We asked Queen's students how OSAP cuts will affect them.
This is what they said.
"I think I might drop out, because, despite my parents having a high income, I am self-sufficient. I have no idea how I could possibly pay for school as I am already working two jobs to try and keep my OSAP loans as low as possible, and it has been incredibly hard to manage this year while also taking a full time course load."
"I am entering law school at Queen's in September 2019 where tuition is around $22,000. In the fall of 2019 I will have been out of high school for over 4 years meaning my parents income will no longer be considered by OSAP. That was... until OSAP changed. Now, an 6-years post-graduation from high school is the new requirement to be considered an "independent student". I will receive virtually no loans or grants. At 22-years-old, I am paying for law school myself. OSAP does not factor in your parents other dependents, their debt or their willingness to contribute! How am I suppose to pay $22,000 with no government assistance?"
"I was planning on taking a gap year after undergrad before pursuing further education but now will start accumulating interest on my loans right away."
"I will need to quit all extra-curricular involved in order to find another job that will help me come up with the money. I also just applied to exchange before this news came out, and I won't be allowed to work on exchange, so I might have no way of affording school come 2020."
"I can no longer afford to do my masters after I graduate. I qualify for 0 grants now. Meanwhile, I qualified for over $5000 in grant funding before."
"The only way I've been able to get through school is by OSAP. It's even more stressful knowing I'm going to have to repay all my loans right away after graduating. Since all my well-earned money already goes towards my tuition for the year, where will I get the money to pay back loans so quickly?"
"I come from a single parent family, with no education savings, so I rely entirely on OSAP and summer savings in order to fund my way here."
"Honestly, I might not be able to go to law school anymore."
"I have almost had to drop out after every semester at Queen's because I didn't know how I would pay my tuition. After finally receiving OSAP, I didn't have to worry about how I would pay for school anymore. Yes, a couple thousand are in loans but it can be managed in the future. The grants I receive and outside grants from queens actually saved me this year. I almost ran out of rent money and would have had to drop out otherwise. I had two jobs in the summer and have one on campus now. I save money like a crazy person because it's my only option. I have honestly only bought myself a few articles of clothing last year to save money and this is just how I have to live with I am okay with that. I receive no help at all from my parents and it's frustrating but OSAP has helped so much. If the loans were to increase I'm worried that i won't be able to pay back school effectively. The 10% tuition cut would reduce my tuition by $634 and yet my OSAP funding has been estimated to drop $2000. That money could be critical for rent. I'm very worried that I will be put in the same situation I was in the summer... Will I be able to return to Queen's or not?"
"I feel like the government is actively trying to push people like me out of university."
"The OSAP cuts are unjust. Us low-income students don't want handouts. We just want to be able to access our education regardless of our housing and income situations. I'm willing to take out loans and such but even when banks won't lend out to me or my parents because of low-income to debt ratio. Now because of my parents bad credit I'm left in the dark constantly worrying about how I'm going to make the next payment."
"If I am not able to save up at least $10,000 this summer, I will likely not have enough to afford tuition and living costs, and books, supplies, etc. I was only really able to afford Queen's because of OSAP and planned around the estimated amount– which is now thousands of dollars less. I am the first in my family to attend post-secondary education and this change will make it that much harder to get educated and live a better life than my family."
"It will reduce my tuition. So glad this change has occurred and given someone like me a way to save some money. Just because my parents worked hard to get GOOD jobs doesn't mean I don't deserve help from the government. Very happy that the government decided to change the structure of OSAP and reduce tuition for all. Now THAT is the equal treatment I've been waiting for."