• News
  • January 13, 2017

Ontario Provides Free Tuition for Eligible Students in Thunder Bay

New OSAP is Removing Financial Barriers to College and University

Ontario is making college and university more affordable for students and families in Thunder Bay and across the province by making tuition free for over 150,000 students. Today, MPP Bill Mauro met with community members at Confederation College to talk about how the province is transforming the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).  The new OSAP will make average tuition free for students whose families make less than $50,000 a year. Students from families that earn more will also benefit from more generous grants and loans, and about 80 per cent of all OSAP recipients will graduate with less provincial debt. More Ontario students are now graduating from postsecondary programs than ever before, but some people hesitate to apply for college or university because they worry about the cost. The new OSAP will help more students seek an advanced education, regardless of their family's income. By entering basic information at, in just a few clicks students will learn whether they qualify for free tuition and how much aid they could receive from the new OSAP. Expanding access to college and university is part of our government’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


“Affordable access to postsecondary education is crucial to success in today’s knowledge based economy. This announcement of a reformed Ontario Student Assistance Program will enable 150,000 students across the province to attend college or university for free including students here in Thunder Bay, Atikokan and Northwestern Ontario.”

 — Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“I am very proud to be part of the most generous reform to postsecondary education in North America! Education is vital to our growth and development in our province. By broadening access to postsecondary education today, we will build a bright and prosperous future tomorrow.”

— Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North

“We’re moving forward with the most ambitious reform of student financial assistance in North America because our government believes that a person’s ability to access postsecondary education should be based on their ability to learn, and not on their ability to pay. The new OSAP will provide over 150,000 students across the province with free average tuition.”

— Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government


  • Students applying to college and university for September 2017 will be the first to benefit from the new OSAP.
  • The new OSAP will allow mature students to qualify for more grants so they can go back to school to upgrade their skills.
  • If you are a single parent, have three children and earn $60,000 a year, for example, the new OSAP calculator will tell you that you are eligible for over $16,000 of non-repayable aid, making average university tuition free with money left over for books and fees.
  • Ontario will work closely with colleges and universities in Thunder Bay to ensure that families clearly see upfront the difference between the sticker price for tuition and what students would need to pay.
  • In 2014-15, Ontario issued almost $1.3 billion in grants and loans to students.





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