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New grant cuts textbook costs

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | September 22nd, 2008

As cost of tuition increases almost every year and as prices go up on everything else from bread to cab rides, some students need a break.

Wouldn't it be easier if there were financial assistance offered to help a student feel more at ease?

As part of Ontario's five-point plan aiming at investing in the skills and education of its people, more than 500,000 full-time students can now access a new, annual grant.

This funding is part of the government's three-year, $1.5 billion Skills to Jobs Action Plan.

The grant is a $150 credit to help students pay for their books and computer costs.

Helping students succeed is what the Ontario Government is working towards accomplishing with Colleges and Universities across the province.

“Today's students will build tomorrow's knowledge economy, so we want to do everything we can to make sure students get the support they need to succeed,” said Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy.

The Ontario Government wants to ensure that every student receives the support they need in order to be able to purchase either books or computer materials for their semester.

Nella, 18, is studying youth and social work at Fanshawe College, agreed that, “The grant is definitely not enough, but every little bit helps I guess.”

The annual Textbook and Technology Grant will help students who choose to take advantage of this opportunity when they apply.

All full-time students are encouraged to apply for this grant.

According to Fanshawe Marketing Officer Courtney Betts, there is a deadline to apply.

“For two or three term students (12-52 weeks in duration), the student's application and any supporting documentation must be submitted no later than 90 days before the end of their study period. For one term students (12-20 weeks), the student's application must be submitted within the first 30 days of their study period,” explained Betts. “OSAP students are automatically in the system and therefore do not need to apply for the grant.”

Students interested in applying for the grant must:

- Submit an application to be considered for the TTG by the deadlines (either an OSAP on-line or paper application, or a TTG online application).

- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada (landed immigrant or a protected person

- Attend a provincially-assisted Ontario University or College of applied arts and technology

- Be enrolled in a program fulltime as defined by OSAP (e.g. attend a minimum of 60 per cent of a full course load, or 40 per cent for a student with a permanent disability) who submit an application for the Textbook and Technology Grant by the deadlines.

Once the application process is complete, it is decided which students will receive the grant.

It is the Ministry who decides and notifies a post-secondary institution to obtain records on who has applied for the grant and who has not. This process is done to ensure you are indeed who you say you are when applying.

For those who do apply, a cheque cannot be issued until all the proper information is looked over by the Ministry and approved.

Once your eligibility is confirmed, your Textbook and Technology Grant cheque will be mailed to you, at the mailing address you provide in your application.

“The cheque will be made payable to the student and would be cashed at their financial institution, however, the purpose of the grant is to help students pay for textbooks and computer costs,” said Betts.

There are rising prices in every sector and as part of a society, we don't always have control over ‘how much' things cost.

“With this grant, the Ontario government again demonstrates its keen commitment to higher education by helping students secure the basic tools-books and computersthat will help them to pursue and realize academic success,” said Dr. Paul Genest, president of the Council of Ontario Universities.

“The TTG will be set at $150 per student for 2008-09 OSAP academic year, will increase to $225 per student for 2009-10 and to $300 per student for 2010-11 and subsequent years,” added Betts.
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