Applications Open! Sign Up Today for Ontario’s Learn and Stay Grant

Students enrolled in eligible nursing, paramedic or medical lab-tech programs could receive free tuition, books and other supplies

May 16, 2023

Colleges and Universities

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  4. Additional Resources
  5. Related Topics

OWEN SOUND — Beginning today, students can apply for the newly-expanded Learn and Stay Grant. The grant provides full, upfront funding for tuition, books and other costs for students who enrol in an eligible nursing, paramedic or medical laboratory technologist program and agree to stay in underserviced communities to work after graduation. The program is designed to encourage students to learn and stay locally, helping to bring in-demand health care workers to communities that need them most across the province.

“Applications are now open for the Learn and Stay grant, marking an exciting milestone in our government’s plan to deliver more convenient and connected care for people in every corner of the province,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “This grant is a win-win for postsecondary students and communities across Ontario, ensuring our future health care workers get the world-class training they need to give a much-needed boost to local health care facilities in the communities that need it most.”

“We know the status quo isn’t working and moving forward with bold initiatives like these to add more health care professionals in Ontario will benefit in rural and remote communities especially,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Opening applications for the expanded program to offer grants to nursing and two additional health care roles in high demand will help ensure that Ontarians, no matter the size of their community, will receive the care they need closer to home.”

Grant applications for the 2023-24 academic year are now open for postsecondary students who enrol in their first year in the following programs and regions:

  • Nursing programs in northern, eastern and southwestern Ontario
  • Medical laboratory technologist/medical laboratory sciences programs in northern and southwestern Ontario
  • Paramedic programs in northern Ontario.

Students can find the application, as well as information about eligible programs and regions, online at

Quick Facts

  • The government has dedicated $61 million for the Ontario Learn and Stay Grant.
  • Students can apply up to 60 days before the end of their study period, meaning they can apply for the grant well after they’ve started their eligible 2023-24 program.
  • To be eligible for the grant, students must:
    • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person and live in Ontario
    • enrol in the first year of an eligible diploma, advanced diploma, undergraduate, masters or post-graduate program in a priority region
    • commit to work in the region where they studied for a minimum of six months for every year of study funded by the grant.
  • For the 2023-24 academic year, only first year students may apply. After 2023-24, the grant will continue to be available to these students as they move into their second year and beyond.
  • Students can also apply for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to help pay for other costs, such as living expenses


“The Ontario Learn and Stay Grant not only offers a sizable financial contribution for students, but also has the power to make a significant impact in our community. After they graduate, the additional nurses will make an immediate difference in local facilities, such as the Owen Sound hospital, Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre and Southbridge Owen Sound long term care facility, helping to connect people to care, closer to home.”

– Rick Byers
MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

“When Georgian launched our standalone nursing degree in fall 2022, our research estimated the need to hire 4,300 new nurses over the next decade in Grey, Bruce and Simcoe counties, to accommodate regional growth and replace retiring nurses. Not only will the Learn and Stay Grant make nursing studies more accessible to local students, but it will also attract others from outside the area who want to launch rewarding nursing careers in underserviced regions of our province like Grey Bruce. These future nurses are critical to our communities.”

– Kevin Weaver
President and CEO, Georgian College

“Access to the high-quality programs at our public colleges is essential to Ontario’s efforts to strengthen the health-care workforce, particularly in underserviced communities. We’re pleased to see this support for students pursuing careers that are in high demand.”

– Marketa Evans
President and CEO, Colleges Ontario

“On behalf of Ontario’s universities, we are pleased to welcome the launch of applications for the Ontario Learn and Stay Grant. This grant will provide valuable support for students entering health programs including nursing and nurse practitioners while addressing shortages in vital health professions in priority communities across the province.”

– Steve Orsini
President and CEO, Council of Ontario Universities

Additional Resources

Related Topics

Education and Training

Learn about Ontario’s early years, education and training systems. Includes information on child care, elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities, skills training and financial aid. Learn more


Learn about the government services available to you and how government works. Learn more


Media Contacts

Liz Tuomi
Minister Dunlop’s Office

Ivo Felipe
Communications Branch