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Students address rising tuition costs

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is launching a new website designed to increase awareness of university accessibility issues in Ontario: The website is part of OUSA's latest campaign, Invest In Access: Fix a Student Financial Aid System In Need.

"Our current post-secondary education system limits access, prevents advancement and cripples students with massive debt," said Jeff La Porte, president of OUSA and vice-president, university affairs, University of Windsor Students' Alliance.

Over the past 10 years, tuition fees have increased by more than 130%, and the cost of living away from home for the average Ontario student is now $14,512.

Unfortunately, the financial aid system does not meet the real needs of students.

The maximum student loan in Ontario has remained unchanged at $9,350 since 1994, while student debt has increased to an average of $22,700.

"Through our interactive website and online campaign materials, concerned citizens across Ontario will be equipped with the information they need to advocate for change," La Porte said.

OUSA is also calling on the provincial government to invest in access by increasing the financial aid package, offering more needs-based grants, re-evaluating restrictive parental contribution requirements and expanding the availability of needs-assistance to part-time students.

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