Canada is one of the most educated nations in the world and has almost 100% literacy. Most educational services are easily affordable and with options such as OSAP, students in Canada are well looked after. According to a Canadian education industry research report Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program that helps students pay for college or university. OSAP offers two types of aids, the first in the form of a grant which is money that is not required to be repaid and second is a student loan which is to be repaid. Once an application has been approved, the applicant is considered for both grants and loans irrespective of his/her personal choice which is taken into account shortly thereafter.
The field of education is increasingly receiving more and more aids and OSAP proves this. Post secondary education means a financial strain for many Canadians and around 50% report having a student debt. This program caters to these desperate circumstances and is also undergoing several changes to help education become more affordable. Recent developments in this respect are-
- The modernization of OSAP through significant consolidation of existing OSAP grants aimed to provide timely and transparent assistance.
- In 2019, OSAP will collaborate with universities and colleges to introduce ‘net tuition billing’ which will help students calculate their net cost of education.
- New OSAP rules will make tuition free for most students (including mature students and adult learners).
- Adult learners with kids will receive child care grants ensuring that everyone who makes an effort to get educated is taken care of.
- New OSAP policies consider the family size of the student applying for financial aid and it will extend its grants accordingly.
- For the academic year 2018-19 OSAP has reduced the amount parents and spouses are required to contribute thus, further easing the financial burden.
The student aiding initiative taken up by the Ontario based OSAP is helping lower and middle income students to achieve educational excellence. Market research reports for education estimate that about 150,000 people in Ontario will be eligible to receive free tuition as a result of the improvements to OSAP the provincial government is making. Recently Ontario recorded surge in grants and loans to students which shows the enormous demand for educational financial aid. The OSAP changes made mean that more than 80% of all those who receive OSAP will graduate with less provincial debt.
Financial aid services are more important these days as the disparity between classes is a constant hindrance to the spread of education. Ontario is a great example of how financial aid can greatly benefit students in a community which will lead to a more educated society. Recent changes in OSAP are expected to further Canada’s excellence in the education sector.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications