Making the grade

Ministry of Traning, Colleges and Universities

Date: 2011

A community college student was told that if she completed her program with sufficiently high marks, she would be eligible to have a portion of her student loans forgiven under the Ontario Student Opportunity Grant program, as she is a single mother of four children. After successfully completing her program with good grades in 2006, she was surprised to be told that she was no longer entitled to any loan reduction because she had an outstanding OSAP debt from 25 years ago. She was confused by this, as she recalled the OSAP debt had been garnished from her income tax return many years ago and she had heard nothing about it since.

Ombudsman staff inquired with the Collections Management Unit of the Student Support Branch of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Staff there determined that the woman’s OSAP debt was paid off but they were never told. The Ministry agreed to remove the debt from the woman’s file and her student loan was reduced by $7,400.