Even though its per capita debt is higher than California, Ontario is providing “free” tuition to one in three students going to university or college.
Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews said Monday that 185,000 students will be attending academic institutions at the taxpayers’ expense this month.
The public money is part of the Liberal government’s Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). Even a students from families earning up to $70,000 are eligible to receive $7,300 in grants with an additional $8,300 coming from “repayable loans” that are often never repaid.
When announcing the program last March, the provincial government bragged how the program would be “providing free tuition to hundreds of thousands of students each year.”
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne further explained that, “everybody should have the opportunity to get an education and start their life without stressful levels of debt.”
The province is also holding tuition increases at three percent and Matthews says this cap, along with the government’s largesse, will enable more Ontarians to go to university and college.
Tuition is appraised to be “free” if the government subsidy covers the entire cost of earning a college diploma or an undergrad arts or science degree.
The Ontario debt is currently over $312 billion, with every resident of the province sharing $22,000 of that load.
A Fraser Institiute report found that Ontario’s per capita debt is four times that of California.