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Canadian university education costs less than you might expect


Many newcomers state higher education for their children as one of the prime reasons for moving to Canada.

The good news is that University students in Ontario shouldn’t get discouraged by the cost of tuition – more than a billion dollars in grants, bursaries, scholarships and loans is available to offset the sticker price.

In fact, Ontario has one of the most generous financial support systems for university students in Canada, with most students paying nowhere close to the full cost of tuition.

“I think of the full cost of tuition as the ‘advertised fee level’ and the money students actually pay as ‘net’ tuition,” says Patrick Deane, Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), and President of McMaster University.

“On average, students receiving help through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) pay roughly half of the advertised fees.

“Most people don’t pay the advertised fee level for tuition. When you consider the combination of net tuition and the fact that university graduates have higher lifetime earnings, a university education is well worth the investment.”

The 2014 Grad Survey, conducted for Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, found that six months after graduation, the average annual salary for graduates of undergraduate degree programs was more than $42,000.

Two years after graduation, it was more than $49,000.

The Council says that’s more than earnings of people with any other level of education.

Over their lifetime, graduates of Ontario universities earn on average $1.1 million more than college graduates and $1.5 million more than the average Canadian high school graduate.

Ontario universities provided $840 million in non-repayable bursaries and scholarships to students in 2013-14, including $171 million in financial aid for students whose needs were not fully met by OSAP. More than $1 billion a year is also provided by the Ontario government through OSAP aid on loans and grants for students in colleges and universities.

Did you know that more than one in four OSAP recipients pays less than a quarter of the sticker price, and one in 10 students collecting OSAP had their entire tuition fee covered by student financial aid?

Income tax credits reduce the actual cost of tuition even further.

“There is so much financial aid available to students in Ontario,” says Deane.

“Students and their parents should arm themselves with this information and make sure they understand the difference between net tuition and advertised fees.”

To learn more about what student aid is available in Ontario, visit www.cou.on.ca.

– News Canada

Posted: Sep 1, 2015

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