Issue

Tuition Fees

Fairness for students is a reduction and elimination of tuition fees for all post-secondary students.

  • $32,370
    Average tuition fees for an international undergraduate student in Ontario
  • $15,700
    Average student debt of a college student
  • $26,800
    Average student debt for an undergraduate student

The Problem

Ontario has the highest tuition fees in Canada. 

The Ontario government created the new Ontario Student Grant (OSG) in 2017 and are calling it “free education”. Is it?

  • Students in professional programs, from families with incomes over $50,000, graduate students and international students all continue to pay the upfront cost of their tuition fees.
  • Out of over 800,000 post-secondary students in Ontario – only about 210,000 have received the OSG.
  • The OSG was created by redirecting 100% of the funds from all previously existing OSAP grants. No new government money was invested to create this grant.
  • Tuition fees still exist, so this is not free education.

The OSG is designed to cover the cost of “average tuition fee rates for an Arts and Science degree”. Students in programs that charge more are on their own to pay the difference. Here is a snapshot of some of those programs:

  • $6,160 – average cost of tuition for an arts and science program in Ontario.
  • $23,413 – tuition fees for Dental Hygiene at George Brown College. Student pays approx. $17, 253 out of pocket.
  • $10,300 – tuition fees for Architecture at Carleton University. Student pays approx. $4, 140 out of pocket.
  • $31,700 – tuition fees for an undergraduate law degree (LLB) at the University of Toronto.  Student pays approx. $25, 540 out of pocket.
  • Graduate students and international students are not eligible for the OSG.

Students Respond

Across our province, the Federation unites students to fight against tuition fee increases, advocate for more government funding and create sustainable solutions to the ballooning student debt crisis.

On November 2, 2017 students across Canada hit the streets to call for free education. In Ontario, the provincial budget presented following our Day of Action included the creation of the OSG.

 

The Solution

The OSG is based on the flawed assumption that family income should determine how much financial aid a student should receive. Not all families, regardless of income, are in the position to invest money in a student’s education. Yet, if a student’s parents or guardians have an income above what is set out by the OSG, that student may not be eligible for funding, even if they have multiple siblings or their household is in debt.

Education is a fundamental right regardless of race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, political belief, or economic/social condition. Instead of a band-aid solution to an underfunded post-secondary system, we are calling on political parties in this election to commit to:

  • Reducing and eliminating tuition fees for all.
  • Converting loans into grants.
  • Eliminating interest on existing student loans.

Download 'Tuition Fees' Leaflet

Get involved Learn more