Ontario Student Assistance Program Will Be Flexible; More Transparent
Sept. 1 2015 – Toronto, ON
As announced in the 2015 Budget, Ontario is making its student financial assistance program easier to use, more flexible, and more transparent.
The province is moving forward with several important changes to modernize the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for the 2015-16 school year including:
- Giving students more control over how much financial aid they withdraw. Previously, OSAP applicants were issued the full loans and grants they qualified for without being able to take a smaller amount if they wished. Starting this year, students will have the option of declining a full loan and only withdrawing the grant support they qualify for, and next year students will be able to decide on the portion of the loan amount that they wish to withdraw.
- Ending the requirement for students to report their vehicle as an asset when being assessed for student financial aid. This means that over 7,300 students per year will no longer have their OSAP funding reduced because they own a vehicle.
- Helping students predict how much they are expected to contribute to the cost of their education each year by setting a fixed $3,000 student contribution. Previously, OSAP made a complicated determination about how much each student was expected to contribute.
- Exempting the first $3,000 in a student’s assets from their financial aid assessment. Assets include money in bank accounts, tax-free savings accounts, bonds, stocks, term deposits, mutual funds and Guaranteed Investment Certificates.
- Indexing student aid to inflation to keep up with the growth in student costs. For 2015-16, the student loan limit will increase to $155 per week for single students and $355 per week for students who are married or have dependent children.
Helping students with the costs of postsecondary education is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up by making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history, investing in people’s talents and skills, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.