Important Changes to Work Study Program

PDAD&C#62, 2011-12

From:    Cheryl Misak, Vice-President and Provost
Date: May 22, 2012
Re: Important Changes to Work Study Program 

In its April budget, the Government of Ontario regrettably eliminated funding for the Work Study program. This program provided valuable work opportunities to students. Provincial funding to the University of Toronto was $2.5M, offsetting over 50% of our total expenditure for the program, though these funds were restricted to full-time, OSAP-eligible students from Ontario.

The University remains committed to providing our students with meaningful work experiences. While the loss of provincial funding is an additional burden on our finances, it also creates an opportunity to revisit the program design so that it better meets objectives for both our students and for the University of Toronto departments or faculty members who employ them.

In my memo of April 12, I advised you that the program would continue for summer 2012, with employers being asked to fund 40% of student wages for this period.

I'm happy to announce that we have reconfigured the program for Fall-Winter 2012-13 so that it can be more in line with our objectives for experiential learning opportunities for more of our students:

• An employer contribution of 20% of student wages will be required. The remaining 80% will be funded centrally.
• Student eligibility for the program will no longer be limited to full-time OSAP-eligible students. In addition, international and out-of-province students will be eligible, as will part-time students who are taking a course load of at least 2.0 credits over the fall/winter terms.
• Jobs will be assessed for funding on the basis of the quality of the student work experience being offered.
• PERA funds can be used, if faculty members so choose, for the employer contribution

Applications for fall-winter work study positions will open shortly.