Please note: It was announced in the 2016 Ontario budget that The Ontario Tuition Rebate will be phased out in the 2017-18 school year.
Post-secondary tuition costs are an incendiary topic that is often at the forefront of political debates. According to Statistics Canada, Ontario’s university tuition fees have followed an increasing long-term trend of 6.8% a year (data beginning from 1973 to present). We’ll be sidestepping the political and social implications for now, and will instead leave that to the reader. The focus of this article will be on the 30% Ontario tuition rebate that is offered to students.
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Beginning during the 2011-12 school year, the province of Ontario began offering a 30% tuition rebate to help alleviate the costs of post-secondary tuition fees for select students. Although very helpful, this program is often missed by students that would otherwise qualified for the program. The savings can be big, during the 2015/16 semester qualifying students can receive a tuition rebate of up to $1,815 for University/College Degrees and $850 for College diplomas and certificates. In the past, the tuition rebate maximums have increased annually at the rate of inflation.
It’s also important to note that the Ontario Government can cancel the tuition rebate if they choose. In past elections, this rebate has already faced possible cancellation.
Qualification For the Ontario Tuition Rebate
To qualify for the Ontario tuition rebate you must meet the following conditions;
- Be a full-time student at an Ontario post-secondary school that is approved for OSAP. Note: The school needs to be able to offer OSAP to their students and you do not need to qualify for OSAP.
- Been out of school for under 4 years or 6 years if you have a permanent disability. Students that are enrolled in an eligible co-op program can be out of school for 5 years under certain conditions.
- Be a program that you can apply to directly from High School.
- The total gross income of your parents must be under $160,000 a year.
- You must also meet citizenship and residency requirements (be a Canadian Citizen).
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How to Apply For the Ontario Tuition Rebate
If you qualify, it’s fairly easy to apply for the Ontario tuition rebate. Most schools recommend that you go to their OSAP department to do the application. As mentioned, you can still be approved for the tuition rebate if you’ve been declined for OSAP. Information that you’ll need to bring in is;
- The Social Insurance Number for you and your parents.
- The Amount of line 150 of your parents’ most recent Tax Return.
- Info about your parents’ gross income if their earnings are from outside Canada.
Applications must also be made during every study period, but only once if you have back-to-back study terms. For example, you only need to apply once in September for your full-time fall and winter terms.
Deadlines for the Ontario Tuition Rebate
This is really important! The deadline for the Ontario tuition rebate is 60 days before your study period ends, but if you apply late and your application is rejected then you may miss the deadline. It’s best to apply in September or October to verify that you’ll receive the 30% rebate.
You’ll receive your tuition grant 7-10 days after your school confirms your enrolment each semester. You will receive 50% of the payment during the Fall term and then the remaining funds in the Winter term.
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