Ontario Government Lowers Student Tuition Burden by 10 per cent

Published on January 17, 2019

First ever province-wide tuition reduction will make college and university more affordable for students in Hamilton

January 17, 2019


HAMILTON, ONTARIO -- For the first time in Ontario, students at every publicly-assisted college and university will see their tuition rates go down by 10 percent thanks to a province-wide tuition rate reduction introduced by the Ontario Government. The tuition rate reduction is the latest step in the government’s plan to keep more money in the pockets of Ontario students and families.

“We believe that if you’ve got the grades, you deserve access to an affordable post-secondary education,” said Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “By lowering tuition across the entire province, our Government is ensuring that all qualified Ontario students will have more affordable access to high quality skills, training and education.”

“McMaster and Mohawk students right here in Hamilton will benefit directly from today’s announcement. They will keep more money in their pockets,” said Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly.

As part of its overall reform of post-secondary education affordability, Fullerton also announced that that the Government will be refocusing the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to ensure it remains sustainable and viable for future students while directing a greater proportion of OSAP funding to families with the greatest financial need.

“The previous government believed in handing out OSAP money to some of Ontario’s highest income earners with virtually no meaningful criteria for success,” said Fullerton. “It is no surprise that student enrolment has remained flat while tuition rates skyrocketed. Instead of using OSAP to indirectly subsidize future rounds of tuition hikes, we will focus our resources on the families in greatest need while challenging our partners in the post-secondary sector to deliver better value for the high tuitions they already charge.”

The Minister also announced a Student Choice Initiative, giving every student in Ontario the freedom to choose which student fees they want to pay, and how that money will be allocated. Fees for essential health and safety initiatives will continue to be mandatory.

Student fees in Ontario can range as high as $2000 per year and, too often, force students to pay for services they do not use and organizations they do not support. The opt-out initiative will ensure students have transparency and freedom of choice regarding the campus services and organizations which get access to their money.
Reducing tuition and increasing the affordability of college and university is part of the government’s plan to help people get the training they need to get good paying jobs.

“We are making post-secondary education more affordable for students at McMaster and Mohawk through these historic reforms, refocusing supports to our students and families who need it most,” said Skelly. “These changes give students the freedom of choice about how their money is spent, and restores accountability, affordability and access to post-secondary education while giving more of our students opportunities to find a job and build a career right here in Ontario.”

Quick Facts:

  • The government’s historic tuition reduction for 2019-20 represents the first time Ontario student tuition has decreased across all funding-eligible programs.
  • Average university tuition in Ontario has increased significantly since the mid-1990s and is currently the highest in any Canadian province.
  • For example, a student attending the high-demand 3D Animation program at Mohawk Collge would see a $640 reduction in their 2019-20 academic year tuition.
  • An arts and science undergraduate student at McMaster University would see a reduction of $ 690.
  • Students pay fees in addition to tuition, which can range from approximately several hundred dollars to $2,000 per academic year.
  • The Auditor General recently tabled a report highlighting concerns with the way OSAP was administered, as well as drastic overspending. The report concluded that despite the previous government’s excessive spending, OSAP did not result in proportionately higher enrolment.
  • The government will administer a fund to help smaller, Northern institutions adjust to the tuition rate reduction.

Learn More:
Visit the OSAP page to learn more and try the OSAP calculator.