Many Ontario college and university students were overjoyed to find out that they could expect to see a 10% reduction in their tuition costs in the near future as a part of Doug Ford's restructuring of the current framework for tuition fees. While the news was met with overwhelming praise at first, it didn't take long for students to start to wonder if the offer is as good as it seems.
The changes in tuition are expected to save Ontario university students an average of $660 a year while college students will earn $340 in savings per year. If you were thinking it would take a while for the savings to actually be implemented, you're wrong. Ford claims that the discount would be applied as quickly as the 2019-2020 school year and will remain frozen into 2020-2021.
What's concerning about the news, though, is that while this is great for students, it's terrible for the schools. One-third of post-secondary school revenue in Ontario comes from tuition according to The Globe. Meaning that the seemingly small 10% cut will actually result in a predicted loss of $300 million for universities and $30 million for colleges each year.
What this means is that universities and colleges are going to be looking to make that money back somewhere, and many students are convinced the targets will be international students. Especially considering that the new proposal by Ford doesn't include international tuition fees.
Meaning that while on average, international students pay almost four times the yearly tuition that local students pay, that rate could be subject to spiking even higher as schools look for ways to compensate for their losses.
Students are also concerned that the cuts may affect their ability to apply for OSAP. Considering that tuition being cheaper could prompt stricter requirements for student loans that don't align with the tuition cuts. Which isn't uncommon, considering the Ford government says they will refuse Ryerson University's future law school students from being eligible for an OSAP loan.
It's clear that while the cut sounds great at first, the reality is that at the end of the day, someone is going to be paying for it. Considering the deduction was just announced, it's fair that not all of the details have been put out. Though it will definitely be interesting to see the final information on the cuts, and how universities and colleges decide to respond.
Source: The Globe and Mail