Press release: Ontario Post-Secondary Students Survey Findings: Affordability Report

August 19th, 2019 


TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is excited to announce the release of the second of three reports sharing the results of its biennial Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey (OPSSS), which received over 8,000 undergraduate and professional student responses across OUSA’s eight member schools. The reports cover the accessibility, affordability, and quality post-secondary education in Ontario and are based on the results of the 2017 OPSSS.

The second report, Affordability: Results from the 2017 Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey,  highlights the affordability of post-secondary education as a policy priority for students from OUSA member institutions. It discusses how students are funding their education, as well as how concerned students are about having enough money to complete their education and how burdensome they anticipate their post-graduation debt will be.

Survey results indicate that, while diversity on campuses has improved in recent decades, post-secondary education remains considerably less affordable for students from underrepresented demographics, including students identifying as racialized or persons of colour, students from low-income families, and students who are the first in their family to attend post-secondary education.

“This survey shows that many students are struggling to afford post-secondary education in Ontario,” said Britney De Costa, OUSA Research & Policy Analyst. “The recent changes to OSAP are likely to add to the difficulties that already exist for marginalized students.”

This report also provides information about student employment trends, including how often students worked during the summer, how often they worked while studying, and what effect working while studying had on their academic performance. 

“Many students have difficulty finding summer or in-study employment, related to their career path or otherwise” said Ryan Tishcoff, OUSA Research & Policy Analyst. “More needs to be done to provide students with steady employment at fair wages, especially with recent reductions to OSAP loan and grant amounts.”

The OPSSS provides important insight into the concerns students have and are important to inform systemic change efforts. OUSA will continue to collect and use this data to inform our policy and advocacy efforts and we encourage all post-secondary stakeholders to look to the OPSSS and other similar data to better understand student needs and concerns.

- 30 - 


OUSA represents the interests of 150,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at eight student associations across Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high quality post-secondary education in Ontario.


Crystal Mak

Operations & Communications Coordinator

Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance


[email protected]