Ontario Textbook Credit - Macleans.ca

Ontario Textbook Credit


The first week of the new academic year is over and the majority of students will have purchased all their required textbooks by the end of the weekend.

They will not know if they purchased them in the proper way to receive Dalton McGuinty’s new Textbook and Technology Grant because neither Dalton McGuinty or John Milloy want to tell students the information they need to know.

A stall statement that details are coming in September doesn’t cut it – it’s September, where’s the information?

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Ontario Textbook Credit

  1. Andrew,

    Thank You!
    I’m relieved to know it’s a blanket grant. Saddened at the same time due to the millions of dollars that will be wasted administering it.

  2. Andrew, thanks.

    Oh, where to start….

    1) This note is dated June 4 – which implies that this plans was cooking for at least the last 3 months.

    2) My ongoing boogaboo: The grant is not for part-time students nor international students…as if these students are somehow immune from the increasing costs of textbooks.

    3) The working group charged with looking into the government’s approach didn’t include any students (CASA, CFS-O..anybody).

    4) It’s unclear what the threshold is – if I take 60% in the fall only, and 20% in the winter, do I get the grant?

    5) Students won’t see any of the cash for some time – until colleges and universities confirm their standing at some point later in the year. The reference to a separate confirmation process is ominous – will students have to pay for a “confirmation of registration” from their registrar’s office?

    6) Each institution get $30K in one-time…which totals, what, $1 million? $2 million? in extra admin costs, not to mention the development of the software on the Ministry end…

    7) “The Ministry is aware that using an application-based approach to distribute the Grant will miss some students and that there will be some grey areas, and will take steps to try to ensure that all eligible students are captured.”
    So there is basically the concession that not all eligible students will actually get the cash they are entitled to.

    8) Cheque issuance to that many people will not be cheap.

    9) Tax receipts? Is this going to count as scholarship income, and thus not be taxable? Or is it something else? Will it be taxable income?

    10)”The expectation is that the delivery model will be up and running by September 1, 2008.” ‘Nuff said.

  3. Sean, I agree completely with your comments. A numebr of them stuck out for me however; the fact that part-time students and international students aren’t eligible for the grant is inexcusable. Especially international students, who already have enough on their plate, beginning with extremely high tuition costs, the grant would be most appreciated by them.

    Secondly, “The expectation is that the delivery model will be up and running by September 1, 2008” is, not suprisingly, false. I went on last night and tried to apply but it took me nearly 15 minutes just to find the first mentioning of the grant. When I tried to apply for it, I got a message saying “Come back here later in September to apply!” dated August 26, 2008.

    I almost get the feeling that the McGuinty government is trying to hide this grant, as if they regret passing it. Im sure later in September, if they do get the application process figured out, we’ll get a message telling us we’re past the deadline to applying for the fall semester.