TORONTO, December 8, 2014- The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities announced this afternoon that it will make changes to Ontario Student Loan structures. One such change is committing to raise the maximum student loan to reflect inflationary increases each year after 2016. Along with the maximum loan allowance, the portion of this loan allocated as a non-repayable student grant (Ontario Student Opportunity Grant, or “OSOG”) will grow correspondingly at a maximum of 40% of the maximum loan. For the 2015-2016 school year, the maximum debt a student can incur for a two-term academic year is $7,400.
“As the cost of attending university rises, it’s imperative that loan structures for students are as predictable and consistent as possible,” says Jen Carter, President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). “Providing loan maximums that accurately reflect inflation will provide more stability for students who are most in need of financial aid.”
The Ministry also announced its intention to start a student debt rehabilitation program in January 2015 for those who have defaulted on their loans. Currently, those who default are ineligible for further OSAP assistance, ineligible for Repayment Assistance, and are liable to have their income tax returns garnished by the provincial government. Launching a debt rehabilitation program will aim to bring students who have defaulted back into good standing by providing targeted support and access to Repayment Assistance.
“We are pleased that Ontario has joined the other provinces in offering a debt rehabilitation program for students,” Carter says. “Debt rehabilitation is especially helpful for students who are returning to school after being in the workforce, providing a clearer path into higher education.”
About the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)
OUSA represents the interests of over 140,000 professional and undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at eight member associations across Ontario.
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Jasmine Irwin, Director of Communications.
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