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Updated on Monday, February 29

#23611

OMG:

Before you go lavishing praise all over our provincial government for their new income-based tuition grant system, bear in mind that they are eliminating the tuition and education tax credits to pay for it. That is going to directly hurt everyone earning money from a co-op position, or anyone who works a job on the side during their academic program.

Oh, and the already limited cap on tuition hikes is going to expire. Fun times!

Good old Liberals: giving with one hand only to take with the other.

43 comments

  1. Re: the cap on tuition hikes - yes it's going to expire, it was always going to expire at this time. The funding model is only a 3-4 year agreement in the first place. Hikes used to be capped at 5%, and then in 2013 the government (in consultation with student lobby groups like OUSA, which we are all members of) reduced the hikes to 3%.

    There will be another funding model to replace the current one; we just don't know what the cap will be. The universities are pushing for a return to 5%; OUSA is pushing for a 5-year funded tuition freeze (0% tuition increases, with costs covered by gov't funding). Nobody knows what the result will be but we'll find out in a year or so.

    As far as the elimination of the tax credits is concerned - that's something our student reps have been successively pushing for over the past 5 years or so (#fedsdoesthat IS appropriate here). The general idea is that increasing grant money to people who need it to afford their education > providing tax credit money to people whose lives will be easier with it, but don't depend on it. Generally you need to have an income in order to claim tax credits - not something characteristic of most students outside of Waterloo, meaning the credit doesn't benefit them when they need it most.

    I mean, for all that it DOES suck for co-op students. Waterloo's always been an exception on that front. But the federal government was already promising to get rid of the tax credits on their end, so I'm sure this move made a lot of sense for the province - and they weren't going to give Waterloo special treatment just because we earn more money while getting our degrees.

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    1. Dammit man, can you not see your facts are obscuring the narrative!

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    2. Even if the credits couldn't be used by the students they would be transfered to their parents to claim. Quite honestly it is theft. Fuck the Liberals and fuck FEDS because this does nothing to help the middle and upper class, only steal from them. In fact, you should be able to elect which you want, credits or grants, not both. Then, the middle to upper class won't lose out.

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    3. A couple of things 1b. Firstly, the program isn't supposed to help the middle and upper class. The upper and middle class are helping the lower class in this case, you know, them that needs it.

      Secondly, where do you think the grant money comes from? You can't just give everyone everything.

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    4. 1b, most of the middle and upper class will still receive grant money in some form under this new program. They will receive slightly less overall, but... well, quite frankly, they don't *need* it. It's doubtful any student from a middle or upper class background will drop out of university because they don't have tax credits to claim. It's almost certain that students from lower-income families who would have previously dropped out of university due to an inability to bear the financial burdens placed on them, will now stay in school.

      University is a public good. Using public money to spread *some* wealth around as a means of ensuring universal access (by those qualified) to such a public good isn't anything new... hell, I'm a conservative and I don't think there's anything controversial about this.

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  2. If you take a step back and look at this from a societal point of view as opposed to the selfish point of view you're taking, you'd realize giving someone, who otherwise would not be able to go to school, the opportunity to do so is far far far more important than some individuals making less money because of taxes.

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    1. Really because as someone who was benefited from the current grants, I will get nothing under the new system other than more debt. YAY!

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    2. 2a, do you not understand English?

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    3. 2a, that is extremely unlikely to be true. Very few students who currently receive grants will stop receiving them - and many will receive more than before.

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    4. Yeah, how else would people be able to afford useless degrees like women's studies

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  3. The "free" part is a downright lie, because the government is keeping the requirement that the student and/or their family must contribute $3000 per year just to access the grants.

    On top of that, the Liberal government used the figure of $6160 per year as "average tuition", basing that solely on arts and science programs, while Statistics Canada puts the actual average tuition fees in Ontario at $7868 per year. So we're just going to get shortchanged anyways.

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    1. That second paragraph is true, but the first paragraph is false - they're eliminating the parental contribution for low-income families.

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    2. Recognizing degrees from third world countries seems like a horrible idea

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  4. This is so fucking stupid. In the end we, the productive working people with STEM degrees, are going to subsidize sociology and history majors. It's as if the liberals have an explicit goal to wreck this country before we get the chance to throw them out.

