On December 8, 2014, the Government of Ontario announced that it would index maximum student levels to inflation. The government also announced a new program – the Ontario Student Loan Rehabilitation Program – that will allow borrowers in default to bring their loans back into good standing.
Under the student aid changes, the maximum loan package available to students will increase according to the prevailing rate of inflation. The “debt cap” – or the yearly ceiling beyond which debt forgiveness kicks in – will also be indexed.
While these changes will help students to afford higher education in the short term, it does not address Ontario’s high tuition fees. OCUFA has long argued that students are paying too much for their education, both in absolute numbers and as a proportion of university operating budgets. As Ontario prepares to examine the university funding formula in 2015, it is important that it also look at how to make higher education more accessible and affordable for students from all backgrounds.