Post-secondary tuition frozen for a third year

Western University students walking on campus. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn Media)

Tuition at Ontario’s post-secondary institutions won’t be going up for a third straight year.

The provincial government announced on Wednesday that it is extending the current tuition freeze for colleges and universities through the 2022-2023 academic year.

“Our government recognizes that students and their families make huge sacrifices to attend college and university, so our government will continue to look for ways to reduce financial barriers for learners,” Jill Dunlop, Ontario’s minister of colleges and universities, said in a statement. “By freezing tuition for another year, we are saying yes to ensuring that students have access to affordable, high-quality post-secondary education, and reducing the financial strain on families who have already faced so many challenges throughout the pandemic.”

Ontario originally introduced a one-year tuition freeze at the start of the pandemic. It was extended last year through the 2021-2022 academic term.

According to the province, the decision to freeze tuition builds on a “historic” 10 per cent tuition reduction in 2019 and has saved students approximately $450 million annually when compared to the cost in 2018. For individual students enrolled in a university undergraduate arts and science degree program the tuition reduction and freeze saves them an average of $660.

The Ford government previously eliminated free tuition for low-income students. Now students from families that earn $50,000 or less a year can access a mix of grants and loans that they are required to pay back. The six-month interest-free grace period new graduates had on the money borrowed was also scrapped by the province.