Starting this semester, January 2012, full-time post-secondary undergraduate students in Ontario could be eligible for 30% off student tuition. What does this new grant mean for University of Toronto students?
First of all, in order to apply for this grant, there are detailed eligibility guidelines outlined on the website for the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. According to this website, all four of the following eligibility requirements need to be met:
1. You are a full-time student at a public college or university in Ontario
2. It has been less than four years since you left high school
3. You are in a program that you can apply to directly from high school
4. Your parents’ gross income is $160,000 or less
It is important to note that students who have been receiving OSAP do not have to apply for this grant because these students will be automatically considered. Thus, the first catch is that you have to be receiving OSAP or at least be eligible to receive OSAP to obtain this grant.
Students who meet the eligibility requirements, but have not applied to OSAP, need to register for an OSAP access number, and then fill out the online grant application. These tasks can be done on the following website: https://osap.gov.on.ca/OSAPSecurityWeb/public/login.xhtml?lang=en . The online section of the application does not take long to complete, and most of the information required, such as address and personal information is routine. However, applicants will also need to provide their social insurance number, the social insurance numbers for their parent(s), and the amount on line 150 of their parent(s)’ 2010 tax return. Here is the second catch: parents have to have filled out a 2010 tax return in order for their student to be eligible to be considered for the grant.
The ultimate question is, will University of Toronto students who meet all of the requirements for the grant, really be receiving 30% off tuition fees? The website for the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities claims that University students could get a cheque in the mail for $800 for this semester, or in other words $1600 for two semesters. This amount is based on average arts and science university tuition in Ontario, according to the Frequently Asked Questions section on this website. (Unfortunately, for this academic year, because the grant starts in January 2012, it is not applicable for the previous Fall semester.) Domestic students in the Faculty of Arts and Science, according to the Tuition Fee Schedule 2011-2012, paid a minimum of $5,450 for the academic year. Interestingly, 30% of this amount is $1635, a value comparable to the $1600 that could be received from the new grant.
After submitting the online application, and mailing two signature pages, which requires the signatures of the student applicant and the parent(s), to the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, the parent’ income and the student’s eligibility will be verified. If the information is validated, the student can expect to receive a cheque in the mail in four to six weeks.
Go to https://osap.gov.on.ca/OSAPPortal/en/PostsecondaryEducation/Tuition/index.htm or phone 1-888-449-4478 for more information. The deadline to apply to be eligible for the January 2012 semester payment of the grant is March 31, 2012.