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Education

Four scenarios: Will Ontario's tuition plan benefit poorer students?

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, right, delivers the Ontario 2016 budget next to Premier Kathleen Wynne, left, at Queen's Park in Toronto on Feb. 25, 2016.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, right, delivers the Ontario 2016 budget next to Premier Kathleen Wynne, left, at Queen’s Park in Toronto on Feb. 25, 2016.

NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Details of the Ontario government's revamped grants and loans program are months away from being released but a few things are known now. Already, one of the most hotly debated topics on social media is whether higher-income students will receive less help than they do currently. While the government is cancelling the Ontario Tuition Grant which offers $1830 for university students and $850 for college students, it has promised that no student will be worse off under the new regime.

Will poorer students be better off? Budget documents present a few scenarios starring hypothetical students. We ran those scenarios against the current online OSAP calculator which provides estimates of the total federal and provincial loans and grants. All of the government's projections for the new system are based on changes to the Canada Student Loan program promised in the Liberal government's election platform.

1. Jacqueline in college, living at home

Average tuition $2,768; family income $40,000

Now2017-18
Grants$3,640$5,383
Loans$3,728$531

2. Claire in university, living at home

Average tuition $6,160; family income $45,000

Now2017-18
Grants$6,038$6,860
Loans$5,217$2,747

3. Raymond in college, living at home; attending George Brown College, hospitality

Average tuition: $2,768; family income $80,000

Now2017-18
Grants$3,254$3,468
Loans$4,879$2,446

4. Salim in university, married with one child

Average tuition $6,160; family income $40,000; spousal contribution $11,507

Now2017-18
Grants$11,754$12,672
Loans$7,400$7,140


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