Tuition refund offered to students as college strike ends

(By: Ryan Rocca)

College students that were affected by the five-week strike can get a full tuition refund for this semester if they decide to withdraw from their classes, the Ontario Ministry for Advanced Education announced Monday.

This includes first- or second-year students in Ryerson’s collaborative nursing program whose home site is either George Brown or Centennial College.

The news comes as classes across college campuses get set to resume tomorrow after the Ontario government passed back-to-work legislation Sunday, despite opposition from the NDP.

“Over the past month, I have heard from students about hardships they have experienced as a result of this strike. It is clear they have borne the brunt of this situation,” Deb Matthews, the Minister for Advanced Education said in a statement.

This college strike was the longest in Ontario’s history and affected more than 500,000 students.

Students who want to withdraw from this semester instead of continuing with their classes will be able to do so and get a full refund, Matthews said.

They will have two weeks from Tuesday to determine whether or not they wish to drop the semester given the scheduling adjustments that have been made as a result of the strike.

Also, full-time domestic and international students who decide to continue with their studies can apply for up to $500 if they incurred any unexpected costs as a result of the strike. This includes costs such as child care, rent and wasted travel fares.

If a student receives this financial aid, it will not count against their OSAP assessment, Matthews said.

Most colleges will now be extending classes into what was supposed to be a holiday break and students will have a much shorter amount of time off in December. In most cases, first semester will then be completed in mid-to-late January.

(Header photo courtesy of Bernard Weil/Toronto Star)

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