By JAKE DAVIDSON
We all need to give a quick thank you to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty because, thanks to him, college and university students are going to have a little bit of extra cash to spend.
Students have until March 31 to sign up for a grant worth 30 per cent of their tuition. Anyone already getting OSAP will receive the grant as a cheque or direct deposit come Jan. 31. The grant will continue into the foreseeable future and will be 30 per cent of the current tuition of college and university students. If a student is not receiving OSAP then they’ll have to apply and provide the government with the following information:
Their Social Insurance Number.
Their parents’ Social Insurance Numbers.
And the amount on Line 150 of their parents’ 2010 tax returns.
Students not receiving OSAP can apply online at www.ontario.ca/30off. They also need to print out the declaration and signature pages that have to be signed by the student and their parents and mail them to the address listed at www.ontario.ca/30off.
This grant will be extremely useful to students, especially those who plan to go onto careers where money can be rather scarce, or those who sign up for volunteer work to earn their work experience hours. With textbook costs on the rise, the extra money will help buy the books that some students are having trouble obtaining. Also the problem of getting something to eat without asking a friend who works at a restaurant for leftovers or having to purchase the ever cheap instant noodles will be slightly less prevalent. People living with their parents will still be staying at home but now they’ll have extra cash to buy food and books that they couldn’t previously afford.
The grant does have its drawbacks. The money has to come from somewhere. This is bound to stir up some controversy, with some people saying the money could be better spent elsewhere. And the opposition could work to eliminate this grant to gain votes come election time.
But from where we sit, it’s a great thing. Students can breathe a slight sigh of relief and go get some of the necessities with their extra spending money.
Don’t forget to thank the Premier and the others who thought that students deserve a little help.
The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.