This morning, Doug Ford’s government announced new payment changes and funding for postsecondary education in Ontario. Getting rid of the free tuition grants and replacing them with 10% off tuition was only one of the many changes that were forced upon students for the upcoming year. Multiple OSAP changes were also announced outside of Queen’s Park this morning, and many students are now fearing how it is going to affect their futures.

The Ontario Government announced that OSAP will still be providing grants to students in the 2019-20 year, but the way that OSAP grants are distributed and collected will be done a little differently.

OSAP is now focusing directly on low-income families, ensuring that those who receive OSAP are those who are in financial need. This means that the number of Ontarians who have access to OSAP funding will dwindle, especially when it comes to the Ontario Student Grant.

The Government is reducing the family income threshold that is needed to make a student eligible for the Ontario Student Grant. This means that the amount a family makes has been lowered making it harder for students to be eligible for these student grants.

According to a statement from the Ontario government, there will be a "change the grant-to-loan ratio to a minimum of 50% loan from Ontario for students in second-entry programs" at publicly-assisted Ontario institutions and for students enrolled in postsecondary schools outside of Ontario. These include post-graduate college certificates, graduate degrees and law programs.

Yet, even though students will now receive more loans than grants, one of the biggest changes that seem to anger students the most is the fact that OSAP is now getting rid of the six-month interest-free grace period.

READ ALSO: Ontario University And College Students Are About To Start Paying Less For Tuition

This grace period allows students to find a job and a steady income within the six months after they graduate without interest being collected on their student loans. The government has decided to now slash this and charge interest during this six-month grace period to “reduce complexity for students”.  

This means that as soon as you graduate, the interest on your student loans begins to collect, regardless of whether or not you have a job lined up for you outside of school. This gives students less time to save up money and pay off their loans after they graduate.

READ ALSO: The Best 11 Universities In Canada Actually Ranked By Students

Students from all around Ontario have taken to Twitter to express their anger over these changes. While the Doug Ford government ensures that these changes are to better help students afford tuition, many students disagree. Many students are actually stating that it will be harder for them to pay off their loans, or even attend University in the first place, after these changes.

READ ALSO: Ontario University And College Students Can No Longer Get Free Tuition If They’re From Low-Income Households

Many students are starting to believe that this 10% off tuition isn't going to help them afford university when the free tuition grants and six-month interest-free grace period are what helped students attend university in the first place. 

Source: Ontario Newsroom

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