by OSAP cuts
“To do nothing to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Ontario Student Assistance Program would have been irresponsible,” said Ross Romano, the new minister of training, colleges and universities, in a statement to CBC.
Romano said Ontario’s auditor general had pointed out the free tuition strategy could see the cost of the program double to $2 billion by the 2020-21 school year.
The province has replaced it with an across-the-board tuition cut of 10 per cent. – CBC News
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These students do understand that this OSAP money needs to be paid back with interest. Right? Its not free money.
Students are complaining about financially, crushing student debt yet they are also complaining that it is difficult to get deeper into that financially crushing student debt. Seriously?
Its possible that the Ontario Government is doing them a favour by forcing students to pay for a larger portion of their post secondary education in cash, up front. No loan. It might take longer to get that degree. So? Welcome to the real world.
Instead of making it easier for students to get deeper and deeper in debt on their quest for a degree and the riches that the universities promise that degree will generate, why is nobody looking at making post secondary education cheaper? That is the other option.
Making a college and university education cheaper is the answer to the problem that nobody is considering. How? Technology. Do we still have to sit in a classroom or lecture hall or can we access lectures online?
I know that the Post Secondary Education Industrial Complex loves that fact that students are borrowing huge sums in order to attend schools. Tuition keeps increasing. Administrations keep growing in size. Salaries are higher than ever. Might be time to change all that.