Ontario's Learn and Stay Grant Will Cover Tuition Costs for Nurses, Lab Techs, and Paramedics

By Logan Bright Modified on January 23, 2023
Tags : Careers | Health and Wellness | Money | News | Politics

Looking to break into the healthcare field? Ontario students may get their tuition covered by the provincial government.

Ontario Will Cover Tuition Costs for Nurses, Lab Techs, and Paramedics

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Canada has seen a shortage of healthcare workers over the course of the pandemic era. Now, the Ontario government has announced it will cover costs for healthcare students to encourage them to work in under-served communities.

The Learn and Stay Grant is primarily aimed at nurses, but will also go to medical laboratory technicians and paramedic students in areas of the province that need new healthcare workers. Eligible students will have their tuition, books, and other direct costs covered if they promise to stay at least two years in the area they studied in.

Which students are eligible for the Learn and Stay Grant?

The specific programs that are open for funding will depend on the location of the school. Here's a rough guide:

Nursing students

Nursing students pursuing an undergraduate degree or college diploma in northern, eastern, or southwestern Ontario will be eligible to apply.


Students in paramedicine at the college level in northern Ontario can apply for funding.

Medical laboratory technician

Medical lab tech students studying at the university or college level in northern or southwestern Ontario can apply for the Learn and Stay Grant.

I'm taking an eligible program, but in another part of the province. Am I eligible for a grant?

At this time, the Learn and Stay Grant only applies to students in specific regions of the province. The goal of the grant is to incentivize students to support communities that need new healthcare workers, and each region of the province has its own needs.

If you're not going to school in one of the designated regions, listed above, you won't be eligible for the Learn and Stay Grant. You may become eligible if you transfer to a school in an affected region, and commit to remaining there at least two years after graduation.

Free tuition? What's the catch?

You'll need to meet specific criteria to be eligile for a Learn and Stay Grant:

  • You're an Ontario resident, and a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person
  • Studying nursing, medical laboratory technology, or paramedicine, at the college or university level
  • The school you attend is in one of the designated areas (see above)
  • You'll commit to staying in the local area at least two years after graduation

Staying in the local area after graduation is the biggest factor, of course. Getting students to stay in smaller towns is the whole idea of the grant! If you can't handle remaining in northern, eastern, or southwestern Ontario, you shouldn't apply for the grant.

What happens if I move away before my two years is up?

If you don't meet the residency requirements — that is, you move before your two year commitment is complete — you'll have to pay back the funding you received.

How do I apply for a Learn and Stay Grant?

Applications won't open until the spring for college and university programs that begin in 2023. You can visit the Learn and Stay Grant webpage for the latest details.

You'll be able to apply online, or through the financial aid office of the college or university that you're attending.

Benefits of applying online

If you apply online, you'll get updates on the status of your application, including:

  • how much money you'll receive, and when
  • when your application is processed
  • if you need to submit any documents
  • if you or your school need to share more information

If you apply in person, you'll get this info in the mail later.

Which schools and programs are eligible for the grant?

Here's a quick list of all the schools and programs that we know will be covered by the grant. There may be some updates to this, so be sure to check out the Learn and Stay Grant webpage for more details.

Practical nursing diploma programs

Paramedic diploma programs

Medical laboratory technology / Medical laboratory science diploma programs

Bachelor in nursing undergraduate programs

Master in nursing graduate programs

Post-graduate nursing programs

Remember, applications for the Learn and Stay Grant will open in spring 2023, so if you're interested in one of the programs above, be sure to set a bookmark or calendar reminder so you can check back and apply!

Learn how to apply for a Learn and Stay Grant

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