Ontario students from low-income families won’t be paying tuition for college or university starting next year, part of an Ontario government plan to eliminate the “sticker shock” that deters so many from going on to post-secondary education.

The new Ontario Student Grant, announced in Thursday’s budget, is a revamp of the student aid system and will begin in the 2017-18 school year — it means money will be available upfront, before tuition bills are due, for families earning less than $50,000, said Reza Moridi, minister of training, colleges and universities.

The Liberal government expects 70 per cent of those students will actually receive more in provincial grants than the average amount of university tuition, leaving them with no provincial student debt.

“Our plan increases access for everyone and benefits the middle class,” said Minister of Finance Charles Sousa in his budget speech, referring to additional low-interest and interest-free loans to students from more affluent homes.

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