Queen's to lose more than $31M in revenue due to OSAP changes

WATCH: The Ford government's plan to cut tuition fees by 10 per cent will mean a loss in revenues for Ontario colleges and universities. At Queen's, it means millions of dollars have disappeared from the school's 2019 budget. Paul Soucy has more.

Last month, hundreds of students rallied on the Queen’s University campus against an overhaul to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) that saw the province lower the cost of post-secondary tuition.

This change has resulted in a loss of more than $31 million for Queen’s, according to the university.

“When you take $30 million out of the revenues, there’s going to be some impact,” said Queen’s interim provost Dr. Tom Harris. “We’re trying to figure out where we can have the least impact. In areas where services and supports for students are the most crucial, we’re going to ensure we keep those in place.”


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Queen’s University students gather to protest changes to OSAP

Queen’s has 7,000 students supported by OSAP who contribute over $55 million in tuition fees — that’s not including things like the cost of books or student housing.

During a rally on Jan. 22, Global News spoke to several students who said they may not be able to afford to attend school without the assistance program.


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Ontario government cuts tuition fees by 10%, eliminates free tuition for low-income students

“We are, in fact, in the process of reaching out to try and ascertain their status,” Harris said.

“We have lots of flexibility in our student assistance programs to assist the students who are most in need.”

Harris added that the university is also looking at ways to mitigate the impact that a loss of tuition revenues will have. Queen’s staff are currently compiling a list of possible solutions for the school’s principal, Daniel Woolf. It’s anticipated that the university will announce a plan to find efficiencies in early March. 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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