Letter to the editor

Ontario tuition grant deserves a chance

Re: “Rebate a success, for some” (Jan. 17, 2012).

Dear Editors,

In October 2011, Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario Liberal Party won the provincial election on a big campaign promise — the 30 per cent off Ontario tuition grant.

On Jan. 9, this became a real policy. With seven out of 10 jobs now requiring education beyond high school, this grant is meant to help make post-secondary education more accessible and affordable.

This new grant for full-time college and university students — less than four years out of high school — will save families $1,600 per student in a university program. That’s a huge saving — every school year.

There has been much criticism over the eligibility of students for this grant. But let’s remember this is a grant, something that’s targeted for a specific group. It’s not meant to be given to every student. Rather, it’s meant to help high school students have a smooth transition to post-secondary education.

More than 300,000 undergraduate students are eligible to receive the new grant this year.

Although the 30 per cent off tuition grant may not be the so-called “be all and end all” of what the government can do to help students, it’s a step in the right direction towards getting more students into post-secondary schools, especially after years of neglect by previous NDP and Progressive Conservative governments.

During the 1990s, the record of the NDP government in Ontario was an increase in tuition of 50 per cent and the Conservatives under Mike Harris allowed tuition to skyrocket a further 66 per cent.

Ontario Liberals are taking steps to make university more affordable.

For students that are ineligible for this program, there are many other grants and aid that those students can apply for. They are available on the OSAP website.

As a student at Queen’s, I hope we can come together and realize that this program is a big help to Ontario students. So far, over 1,221 Queen’s students have applied.

Wesley Cohen, ArtSci ’13,
executive vice-president,
Queen’s University Liberal Association

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