Ontario Extends Freeze on College and University Tuitions

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Initiative provides families and students with more financial relief during COVID-19

The Ontario government is extending the current one-year tuition freeze for colleges and universities by an additional year, providing more financial relief and predictability for families and students seeking access to affordable postsecondary education.

“Students and their families make significant sacrifices to attend college and university,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “The financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic further underscores the need to keep college and university programs affordable. By freezing tuition our government is continuing to reduce the financial strain on families’ pocketbooks.”

The one-year tuition freeze for Ontario residents builds on Ontario’s historic 10 per cent reduction in tuition in 2019-20, and one-year tuition freeze in 2020-21, making postsecondary education more affordable for Ontario students and their families. These reductions represent the first of their kind in Ontario’s history. The government’s action to reduce and freeze tuition has provided students with tuition relief of approximately $450 million annually when compared to tuition costs in 2018-19.

“It is critical to the economic recovery of Ontario that today’s students, and tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and workers can obtain the skills they need to succeed in a highly competitive global economy,” said Minister Romano. “The extended tuition freeze will ensure Ontarians have affordable access to our first-class postsecondary education system and will provide financial relief to our families.”

In addition to the freeze, the tuition framework for domestic out-of-province students will return to a system similar to the previous framework with the option for a three per cent increase in 2021-22.

Quick Facts

  • Average university tuition in Ontario has increased significantly since the mid-1990s. Prior to the 2019-20 tuition reduction, Ontario university tuition rates were the highest in any Canadian province. Ontario has now dropped to the third highest in Canada for undergraduate students and the second highest for graduate students.
  • Students enrolled in a university undergraduate arts and science degree will pay an average of $660 less in tuition than if the tuition reduction and freeze policy had not been put in place.
  • To support students and the postsecondary education sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government:
    • provided $106.4 million for publicly assisted colleges and universities to help address the financial impacts of COVID-19 in 2020-21.
    • helped address critical maintenance, repairs, upgrades and renewals at publicly-assisted colleges and universities with $466 million over three years, starting in 2020-21.
    • distributed $25 million in funding at the start of the pandemic to help publicly-assisted colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes with immediate impacts of COVID-19.
    • invested $10.25 million more than previous years to bolster mental health supports for postsecondary students.
    • launched a $50 million Virtual Learning Strategy to help expand access to a high-quality, market-responsive, and globally competitive “Ontario Made” education.
    • announced $59.5 million over three years to support Ontario’s first micro-credentials strategy, which will help people retrain and upgrade their skills to find new employment.

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