OSAP to go up with the cost of living


OSAP has recently made some changes to make education more accessible for students.

OSAP funding will go up with the cost of living, with amounts increasing annually starting in the fall.

“OSAP will go up to $155 per week for single students and for married students it will go up to $155, plus $355 per week,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

This is a significant difference from 2010 and 2011, when it used to be $140 for single students and only $355 for married students, or those with children.

Tying OSAP to the inflation rate will help create stability in the coming years for many students.

Jessie Lindsay, 19, first-year Child and Youth Worker student says this will benefit her financially, making for a better experience while receiving her education.

“Last semester I just had enough OSAP to pay residence and my tuition and it was very hard just to do that. So if it goes up as the cost of living does, I think it’ll better the college experience,” said Lindsay.

Awais Awan, 23, first-year Computer System Technology Software Development and Networking student says OSAP is critical to his life.

“I don’t think I would be able to pay for school without OSAP because I have no blood relatives in this country. It’s just me and my little sister and I support her, myself through work,” said Awan. “OSAP has played a big part in me being here today.”

The OSAP rate means the debt gap will also change in 2015-2016. The maximum amount that students will owe for one year with two terms is now $7,400, up from $7,300.

Also just before Christmas, the Loan Rehabilitation Program was announced.

“This program will be very helpful for students who don’t have good history in paying back their past loans, ” said Moridi. “Through the program, a student’s loan will be rehabilitated, meaning that if they pay a consistent amount to their loan for six months, then the tarnished credit will be cleared and will be good enough to receive another loan.”

This is helpful for those who would like to continue with more education, even though they haven’t had the best credit in the past.

“I think these changes are good, everyone should get the opportunity to get OSAP so they can continue their education, regardless of their financial situation,” said Awan.