College pledges to adapt to tuition reduction
By Jenn Watt
Published Jan. 22, 2019
Fleming College representatives say they will “adapt and be innovative” in response to a reduction in tuition fees announced last week.
The provincial PC government has specified that domestic student tuition fees for colleges and universities be reduced 10 per cent.
“It will have an impact on our domestic tuition in the $2.5 million range. These are still early calculations. The college is waiting on more information from the government on how this will be carried out,” Sara O’Halloran, communications officer for Fleming College, said via email.
Haliburton School of Art + Design is the Haliburton campus of Fleming.
O’Halloran said the college will work to make sure the impact is minimal for students.
Across the province, the tuition reduction accounts for $440 million in lost income for colleges and universities. The changes are to come into effect in the 2019-2020 academic year in September.
“Colleges Ontario, the provincial advocacy body representing all Ontario colleges, is working with the government on these important policy changes. The ministry is expecting us to adapt and be innovative, and that is what we will do,” O’Halloran said.
The PCs have also changed financial aid programs, doing away with the free tuition program for students from lower income families and switching to a blend of grants and loans. More grants are to be directed to the students coming from the lowest income families.
“The previous government believed in handing out OSAP [Ontario Student Assistance Program] money to some of Ontario’s highest income earners with virtually no meaningful criteria for success,” said Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, in a press release. “It is no surprise that student enrolment has remained flat while tuition rates skyrocketed. Instead of using OSAP to indirectly subsidize future rounds of tuition hikes, we will focus our resources on the families in greatest need while challenging our partners in the post-secondary sector to deliver better value for the high tuitions they already charge.”
At Fleming College, about 4,158 students receive some level of financial support.
According to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the average university tuition in Ontario is nearly $9,000 and the average college tuition is $3,400. On average, college tuition will drop $340 and $660 for university students.
Tuition fees will be frozen for the 2020-2021 school year.
Students will also now be able to opt-out of ancillary fees, which include student government fees, club fees and other groups and services on campus. Previously, those charges were automatically added to the bill when students enrolled. Programs considered essential to student health and safety will not be optional.