Government Submissions

OUSA advocates on behalf of its 140,000 members at its eight member schools across the province. To do this effectively, each year a variety of submissions to the government are created that summarize the positions of students.

OUSA Asks Province to Stop OSAP Clawbacks

May 5th, 2021

The Honourable Ross Romano
Minister of Colleges and Universities
Ministry of Colleges and Universities
5th Floor, 438 University Ave
Toronto, ON M7A 1N3
cc:Deputy Minister Shelly Tapp 

 

Re: OUSA Asks Province to Stop OSAP Clawbacks

Dear Minister Romano,

On behalf of 150,000 professional and undergraduate students in Ontario, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is writing to express concerns regarding the $400M clawback in provincial funding to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for the 2020-21 school year.

OSAP provides crucial financial aid to students who are in most need of financial assistance. In the spirit of reducing the increased financial burden brought on by COVID-19, the federal government doubled the Canada Student Grant (CSG) in 2020-2021 and has committed to doubling the CSG for the next two years. However, OUSA is increasingly concerned that students in Ontario will not feel the positive effects of this policy change if the provincial government continues to claw back provincial portions from the OSAP calculation. We are concerned that the federal government’s investments in OSAP have been used as a cost-saving opportunity for the provincial government, instead of a means to ensure students are receiving additional financial aid. According to the recently announced fiscal plan and outlook, the provincial government reduced its OSAP expenditure by $400M in 2020-2021. We are concerned that, in the context of mass job loss and income disruptions during a global pandemic, provincial OSAP spending has decreased. Given that OSAP calculations factor in student and parental contributions, the financial impact of COVID-19 suggests that provincial spending should have increased. Students are concerned that the provincial government will continue to claw back provincial funding to OSAP and use the federal government’s additional CSG funding as a cost-savings mechanism for the next two years. 

 

Therefore, OUSA recommends the following: 

  1. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities should stop OSAP clawbacks as a result of increased federal funding through Canada Student Grants. 
  2. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities should invest any savings generated by the doubling of Canada Student Grants back into OSAP to provide more direct support for students who need it most.

OUSA Submission: Ontario Government Budget Consultations 2021

Since the pandemic began, Ontario's students have become increasingly concerned about their ability to afford post-secondary education, access work-integrated learning opportunities, and manage their mental health. The recommendations in this submission will help ensure that students have the support they need to complete their education, gain practical experience, and maintain their well-being—ultimately preparing them to contribute to Ontario’s long-term recovery and building a future where all Ontarians are protected and supported.

 

OUSA Submission: Ontario Government Budget Consultations

Good afternoon PA Cho, Minister Yurek and Mr. Blodgett,

My name is Julia Pereira, President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). This afternoon, I will be speaking on behalf of the 150,000 undergraduate and professional students we represent across eight universities in Ontario. I will use these 3 minutes to share OUSA’s three recommendations to provide immediate relief for students and to highlight the challenges students are currently facing.

OUSA Submission: Recommendations to Improve the Student Access Guarantee Program

Students across the province face significant financial barriers to accessing post-secondary education. The COVID-19 Pandemic has only exacerbated these barriers and increased student concerns about the affordability of post-secondary education.

OUSA continues to advocate for improvements to the Student Access Guarantee (SAG) program and OSAP to address the gaps that make post-secondary education unaffordable for students. 

OUSA Submission: OSAP Estimator Concerns & OSAP Recommendations

June 19th, 2020

The Honourable Ross Romano

Minister of Colleges and Universities

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

5th Floor, 438 University Ave

Toronto, ON M7A 1N3

Cc:Deputy Minister Laurie LeBlanc 

Re: OSAP Estimator Concerns & OSAP Recommendations

 

Dear Minister Romano,

On behalf of 150,000 professional and undergraduate students in Ontario, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is writing to express concerns regarding the status of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for the 2020-21 school year. 

As we enter the last week of June, students are making important decisions about their post-secondary education, including whether they can afford to return to school in the Fall. Unfortunately, because the OSAP assessment tool has not been finalized, students are unable to use the OSAP estimator to determine their funding eligibility. This prevents students from planning their finances effectively and making arrangements for the coming year.

OUSA Submission to the Ontario Jobs & Recovery Committee: MCU Advisory Council

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on students attending or preparing to attend a post- secondary institution in Ontario. Over the past two months, students have done their best to complete their academic year through distance learning, all while struggling to secure summer employment and plan for their future.

On May 5th, OUSA was invited to participate in the Ontario Jobs & Recovery Committee: MCU Advisory Council Consultations. Read our written submission here.

 

In It Together 2020: Foundations for Promoting Mental Wellness in Campus Communities

In this report, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, the College Student Alliance, the Council of Ontario Universities, and Colleges Ontario make joint recommendations to the provincial government aimed at improving student mental health in postsecondary communities across the province. Highlighting the need for a 'whole-of-community' approach, life-long mental health care, and increased service provision, this report builds on the 2017 report In It Together: Taking Action on Student Mental Health.

Educated Investments: Supporting Students for a Better Future

Recent changes in post-secondary have left students feeling uncertain about their futures and worried about completing their studies. This submission responds to these changes by highlighting the need for investment in student financial aid, mental health care, sexual violence prevention, and experiential learning opportunities. Increased support in these areas will help ensure that all willing and qualified students are able to pursue a post-secondary education in Ontario.

Submission to the New Poverty Reduction Strategy

This submission highlights the need for the next provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy to address the impact poverty has on access to, and success in, post-secondary education. It calls on the provincial government to make investments in student financial aid, work-integrated learning opportunities, and supports and services so all students have the opportunity to thrive.