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Ontario to announce 10% tuition cut for college and university students

The announcement comes with critics, who say changes can cause more harm than good.

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Repost from The Dialog

The announcement comes with critics, who say changes can cause more harm than good

Your tuition bill could be less next fall, according to a report in the Canadian Press that says the Ontario government is set to announce a new tuition framework that includes a 10 per cent cut to domestic student tuition.

The 10 per cent cut would take effect in the 2019-20 school year and tuition levels would be frozen for the following year.

Tuition for international students is not regulated under the current tuition framework and will not be affected by the planned tuition cut.

Reports in the Toronto Star cited sources who say the government will not be increasing funding to colleges and universities to make up the estimated $250 million shortfall in revenue.

It is also unknown what changes the conservative government may make to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) but a report from the Auditor General in December concluded that the program could cost up to $2 billion by 2020-21.

In 2017, the previous Liberal government introduced what they called “free tuition” through OSAP converting student loans to non-repayable grants that would cover the average cost of tuition for students from families with less than $50,000 in annual income.

The Auditor General’s report found that there were 27 per cent more college students were getting financial aid but enrolment only increased by two per cent.

“The number of people accessing higher education is not commensurate with the additional OSAP funding,” stated the report.

“If OSAP is being cut then it cancels out this tuition fee decrease because students still have to figure how to pay their fees,” tweeted Nour Alideeb, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students in Ontario.

Alex Usher, owner of Higher Education Strategy Associates, is also critical of the news.

“Cutting tuition mostly benefits the rich meaning such a policy would be doubly regressive,” wrote Usher in a blog post on Wednesday morning.

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