Why Canada Just Became the Best Place to Attend College

February 29th 2016

Taylor Bell

The government in Ontario just made a huge step in eliminating student debt by rolling out a plan that would make college free for low-income students, BuzzFeed reports.

On Thursday, the Ontarian government announced in its 2016 budget that students whose families makes less than $50,000 will receive free tuition, the Globe and Mail reports. Approximately 90 percent of college students from low-income families and 70 percent of university students will receive grants that will surpass the average cost of tuition, according to CBC News.

The average tuition costs of college and university costs can range from $2,768 to $6,168 respectively.

But the new plan will also ease the financial burden for students from wealthier backgrounds. More than 50 percent of college students whose families make $83,000 or less will also be eligible for grants large enough to cover tuition, according to CBC News.

The plan, which won't take effect until the 2017-2018 school year, hopes to increase the number low-income students in Ontario attending college and make the student financial aid system less difficult, according to the Globe and Mail. Part of that means eliminating tax credits and loans and hand out more grants, according to CBC News. In 2017, the government plans to spend $1.3 billion to finance student grants.

"These are sweeping improvements that will dramatically improve financial aid for our students," Spencer Nestico-Semianiw, president of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance said in a press release.

Although more details of the plan will be released in the future, leaders in education are already celebrating.

"This is something that students were directly calling for," chair of the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario executive committee Rajean Hoilett, told the Globe and Mail. "It shows that government has been listening to students who are sounding the alarm on affordability and access to education."

"We are delighted to see that government is going to invest more for student access, our issue is what their experience will be once they get to university,” president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Judy Bates told the Globe and Mail. “The projected growth in university funding will not keep pace with inflation, so our universities will be starved even more than they have in the past. Full-time faculty members, writing centres [sic], all those things will be impacted."

Debt in American colleges.

Meanwhile the amount of student debt in U.S. shows no signs of slowly down, currently sitting at $1.2 trillion, according to USA Today. Since the recession in 2008-2014, student loans have increased by 84 percent, USA Today reports. And thirty-nine percent of all student loans are in deferment and 61 percent are in repayment.

And it's no secret that the price tag to receive higher education in the U.S. is expensive. The average cost of college tuition in the U.S. at a public university in $24,061 and $47,831 for a private university, according to