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Tuition rebate to ensure access to education, says minister

It is tough being a student today, but his government hopes the new 30 per cent tuition rebate will help, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Glen Murray said during a trip to campus Thursday.

“No one should ever be turned away from a university or college education because they can’t afford it,” he told a gathering of students and officials from the University of Windsor and St. Clair College in the CAW Student Centre.

He described the rebate program – which offers grants to full-time students at Ontario colleges and universities who are Canadian, reside in the province, have been out of high school for less than four years and whose parents’ gross annual income is less than $160,000 – as “the largest increase in student aid in our lifetime.”

His appearance is part of a province-wide tour to explain the government’s plans for post-secondary education and encourage participation in the rebate program. “When students say there is a demand for student aid, it’s much more credible when they register right away,” he said.

To date, Murray said, about 1,800 UWindsor students had registered for the rebate. Officials with the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance estimate 8,000 of its members qualify.

Kimberley Orr, the alliance’s vice-president university affairs, said the grant – which works out to $800 per semester – will greatly improve access to university.

“I see appreciation for the role students will play in the future of Ontario,” she said. “I am thankful to the government for this unprecedented investment in Ontario’s post-secondary education system.”

After the public event, Murray joined Windsor West MPP Teresa Piruzza and UWindsor President Alan Wildeman for a tour of the Centre for Engineering Innovation and sites slated for the downtown campuses.