By TORIE ROTH
If you’re a college or undergraduate university student, you could be eligible to receive 30 per cent back in tuition grants, thanks to a new initiative by the Ontario government. The new program was developed to make education more accessible and affordable for Ontario families.
Students must meet four simple requirements to be eligible. They are: Be a full-time student at a college or university in Ontario, have been out of high school for less than four years, be in a program that you can apply for directly out of high school and your parents’ gross income must be $160,000 or less.
“I’ll probably keep the money in the bank so that I can use it later to pay off more OSAP,” said Michelle Hannan, a first-year human services foundation student at Conestoga.
Students who are already receiving OSAP do not need to fill out an application, they will be assessed automatically. The grant will then be deposited directly into their account or mailed to their school-year address.
“There are some loopholes when some students won’t be able to receive the grant, such as academic probation, but the majority of students will,” said Laura Black, an employee at Conestoga’s Financial Aid Office.
Mature students are not eligible.
Students who do not receive OSAP could still be eligible if they meet the above criteria, however, an application is required.
“I’ve already applied for it,” said Chris Bennedetti, a first-year architecture construction engineering technology student. “I’m going to use the money for books and groceries or just to add to my savings.”
These students must first obtain their own Social Insurance Number as well as their parents’ SIN numbers and the information from Line 150 of their parents’ 2010 Canadian Income Tax Returns.
Then they can proceed with the application, which requires going online to www.ontario.ca/30off and registering for an OSAP Access Number, then filling out and submitting the online application.
After students have submitted the application, they must print out the signature pages — one is to be signed by the student and the other by the parents. Lastly, the pages must be mailed or faxed to the Student Financial Assistance Branch.
Students will receive $800 if they are in degree programs and $365 if they are in diploma programs.
Next year, as tuition increases, students will receive $1,600 for degree programs and $730 for diploma programs.
The deadline to apply is March 31, 2012. For more information, call the Tuition Grant Hotline at
By TORIE ROTH