By Joshua BoucherT
The following article is satire, but the changes to OSAP are real. While the student responses are fictionalized, they reflect the genuine concerns of real students.
Merrilee Fullerton, the Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities, was met with jubilant applause when she announced that university and college tuition will decrease by 10% for the 2019-2020 academic year, and then freeze thereafter.
The Ontario Progressive Conservative government announced changes to OSAP last week. These changes will begin taking effect for the 2019-2020 academic year.
She was then met with righteously indignant applause, however, as she announced the other changes to OSAP. These include:
- The Ontario government will eliminate the interest-free six-month grace period that formerly followed graduation.
- Decrease the maximum family income eligible for OSAP aid
- Raise the required number of years out of high school to qualify as a mature student from four years to six
- Decrease the portion of aid composed of non-repayable grants, and increase the portion of aid composed of loans
Students’ Reactions Mixed
“This is why I have trust issues,” said Miles Adler, a first-year student majoring in computer science. Students like Miles can expect much of their grant money to be replaced by loans. Additionally, they will be charged interest on these loans immediately after graduation.
Miles continued, “It’s like your doctor telling you she’s got great news: Your blood pressure’s optimal, and you have hemorrhoids.” Other students in the high-income bracket, however, are having trouble sympathizing with Miles.
Warren Bay, a third-year business student, comes from a high-income family and has, as a consequence, never qualified for OSAP. When asked what his thoughts were on the changes to OSAP, Bay responded, “What’s OSAP? If people need financial aid, they can just ask their parents for more money like everyone else.” Bay then drove away in a 2017 BMW with no muffler. You’ve probably heard it screeching down Wyandotte.
Minister Remains Optimistic
Merrilee Fullerton used information from Ontario’s Auditor General to justify the changes. For example, after the Liberal changes to OSAP, the program as a whole cost roughly $2 billion per year. To put that into perspective, $2 billion represents the average wealth of nearly 7,000 Ontarians, or fewer than 300 Doug Fords.
Fullerton also expressed her belief that students should focus on the bright side of these changes. “The average university student,” she reported, “will save between $600 and $1000.” Students are reportedly ecstatic that they will be able to afford an additional three textbooks.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities reported their intent to decrease inefficiencies in student aid. Consider, for example, their statements that roughly 30% of mature students live with their parents, and that the Ministry “did not know” if those students “actually needed OSAP support.” After all, if anybody is sitting on a horde of financial wealth, it’s 25-year-olds living with their parents.
These changes are the first of many steps the Ontario PCs have planned to fiscally transform the provincial government. In addition to these, keep your eyes peeled for their next big announcement: the title of ‘Premier’ is to be changed to ‘CEO’, and ‘taxpayers’ are to thenceforth be referred to as ‘customers.’
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