Sure, the government cut tuition fees at Ontario’s colleges and universities by 10 per cent and made most student fees optional.
But at the same time, it cut free tuition for students from lower-income families, made it tougher for students to qualify for grants through the province’s financial aid system, and cut the entire aid program back to the level it was at before the Wynne government introduced the free tuition program in 2016.
That’s not all. Students will have to get more of their aid in loans and less in non-repayable grants. The interest-free period on loans will be cut, along with the six-month grace period students used to have to start paying back loans.
This is all bad news for students. They may pay a bit less up-front in tuition, but once they graduate they’ll face the challenge of paying back more debt — and have to pay it back quicker.
At the same time, the quality of higher education they get in Ontario may well suffer.
The government has no plans to compensate universities and colleges for the $440 million they will lose once the reduced tuition fees take effect. They’re on their own to figure that out.”
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