Students will soon see several changes made to provincially funded financial support for postsecondary tuition.

Announced as part of the Ontario Liberals’ 2016 provincial budget on Thursday, the Ontario Student Grant will fund postsecondary tuition for students who are part of families with a household income of $50,000 or less.

The new grant comes alongside several changes to postsecondary funding for Ontario students, including the redistribution of the 30 percent off tuition financial assistance initiative and several grants funded by OSAP to fund the new initiative.

The changes also come with the announcement that provincial education tax credits will also come to an end.

Expected to be implemented in 2017, the new initiative will coincide with the four-year moratorium on tuition increases instated by the provincial government in 2013. The tuition cap currently prevents tuition from being increased more than an average of three percent per year.

“The government is building on previous successes to make postsecondary education more accessible and affordable,” read the 2016 budget report. “Ontario has incorporated feedback from students to ensure financial assistance has evolved to meet their changing needs.”

Posted shortly after Thursday’s announcement, UTMSU praised the news on Facebook.

“After years of lobbying the provincial government by your students union in collaboration with student unions across the province through the Canadian Federation of Students—we have a victory to share with you,” read the statement. “The UTM Students’ Union would like to thank the provincial Liberal government for making the following announcement in today’s Ontario’s budget announcement”.

In a statement release by the Canadian Federation of Students, CFS chairperson Bilan Arte also praised the announcement.

“We’re looking to the upcoming federal budget and saying, ‘Your move, Prime Minister Trudeau,’ “ said Arte. “The Ontario Government has sent a clear message with this provincial budget.”

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