Ontario is cutting the red tape and streamlining the application process for full-time college and university students seeking help from the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). This year, the government has introduced OSAP Express, a streamlined application process for the over 300,000 OSAP applicants and recipients. OSAP Express requires a student to sign a loan agreement only once throughout their entire postsecondary studies, speeds up the enrolment verification process and direct deposit options and means no more lining up for hours, multiple times per semester of every year at financial aid offices.
In addition to a streamlined application process for OSAP, students will benefit from the new 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant. The grant helps keep the cost of postsecondary education affordable by offering refunds of $1,680 to students in university or college degree programs and $770 to students in college diploma and certificate programs. Helping Ontario students with the cost of university, college or an apprenticeship is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to keep postsecondary education within all families’ reach, while building the best-educated workforce in the world.
Said Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, “In today’s competitive economy, educating our children is the best investment we can make for Ontario’s future. Students now have an easier way to apply for OSAP and the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant, which means they can stay focused on their classwork and not be distracted by paperwork.” Glen Murray, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, said, “Our goal is to help make postsecondary education more accessible for students. We’ve been listening to students and this year they will no longer have to wait in long lines to apply for or receive their OSAP funding.
OSAP Express will result in government savings of over $150,000. Since the January launch of the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant, 200,000 postsecondary students have received money back to help offset the cost of tuition. In 2011-12, Ontario invested approximately $1.1 billion in student grants and loans including the new 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant.