January 18, 2019
For Immediate Release
Halifax, NS – Yesterday, the Ontario Government announced sweeping changes to tuition, financial aid, and mandatory fees. These include cuts to Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) grants, a reduction in domestic tuition by 10%, and the elimination of “non essential non tuition fees”.
The cuts to OSAP will result in less financial aid for students from low and middle income backgrounds, effectively reducing non-repayable financial aid for students who need it the most. Eliminating non-essential fees also poses a threat to student clubs, societies, media, and government, which will negatively impact the student experience and reduce the role of the student voice in decision making on campus and beyond.
“As an organization dedicated to advancing the affordability, accessibility, quality, and role of student voice in post-secondary, we are very concerned by the recent announcement of the Ontario Government,” said Clancy McDaniel, Chair of StudentsNS. “These changes will do nothing to benefit lower and middle income students, will hurt institutions and their capacity to delivery quality education, and will silence student voices and initiatives on campuses.”
The Ontario Government highlighted a slash in domestic tuition by 10% as a win for students. However, this reduction will result in annual decreased institutional revenue of $450-500 million, or roughly 3-4% of total revenue in the Ontario post-secondary system. Without government funding to meet this gap, institutions will face financial shortfalls, harming the overall quality of infrastructure, course materials, and student services on campuses.
StudentsNS is joining the New Brunswick Student Alliance and the University of Prince Edward Island Student Union to stand in solidarity with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and the College Student Alliance in urging the Ontario Government to consider the detrimental impacts of these changes.
StudentsNS represents 20,000 undergraduate, graduate, and college students across Nova Scotia.
For more information, contact:
Tristan Bray, Executive Director