Paying Our Way: A Look at Student Financial Assistance Usage in Ontario

One of the core principles of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is that all willing and qualified students should be able to attend post-secondary regardless of their ability to pay. However, students in Ontario face the highest tuition fees in the country and the cost and perceived costs of post-secondary education are consistently identified as barriers to post-secondary education. These barriers are contributing factors to the persistently high attainment gaps for various vulnerable groups in pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Determining how they will finance their education is a growing challenge facing unprecedented numbers of undergraduate students in Ontario. OUSA asked students about their interactions with various forms of financial assistance, including: government assistance; private bank loans or lines of credit; family financial resources; and institutional aid. Students were also asked to express their attitudes towards debt and the fairness of the current funding system.