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    1. DAE STEM master race

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    2. STEM minus the S lol, we're funding all those inapplicable science majors as well.

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    3. Well, I'm a physics major, and if this goes through then I'll be receiving a grant to finish up my 3rd & 4th years. I'm quite happy about it, and my mom (who has been living below the poverty line since she was laid off from a solar company & her husband died) is very relieved for me as well. Previously, I was working part-time during school and full-time in the summer to get myself through school, and I still have debt.

      They're not just standing on a street corner handing out arts degrees. Some of us who would get this grant actually need it. This is nothing short of a blessing for me.

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    4. Also, Engineers will still get funding. So will people in Math/CS. It just won't cover the cost of tuition entirely.

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    5. Engineers should receive MORE funding not less, since they are more likely to actually have a job and pay taxes after graduation. Everything else looks like a bad investment to me (except math/CS and mayyyybe finance).
      More people enrolled in higher education is also a very bad target when there are so many vacancies to fill in the trades.

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    6. ^This isn't that kind of investment. Engineers ARE more likely to get jobs after and during school meaning they don't need the help. Also math, CS, and finance are likely to be out-earning you pretty quick unless you're moving to the states or basically doing CS/programming yourself.

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    7. ^Also, regardless of what your undergrad degree is in, it gives you access to all sorts of professional programs/graduate programs, and significantly increases your upward mobility. Period.

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  5. Too many questions regarding eligibility imo. Rather take a wait and see approach.

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  6. As long as they don't give it to immigrants I don't care.

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    1. Interestingly enough immigrants would be the group that needs it the most (and that should definitely receive it)
      Consider this: immigrants often leave their country to start a new life here. They are ALL (unless they are refugees, then this might not apply) highly educated individuals. Unfortunately, the Canadian system does not recognize international experience for the most part. And so highly educated individuals with large amounts of noncanadian experience (I'm talking about engineers, Drs and lawyers here) often end up jobless or with minimum wage jobs.
      Now consider their children who have arrived with them. They are also immigrants. Unfortunately for these kids their parents cannot afford to send them to school. Without a policy like this also extending to immigrants, you are sentencing them to an endless cycle.

      So consider that before you open your racist mouth and spew hatred.

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    2. Unfortunately that is what it takes to make it here. You can follow the rules. I'm sick of immigrants feeling they're entitled to everything Canada has to offer just because your country doesn't cut it anymore. you want American/Canadian opportunity and lifestyle? Work for it. Many before you have come and build fortunes from a minimum wage job. You can too (if you stop complaining for a second).

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    3. @6.a Economic migrants come to Canada through their own fruition. Nobody has forced them to come. Frankly I wonder why they were let into Canada in the first place if they only make 50K or less a year as Canada surely has enough general labourers already.

      Canada doesn't owe anything to non-Canadians. Train and school or own first and then worry about the rest of the world.

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    4. 6c, did u even read 6as comment?? They make much more than 50k you idiot. They just can't here because their experience isn't accredited.
      And their 5 year old child (who is also by definition an immigrant) has to "train and be schooled" before coming here?? Do you read?? Do you understand English?? The fuck is wrong with you man.

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    5. @6.d. Your stupidity is showing. This discussion is regarding paid tuition proposed by the provincial Liberal government for families earning under $50K/year.

      This site needs a "stupid" filter.

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    6. Omg, READ!! They would make over 50k WHERE THEY USED TO LIVE. It's how much they're worth!
      They now make LESS than 50k because of the cultural barriers of entry!
      Jesus. This site really does need a stupid filter. For idiots like you.

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    7. I'd have to agree with 6.c. Simply having previous education elsewhere in the world doesn't mean you have the standards or qualifications that are required in Canada. Earning "50K where they used to live" doesn't mean anything in regards to Canadian standards. It simply means they used to earn 50K in their home country where they are quite free to go back to if life is so much more difficult in Canada.

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  7. yep, the "free tuiton" is more political BS I'm afraid. There will always be stupid loopholes preventing you from actually getting your free tuiton. I can imagine plenty of people gaming the system through getting divorce, etc, the poor people who actually need this won't be able to get what they need. I feel like loopholes prevent professional degrees from gaining from this as well. Bunch of BS, electing Trudeau was a horrible mistake my friends.

