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____ Friday February 26, 2016 ____


Ontario Budget

College education will be strengthened by the 2016 Ontario Budget investments

Toronto - College education in Ontario will be strengthened by the measures announced today in the 2016 Ontario Budget. "There is a clear commitment to college education and helping greater numbers of students pursue the career-specific programs at colleges," said David Agnew, the president of Seneca College and chair of Colleges Ontario. "The budget measures will help more people find rewarding careers and help businesses to become more innovative and create more jobs."

The budget helps more low-income students pursue higher learning that leads to a good job without incurring debt. For example, the budget measures will result in free average tuition for every student with a family income of $50,000 or less, starting in the 2017-18 school year.

There are also commitments that students in families with incomes of $83,000 or less will receive non-repayable grants in excess of average tuition, and students in families with family incomes of less than $50,000 will have no provincial student debt. The maximum debt level for higher-income families will be capped at $10,000 annually.

Another budget highlight was an important investment of $20 million over three years for college-based applied research projects. This funding will allow colleges and businesses to work together on real-world research that helps businesses become more innovative and create new jobs.

As well, colleges were pleased with the increased investments for aboriginal education and the commitment to consult on college funding as the sector approaches its 50th anniversary in 2017.

"The government is committed to producing a stronger workforce for the new economy," Agnew said. "We are pleased that college education was a priority in this year's budget."

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