October 07, 2020

Win: The Ontario government invests an additional $3.25 million in mental health funding for the post-secondary education sector.

The Ontario government has increased funding for mental health services at post-secondary institutions by $3.25 million for this school year to account for the increased negative mental health and isolation caused by COVID-19. This announcement comes after long-time advocacy efforts from CSA which include the In It Together mental health campaign in partnership with OUSA, Colleges Ontario, and the Council of Ontario Universities, and our recommendations for increasing funding for post-secondary mental health in our Pre-Budget submission and in several consultations with the provincial government regarding COVID-19. CSA welcomes this funding as a great first-step to supporting students' mental health now and into the future.

June 04, 2020

Win: The Ontario government invests in expanding broadband and cellular access in rural and remote communities

Having access to reliable internet has become a basic necessity in the 21st century with our society being increasingly reliant on technology and global connectedness. Yet many remote communities in Ontario, particularly in northern Ontario, still do not have sufficient internet service, meaning that students in these communities are not able to access their online class materials and complete their post-secondary programs successfully. 


Just this past May, CSA had the opportunity to participate in a Ministerial Advisory Council on the economic recovery of COVID-19, during which we emphasized the need for the expansion of broadband internet service in rural and remote communities to ensure that all post-secondary students in Ontario can participate fully in their education regardless of their location. 


CSA is delighted to announce that the provincial government has acknowledged this need for accessible internet by investing $150 million into expanding broadband and cellular service in remote, rural, and underserved communities. CSA is hopeful that this investment will shape the future of accessibility to education through online learning and guarantee all post-secondary students in Ontario access to a quality education, as one of the positive long-lasting impacts of COVID-19.

March 19, 2020

Win: National Student Loans and OSAP grace periods

In a press conference on March 18th, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a 6-month moratorium on National Student Loans to help students and future graduates manage their finances and pay their student loans during the COVID-19 crisis. The Ontario government followed suit, when Ontario Finance Minister, Rod Phillips, announced during a press conference later that day, that a 6-month moratorium will also be implemented on OSAP loans.

These announcements come after CSA and OUSA released joint letters to the Ontario and federal governments, calling on them to implement immediate interest-free grace periods on OSAP loan repayments and National Student loans repayments for all post-secondary graduates.

We commend the efforts of the Ontario and federal governments in their commitment to supporting post-secondary students during this unpredictable time, and we welcome further collaboration as the COVID-19 situation develops.

Win: Provincial Budget - International Student Strategy

MARCH 2018

The provincial government started consulting with CSA on an international student strategy in 2016. CSA has since published multiple research papers with recommendations on how to improve the international student experience. In the 2018 Budget, the government responded by committing to improve the international student experience in five key areas:

  • Create an Internationalization Fund to help colleges and universities develop programming that will enhance students’ international competencies and knowledge, through international curricula, collaborative online international learning, and other initiatives.
  • Enhance study‐abroad scholarships for domestic students.

  • Implement an International Student Support Services Fund to enhance experiences for international students on campuses.

  • Expand the International Student Connect Pilot Program to support students with social service and settlements needs.

  • Review fee transparency to ensure international students will be well informed of the cost of studying in Ontario before committing.

Win: Provincial Budget - Work Integrated Learning

MARCH 2018

Institutions received more funding to work with local employers to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities for students to pursue work-integrated learning. For example, the government invested an additional $12 million in the 2018 Budget to extend the Career Ready Fund, supporting 28,000 more experiential learning opportunities for students and employers. This also includes programs such as short-term training, upgrading technical skills, and on‐the‐job training, providing students with modern skills to be competitive.

Win: Retention of the KPI Student Survey


The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development explored the possibility of changing or canceling Key Performance Indicator student surveys at Ontario colleges due to the college faculty strike. CSA pushed the government to ensure the student survey was kept in place and still administered so students had a chance to provide feedback on the 2017-2018 school year.

Win: Provincial Task Force


As a result of the Kaplan Award, CSA was appointed a member of the Provincial Task Force, where students, administration, faculty, experts, and the government came together to address the underlying problems in the college sector. The Task Force focused on issues around student support and access, governance, program flexibility, and staffing models. CSA’s Director of Advocacy was appointed the chair of the student support and access working table; they were tasked with leading discussion, deciding research priorities, and reporting back to the Task Force.

Win: Introduction of the Student Support Fund and Tuition Refunds


CSA pushed the government to make sure students were put first when returning to class after the 2017 college faculty strike. As a result, the first-ever Student Support Fund was announced, providing up to $500 per student who faced hardship during the strike. In addition, students who felt they could not continue with their semester were offered the choice to withdraw for a full tuition refund. Both policies were a direct result of CSA’s public- and private-facing advocacy during the strike.