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    1. Ummm okay sure, but you get that Trudeau had literally nothing to do with this, right? Wrong government.

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    2. Thanks Obama!

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  8. This is a slap across the face for students working hard to pay their tuition and being productive members of society. This will affect everyone in co-op and will result in you losing thousands of dollars every year.

    Please do as I did and write to the Liberal MP responsible for the region of Waterloo, Bardish Chagger (Bardish.Chagger@parl.gc.ca). This measure must be stopped.

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    1. Your Liberal MP has nothing to do with this. Write your local MPP, Catherine Fife, if you have an opinion, since it's Queen's Park and the Provincial Government who is doing this.

      And, again, unless your family is making something like 250k/year, there's nothing about this that is a "slap in the face," because it's extremely unlikely you lose.

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    2. If you're household income is above 83k (ie each parent makes about 41.5k) then you get zero grants and must your entire tuition by taking out loans. I think its stupid that they think people at this income level have thousands of dollars just lying around in their bank accounts ready to be paid to universities.

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    3. 8b, that is not true. 50% of households making above 83k will still receive grants, possibly even grants in excess of tuition.

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  9. I fail to understand the logic behind the Liberals' way of thinking. In simple terms, this means that employed graduates and students in co-op will subsidize everyone else. What are they trying to accomplish?

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    1. Employed graduates ALREADY subsidize everyone else in everything. That's what taxes are. The top wage earners pay the vast majority of taxes, and those taxes are used to provide public goods, which primarily benefit the people who don't have enough private income to support themselves independently.

      Students in co-op usually don't make quite enough income to be paying into this system - and what they do pay they will likely still be getting back in the form of grants, anyway. So this is not happening on their backs.

      As for what this is trying to accomplish, that's simple. The goal is to close the gap, so students who normally struggle to pay for their education (and literally drop out because of that struggle) get a leg up that students from higher-income backgrounds (who may grumble about the loss of their tax credits, but will still not have problems affording their degree) take for granted. Makes sense if you see University as a tool for job creation and upward social mobility.

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    2. Liberals = Socialists. Take from the rich to give to the poor. Make everyone the same so no one can succeed, and the government has the final say.

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    3. 9b, nobody is suggesting socialism here, or a society of perfect equality. But Universities are public institutions that generate opportunity for students. All the government is attempting to do is bring a mild form of equality of access to those institutions (for fully academically qualified students). Ability to pay shouldn't dictate whether or not you get a degree.

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    4. @9c Ability to pay shouldn't dictate whether or not you get a degree, but it should surely dictate what degree you decide on getting.
      Being accepted into an engineering program usually means that you will be able to pay for your degree (even if you're not in co-op and you take grants, the job you end up getting after you graduate will cover the tuition you paid and much more).
      Being accepted into Sociology or Theatre on the other hand is pretty much a guarantee that you will be working at McDonald's. The government is only making access to those programs easier, delaying the moment where McDonald's employees finally get on the job market.
      What the government should do instead is encourage those people to not go to university for useless degrees and instead get a professional degree. There are so many vacancies to fill in the trades, those are very very well-paid jobs you have never heard of because everyone is pushing the university=success marketing campaign.

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    5. 9d, or it's a guarantee that you plan to go on to Grad School (which still significantly boosts employability in this country), or even into academia/research (which is definitely still employment). Even if they don't, a BA (regardless of major) opens the doors to far more than the minimum wage jobs you an get with a high school diploma. Admin assistants, not-for-profit employees, front-line government workers, paralegals, and more... all jobs you can do with just a BA, but definitely couldn't without. All jobs that afford work experience that can potentially a) allow employees to move up the ladder, or b) allow entrance to professional-level grad degrees, like an MBA program or Law School.

      Let's not get into the business of having the government decide what the "right" kind of learning is. Degrees improve social mobility. Some more and more immediately than others, but all - assuming you know how to market yourself and your skills properly.

      That said, I'd support targeted funding where the grants received better-reflected the *actual* costs of the programs in question. No reason an Engineering student paying $7000/term in tuition should receive the same funding as a BA paying $3500/term in tuition.

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