Student accessibility to a college education gets an “A+”


Great news for students!

The federal and provincial governments are transforming student financial assistance to make post-secondary education more accessible and affordable.

The government’s announced investments today at Sault College in post-secondary education and training play a critical role in preparing people for the workforce. Seven out of 10 new jobs in Canada will be in high-skilled or management occupations which require higher education or specialized skills. Overall, Ontarians with higher levels of education and skills have better employment prospects, earn higher wages and have improved health and longevity.

Making Tuition More Affordable:

The Ontario Student Grant (OSG) will make average college tuition free for students with financial need from families with incomes of $50,000 or less, and will make tuition more affordable for middle-class families.

Under the new OSG:

Students from families with incomes under $50,000 will have no provincial student debt.
More than 50 per cent of students from families with incomes of $83,000 or less will receive non-repayable grants that will exceed average college tuition. All students will be the same or better off as under the Ontario Tuition Grant.


These changes will help students cover the costs of their education without increasing student debt.

This change will allow students to work and gain valuable labour market experience without having to worry about a reduction in their level of financial assistance. It will also benefit adult learners, many of whom may work while studying or have significant financial assets.
This change will ensure that no student will have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they are earning at least $25,000 per year.

Students should continue to apply normally for the fall of 2016 because there is essentially the same amount of non-repayable assistance available in 16/17 as there will be in 17/18. Additional policy changes will take longer to implement but the net effect of putting off an application for a year is negligible.

In 2016 fall semester, the Federal Canada Study Grants will change as follows:

  • $3,000 per year for students from low-income families up from $2000
  • $1,200 per year for students from middle-income families up from $800
  • $1,800 per year for part-time students up from $1200

“This new budget initiative is wonderful news for our current and future students and I applaud the government for this announcement and for investing in college education. With this initiative, the majority of our applicants will qualify for a non-repayable Ontario student grant. A combination of the new Federal student aid initiative with the provincial non-repayable student grants, combined with the generous college scholarship and bursaries program should mean that lack of financial support should no longer be an impediment to attending the #1 college, as rated in student satisfaction in Ontario” says Dr. Ron Common, Sault College president.

About Sault College:

The vision of Sault College is to provide a transformative life experience through empowering those who study with us to think and learn in progressive, innovative ways, including those we have not yet imagined. Ranked #1 in the province for two years in a row with a score of 88.6% in overall student satisfaction by students themselves, Sault College grants Ontario College certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, graduate certificates, and degrees to its graduates. The College is one of the largest deliverer of apprenticeship training in all of Northern Ontario. Educating over 3,900 students each year, Sault College has a significant economic impact on the community, with spin-offs in excess of $158 million. Over $1.8 million dollars in scholarships, bursaries and awards are distributed annually to students at the College. Located on the border to the United States and situated in the middle of three of the largest great lakes on the planet, Sault College is one of 24 publicly-funded colleges in the province of Ontario. Visit our website at to learn more.