Duguid announces expanded eligibility for Ontario Tuition Grant at University of Waterloo

Brad Duguid, the minister of training, colleges and universities, made a formal announcement Monday morning at the University of Waterloo regarding financial support for post-secondary students.

The province is expanding eligibility for the 30 per cent off Ontario Tuition Grant, now accommodating students who are their final year of a five-year co-op program.

The expansion also includes students who are attending private career colleges and other private post-secondary institutions.

“Previous criteria for the grant required students to be four years out of high school,” minister Duguid said in Monday’s announcement. “And co-op students were not eligible for the grant in their final year.”

However, the program is only available for those who are currently eligible for financial aid through the Ontario Students Assistance Program (OSAP).

“Ontario has one of the most generous student financial aid programs in Canada, we have provided more than a billion dollars last year in student loans,” Duguid said. “A very critical part of that system is the 30 per cent off tuition grant.”

Last year, Duguid said that the grant system helped 230,000 students pay for postsecondary education.

Now, more students will be eligible. Duguid estimated that an additional 5,000 postsecondary students would be able to qualify for this grant.

Stephané Hamade, a student representative from the UW co-op program, spoke on behalf f his peers explaining how he believes Monday’s announcement will be very beneficial for students.

“I am very grateful for the opportunities this have given me along with being able to get many job experiences before I graduate,” Hamade said. “The announcement will make it easier for students across the province.”

Duguid said that he insisted on making the announcement at the University of Waterloo because of its flourishing co-op program.

An estimated 62 per cent of UW students are enrolled in a co-op program.

“Co-op programs have become crucial for our efforts to ensure that students are more ‘job ready’ for a fast-paced economy,” Duguid said.

Full story to come in this week’s issue of The Cord.

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