Win: Ontario invests in new Open Textbooks Initiative

JUNE 2017

Document: CSA's 2017 Pre-Budget Submission: Making Everyday Life Easier for Students

Recommendation: Re-purpose approximately $1 million of Ontario online funds per year toward the development of an open textbook project.


The Government of Ontario responded to a direct call from CSA members to invest in the future of thousands of learners through the Ontario Open Textbooks Initiative. The announced investment consists of 180 free textbooks and an additional $1 million to support faculty and institutions to adapt and adopt content. CSA is pleased to see that within the 180 available textbooks, there is content specific to Indigenous learners, learners in trade, and French-language students.

Win: Ontario will exempt PSSSP from the OSAP assessment for Indigenous students

MAY 2017

Document: CSA's 2017 Pre-Budget Submission: Making Everyday Life Easier for Students

Recommendation:Do not count Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) funds as income in OSAP’s needs assessment process.


Beginning in 2017-2018, OSAP’s needs assessment process will no longer disadvantage Indigenous learners who require relatively more financial support. Additionally, they will waive the expected student contribution for students who identify as an Indigenous learner.

Win: The commitment of a funding model that puts a larger focus on performance and quality than ever before

APRIL 2016

Document: Strengthening Ontario’s College Funding Model to Maximize Student Outcomes

Recommendation: Increase the per cent of performance based funding in relation to an institution’s total revenue and require institutions to develop and publicly share annual work plans to improve Key Performance Indicator (KPI) results.

Win: Reform to the Ontario Student Assistance Program including introduction of the OSG restructuring of parental contributions and elimination of tuition tax credits.

Recommendation: Eliminate Ontario Tuition Grant (OTG) eligibility criteria relating to how long individuals have been out of high school, reduce parents’ income eligibility to $140,000, and incrementally reduce OTG payments to ensure it targets students in need.

Recommendation: Reduce Ontario’s expected parental contributions under OSAP’s needs assessment process to better reflect current realities.

Recommendation: Amend targeted eligibility criteria from Ontario’s 30% off Tuition Grant (OTG) for Aboriginal ancestry students to better reflect current realities.

Win: Introduction of the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act

CSA worked closely with the Ministry and student groups to ensure the student perspective was put in to this legislation. When the government announced the legislation, they announced that student governments and representatives MUST be involved during each institution’s policy creation and review process. The legislation defines the processes a survivor can take if they have been sexually assaulted on campus, thus providing much needed transparency for the supports available to them and an understanding of college processes dealing with an incident.

Win: OSAP estimate tool to help communicate changes to students, future and current


Document: CSA Submission to the OSAP Transformation Consultations 2016

Recommendation: The government should invest in early outreach initiatives that reach low-income communities to educate potential PSE students on the Ontario Student Grant and what it can mean for students in the community. The government should also develop online tools that will assist students in understanding the possibilities of attending PSE.

Win: Continuation of the current Tuition Framework


Document: Improving Transparency and Accountability for Ontario’s Tuition and Ancillary Fees 2016

Recommendation: Adopt the Government of British Columbia’s approach to limit domestic tuition increases to 2% per year.


In meetings with MAESD on November 4, 2016 and November 14, 2016 CSA noted that there were additional areas in the process that need to be improved beyond the tuition cap and that the process should not be rushed with all that is going on in the system. On December 15, 2016, MAESD announced the extension of the tuition framework so they could take the time to consult properly and not rush any changes. 

Win: Commitment to a 100% participation rate in Work Integrated Learning opportunities at secondary level and post-secondary level

MARCH 2016

Recommendations to improve the amount of WIL opportunities and access to opportunities were made that the Premiers Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel discussion on January 6, 2016 and April 6, 2016. This was also recommended on a student panel at the 2016 Summit on Talent and Skills in the New Economy on January 20 by Ciara Byrne.


Document: Creating a Strong Postsecondary International Education Strategy for Ontario’s College Students 2016

Recommendation: Access to work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities is a priority for international students. As such, there are partnership opportunities for student associations and college administration to improve international students’ use of coop field placement support services. 

Win: Commitment to including financial literacy in the careers course for grade 10’s

Document: CSA’s submission to the OSAP Transformation Consultations 2016

Recommendation: Within the grade 9-10 Guidance and Careers curriculum, the Ministry of Education should include compulsory courses that teach students about personal finances and funding their post-secondary education (PSE) and future.

Win: Announcement of an enrollment corridor in the new Funding Formula


Document: Strengthening Ontario’s College Funding Model to Maximize Student Outcomes

Recommendation: Increase the percentage of redistribution based funding to support colleges in financial difficulty.

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