• News
  • September 15, 2017

More than One-Third of College and University Students Receiving Free Tuition

Ontario is Making Life More Affordable for Students

This school year, more than one-third of all full-time college and university students in Ontario are receiving free tuition thanks to the new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). More than 16,000 of those students attend school at the University of Toronto.

Free tuition is part of Ontario’s plan to make life more affordable to students. Along with the new OSAP, Ontario students will have access to additional proposed financial supports including:


  • Free pharmacare so that youth under 25 don’t have to worry about paying for prescription medication starting January 1, 2018.
  •  Raising the minimum wage so that students can earn more money to help them afford the cost of school.
  • Improved repayment assistance so that students don’t have to worry about paying back their Ontario student loans until they’re making at least $35,000 a year.
  • Free online textbooks to help students cover the cost of buying their textbooks.

Making postsecondary education more affordable for students and families is part of our government’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


“Going to college or university is a wonderful opportunity for young Ontarians. That’s why this government is committed to making it as easy and affordable as we possibly can for students, so that they can pursue their dreams, fulfil their potential and get the skills they’ll need for the jobs of tomorrow.”
— Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government

“Post-secondary education is an opportunity for students to develop skills essential in the workplace. Free tuition reduces barriers associated with college and university tuition fees, and opens the door for all those wanting to learn. Attending a postsecondary institute should not be based on your ability to pay, but your ability to learn. A better today for students, means a better tomorrow for our community.”
— Tracy MacCharles, MPP Pickering-Scarborough East

“Limited financial circumstances should never be a barrier to post-secondary education if a student qualifies for a college, trades or university program. This September, over 210,000 students will benefit from Ontario’s new OSAP program, including over 5,000 in Scarborough. This is a game-changer. As we work to build a more fair and inclusive society, we are making it easier for students across the province and right here in Scarborough-Guildwood to qualify for free tuition and grants, repay their loans and focus on achieving their full potential.”
—Mitzie Hunter, MPP Scarborough-Guildwood

“Students should be making decision about their education based on their potential, not on their ability to pay. This long overdue reform of OSAP means many more students will be able to take advantage of higher education opportunities in Ontario, and make decisions that are truly life-changing.”
—Bruce Kidd, Vice-President U of T and Principal University of Toronto Scarborough



  • Students from families with a combined income up to $175,000 will benefit from more generous grants and loans to assist with college and university expenses.
  • Applications to OSAP grew by more than 10 per cent in 2017, compared to last year. And this school year, more than 210,000 students will receive free tuition.
  • Students attending college and university this fall are the first to benefit from the new OSAP.
  • 95% of all students who are receiving OSAP are getting generous grants to help them pay for college or university.
  • The OSAP application for the 2018-19 school year will open on November 8, 2017, earlier than ever before.
  • Starting in 2018, the minimum salary a borrower needs to make before they are required to start repaying their Ontario student loans is increasing from $25,000 to $35,000.
  • OHIP+ will provide pharmacare coverage for children and youth under 25 who are covered by OHIP starting September 1, 2018.
  • Ontario is partnering with eCampusOntario to develop and provide free and low-cost digital textbooks to students. A similar open textbook initiative in British Columbia has helped learners save over $4 million since 2012.
  • In 2015-16, OSAP support assisted some 68 per cent of the University of Toronto Scarborough’s 9,547 full-time domestic students.


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