St. Clair Students Protest OSAP Cuts
A handful of students have staged a peaceful protest at the main campus of St. Clair College to speak out against proposed OSAP cuts.
While the provincial government has announced a 10% reduction in tuition, it is also cutting free tuition for low income students and making it more difficult to qualify for financial aid grants that don't have to be repaid. As well, the interest-free period on loans and the six-month grace period students used to have to start paying back loans are being eliminated.
Student protestor Elysa Valoppi says lowering tuition only helps those who can afford to pay up-front. "The 10% cut to tuition is not nearly enough to make a difference as people are getting their full tuition paid for with OSAP." Valoppi adds that many of her fellow students are panicking at the prospect of having to pay back more than anticipated. "The only reason that they're in school is because of OSAP so they're debating continuing their education, wondering how they're paying back their OSAP without their six-month grace-period anymore."
Valoppi says the goal of their first protest is to get the word out on changes and gather signatures for their petition. "We've had multiple students walk by who have no idea there were any changes coming to OSAP as it was."
She hopes the movement to halt OSAP cuts will gain steam as her fellow students learn more The group plans to hold more peaceful protests on campus.