January 21, 2019 10:46 am
Updated: January 21, 2019 4:46 pm

There’s more to post-secondary tuition cuts than meets the eye

The president of the Trent Central Student Association warns there might be more to tuition cuts than meets the eye.

Dan Nyznik / Global News

A day after the the Ontario government announced a 10 per-cent cut to post-secondary tuition and the number crunching continues.

It works out to around $340.00 for college students and $660.00 for those attending university.

While the reduction is being welcomed by students, there are some downsides they might not be aware of.

READ MORE: Fleming College estimates 10% cut to tuition will lead to $2.5 million in revenue loss

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“A lot of folks haven’t read into exactly what ramifications this (the cuts) has,” said Brandon Remmelgas, president of the Trent Central Student Association. (TCSA)

He says with the reduction comes decreases to the amount of OSAP grants students will have access to and a decrease to the proportion of grants to loans, meaning more loans and fewer grants.

Something else that looks good on the surface such as making ancillary fees optional, he said.,might actually result in service cuts or even raised fees.

Remmelgas use public transit as an example.

“Just because some students who have cars can opt, doesn’t mean those who rely on public transit aren’t still going to need the same level of transit and the same reliability of service. So we’re going to have to charge those students more but those students are likely in a financial position where they can’t afford to pay more”..

At Trent ancillary fees are just under $300.00 per-term. Opting out will likely impact the TSCA’s food bank program.

READ MORE: Ontario government reduces tuition, changes rules for financial aid

“We provide students with access to grocery carts to buy groceries. That fee is only 56 cents but if it’s opt-outable we now can provide less assistance to students that need it”

Maureen Adamson is president of Fleming College in Peterborough. She says making up a 12 per-cent reduction in revenue will require a delicate touch.

“We will have to be creative. We’ll have to find other ways to generate revenue and we’ll need to make sure that students have the right choices in terms of the ancillary fees that they may want to participate in”

The tuition cuts take effect in the 2019-2020 term.

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