Students Across Ontario Walk Out Of Class In Protest Of OSAP Cuts.
Students from 17 Ontario university and college campuses walked out of class on Wednesday in protest of the Ford government’s proposal to make changes to student assistance program, OSAP.
The province is scrapping free tuition for low-income students and allowing college and university students to opt out of the fees that fund campus groups, student newspapers and clubs.
Ontario's Progressive Conservative government is eliminating free tuition for students from low-income families while also cutting tuition fees.
The Ontario Student Assistance Plan grants had become unsustainable and it was time to refocus it to provide help to students in the most financial need, said Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Merrilee Fullerton.
Under the Liberal plan, families earning up to $175,000 could qualify for some funding and that threshold is now reduced to $140,000. Low-income students could qualify for grants large enough to cover the full cost of tuition under the previous plan, but now a portion of the funding they receive will be a loan.
Most of the grants will go to students whose families have an income of less than $50,000.
At the same time, tuition fees are being cut, the government announced.
This week, many students — including those at the University of Windsor — found that their estimated OSAP funding will be significantly less than they've received in previous years.
The low estimates sparked online outrage, with some Ontario students saying they don't have access to additional funds to compensate for this cutback.
OSAP — the Ontario Student Assistance Program — was the number one trending topic in Canada on Twitter Wednesday evening. April’s budget included a $671 million spending cut to student assistance, and the province announced reforms to the program in January.