Kitchener-Waterloo

Almost half of Conestoga College students granted free tuition, data shows

Data obtained by CBC News shows 40 per cent of full-time post-secondary students across the province received the grants through the new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), created in March 2017 under the previous Liberal government.

Students across Ontario to protest cancellation of free tuition program by PC government

Wilfrid Laurier students rally against the Progressive Conservative government's cuts to the Ontario Student Assistance Program on January 23. Students across the province will be rallying again on Monday to demand free tuition for low income students. (Peggy Lam/CBC)

Nearly half of students at Conestoga College benefited from Ontario's free tuition program last year, according to data obtained by CBC News.

The government data shows 40 per cent of full-time post-secondary students across the province received grants through the new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), created in March 2017 under the previous Liberal government.

The program, which was created to help low income students access post-secondary education, was cancelled by the Progressive Conservative government at the end of January.

Conestoga College ranked 24th on the list of post-secondary schools obtained by CBC News. The data shows 4,955 students at the college, or 48 per cent, had their tuition paid for through OSAP.

Meanwhile, 30 per cent of students at the University of Waterloo benefited from the program, along with 29 per cent of students at Wilfrid Laurier University.

At the University of Guelph, 24 per cent of students were recipients of free tuition.

Ontario's free tuition program estimated that average college tuition was $2,768 and average university tuition was $6,160, for comparable arts and science programs.

Students across the province will be protesting the changes to OSAP on Monday, including at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Guelph.

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