Ontario tuition fees limited to three per cent increase

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: TORONTO STAR
Brad Duguid, minister of training, colleges and universities, announced that colleges and universities tuition increases will be capped at three per cent per year over the next four years.

Good news for the “starving student” generation. The Ontario government will reduce the cap on annual tuition fee increases to three per cent on average over the next four years, down from the five per cent cap that previously made Ontario's fees the fastest-growing in Canada.

“This new tuition policy strikes a balance. We are increasing fairness and affordability for students and their families while providing institutions with the long-term financial stability needed to provide a high-quality education for our students,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

This new framework will back existing supports such as Ontario's Student Access Guarantee and the 30 per cent off Ontario Tuition Grant. The Guarantee helps institutions ensure that no qualified student is denied access to education because of limited funds that may not be fully covered by the Ontario Student Assistance Program. In addition, the government is making changes to deferral fees to better align the timing of tuition fees with OSAP deadlines.

Duguid stated, “We will also continue to ensure that students have access to higher education based on ability to learn, not ability to pay.”

The average Fanshawe student pays $3,561.68 for tuition in their first year. That's relatively low compared to the average amount paid by Ontario undergraduate students: $7,100.

In the 2012/13 school year, OSAP issued approximately $1.5 billion in grants and loans to students, including granting money to cover 30 per cent of tuition to students of low and middle-income families. Over the past 10 years, investments in student assistance have resulted in more than double the students qualifying for financial aid.

Looking ahead, the MTCU will discuss changes to the structure of flat fees with colleges, universities and student groups over the next few months.