College Students to Receive Additional Support to Finish Studies
Province Requires Colleges to Establish Dedicated Student Support Fund with Net Strike Savings
Ontario is ensuring that college students returning to classes following the strike will receive the support they need to complete their studies. The province has required colleges to establish dedicated student support funds with net savings from the strike that will assist students who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the strike.
"Over the past month, I have heard from students about hardships they have experienced as a result of this strike. It is clear that they have borne the brunt of this situation. That’s why we are taking these measures to ensure students have the support they need to complete their studies, and continue working towards an education that will allow them to succeed in a highly-skilled workforce"
— Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government
Full-time domestic and international students will be eligible to receive up to $500 for incremental unexpected costs they incurred, such as additional child care fees, rebooked train or bus tickets or January rent. Ontario expects that students will be able to apply to their college for financial assistance through the fund starting this week. Any strike-related support will not count against a student's OSAP assessment.
Students who decide to withdraw from college because of the strike will receive a full tuition refund. Apprentices can also apply for a full refund of classroom fees if they are unable to complete their in-school training for reasons related to the strike.
These financial supports for students were determined through consultations with student leaders and their provincial associations and colleges. The province will continue to work with students and colleges to finalize implementation plans in the coming days.
Supporting college students is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Labour Dispute Resolution Act, 2017 was passed by the Ontario legislature yesterday to end the college labour dispute and return students to the classroom. All outstanding issues are to be referred to binding mediation-arbitration.
- Students currently receiving OSAP who were likely to graduate before December 31 of this year, and who have their current semester extended, will receive additional OSAP for the length of the extension. OSAP will start making payments for extensions in mid-December, after college extension plans are finalized.
- Students currently receiving OSAP who have their winter semesters extended past the normal end date will also receive additional OSAP aid.
- The Government of Canada has committed to partner with Ontario on the extended OSAP supports that help students impacted by the college strike.
- Students who withdraw from their studies have two weeks from the re-start of classes to receive a full tuition refund.
- This year, more than 210,000 full-time university and college students are receiving free tuition for the first time ever.