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Jan 18, 2017 07:49 AM EST

Free Tuition For Ontario Students, Many Line Up In Freezing Temperature For Grant Info

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Student debt is an issue that is happening globally. And in Ontario, students from families that are earning less than $50,000 are eligible to receive free tuition to any university or college they want.

This is made possible because of the Ontario government's restructuring of their student assistance funding program.

During a meeting held at the Bayridge Secondary School in Kingston on Tuesday, students lined up in the freezing cold and rain to attend the event, as reported by The Whig. The newest change to the Ontario Student Assistance Program would mean that post-secondary education can be more accessible to students in Ontario.

Present during the meeting was MPP Sophie Kiwala, students, staff and the Limestone District School Board trustees. During the public meeting, Kiwala explains that the average tuition is going to be free for college and universities. But this is only made available to families who have incomes of less than $50,000.

The Ontario government wants to make it known that access to post-secondary education should not be based on their ability to pay the tuition or fees associated with colleges and universities. According to Kiwala, over 150,000 students will receive this grant. They hope that 80 percent or more graduates are going to finish school with less student debt. Their hopes also include that this new change will help in employment. Kiwala adds that seven out of 10 jobs in Ontario require a degree.

Tom Mahoney, a trustee from the Limestone District School Board said that the Ontario government recognizes the need and that regardless of financial status, they are providing access to education and future goals of their students.

In an effort to make education more affordable, the new changes to the program will take effect this September. For those who are interested, the 2016 to 2017 OSAP application is now open, as reported by Ontario.

Watch the video below where Pedro Barata talks to Deb Matthews to find out how Ontario brought together those inside and outside government to gain access to education:

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