Alex Ilareguy and Seana Medina sitting with friends in the AC Hub. Medina says that she will have to pick up shifts because OSAP isn't enough. Photo credit: Qadeer Popal

The fall semester has started and students are adjusting to the changes in OSAP that were announced by the provincial government earlier this year.

The changes, which were announced on Jan. 17, have resulted in some students receiving less grant money than in previous years while increasing the amount they are loaned.

The changes also include a decrease in the number of students eligible for OSAP by reducing the amount of family income one can have and still be eligible.

A change that is unwelcome by many students.

“I definitely don’t have enough to live off of,” said Seana Medina, a student in the fitness and health promotion program. “I’m 20- years-old, so they’re still looking at my parents income like, ‘Oh you’re fine.’ The thing is my mom is in university, she’s paying for her own education,”

Medina, like other students, has made plans to help cover school related cost.

“I don’t actually have enough money, I’m cool right now, but I’m going to have to pick up shifts.”

Other students are hoping that they will be able to pay off the increased loan amounts by getting jobs in their field, post-graduation.

“I think I lost a bit on my grants,” said David Nindorera, who studies computer programming. “When I’m studying I think it’s an investment on me. So as long as I’m studying, I hope to be able to pay it after school.”

Despite the decrease in funding and grants for some students, staff at Algonquin have not seen any indication that there is much of an increase in the number of students in financial stress.

“This is not something that we typically measure,” said Krista Marsden, manager, student financial support. “However, we are not seeing a noticeable difference as of yet in our emergency bursary requests or our food card distribution.”