Simona Chiose (The Globe and Mail):
Changes in student aid unveiled in the Ontario budget are the most radical shift in decades in how the province delivers loans and grants to college and university students, and show the government wants to get more low-income people into postsecondary education.
The government said in the budget on Thursday that most college students whose family income is less than $50,000 a year will receive grants large enough to cover their whole tuition. Grants for university students, who pay higher tuition, will not offset the entire amount.
“I think this is a game changer for students – it really changes the economics of going to postsecondary education,” said David Agnew, the president of Seneca College and chair of Colleges Ontario.
Because of the difference in tuition costs, low-income college students will benefit most, Mr. Agnew pointed out. “There is a clear commitment to college education,” he added in a statement.
Every postsecondary group hailed the changes, from university administration and faculty associations to student groups.
“This is something that students were directly calling for,” said Rajean Hoilett, chair of the Canadian Federation of Students’ Ontario executive committee. “It shows that government has been listening to students who are sounding the alarm on affordability and access to education.”Simona Chiose