OUSA released a public letter to Minister Ross Romano that highlights student concerns with the changes to OSAP. The letter shares real stories and calls on the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to reverse these changes so that all willing and qualified students can access post-secondary education in Ontario.
The Honourable Ross Romano
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
5th Floor, 438 University Ave
Toronto, ON M7A 2A5
Dear Minister Romano,
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is writing on behalf of 150,000 professional and undergraduate full-time and part-time university students in response to the OSAP changes announced in January 2019. Students are concerned about these changes, particularly the reduction in grants, the elimination of the interest-free grace period on the provincial portion of loans, and the change to the definition of “mature student,” which now refers to students who have been out of high school for six years or more (up from four years).
The adverse effects of these changes have already been felt by students across the province who rely on financial assistance to access post-secondary education and enter the workforce. Students have told us that they have been forced to postpone or withdraw from their post-secondary education because they no longer have the financial assistance required. Students are already working full-time during the summer and part-time during the school year, taking out loans, and applying for scholarships and grants. The recent reduction in tuition does not make up for the cuts to OSAP and students – particularly low-income students – will continue to struggle to afford post-secondary education.
Over the next two weeks, students across the province will be sharing their stories with their MPPs, the Premier, and you. Please read the letters and listen to the stories of Ontario students who are facing real and detrimental impacts as a result of the changes to their post-secondary education.
On behalf of the 150,000 undergraduate students that OUSA represents, we strongly encourage you to reverse these cuts and engage in meaningful consultation with students for an OSAP framework that meets their needs. This OSAP framework must ensure that all willing and qualified students in the province can access post-secondary education and the workforce, and it should be viewed as an important investment in the province’s economic future.
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)