Financial Information for Students
What is OSAP?
OSAP is the acronym for the Ontario Student Assistance Program, which is in place to supplement the financial resources of students and their families in order to help meet education-related costs.
How do I apply for OSAP?
You can apply online at the OSAP website. Applications for the 2015-16 academic year are now available. We encourage all students to use the web application to apply for studies beginning in September 2015. The web application is free. We recommend that returning students apply for OSAP by May 31 and new students apply by June 30 to ensure their funds are available when classes begin in September.
OSAP loans are interest-free while you are at school. Payments do not have to be made until six months after you stop being a full-time student although interest begins to accrue from the date your study period ends.
It is important to note that OSAP allowances may not necessarily cover all of your actual educational and living expenses.
Are Part-Time students eligible for OSAP?
Part-Time students, enrolled in course work only, are ineligible to be considered for OSAP as they do not meet OSAP's 60% courseload requirement (two half-courses per session). They are eligible to be considered for a Part-time Canada Student Loan.
Part-Time students, enrolled in one half-course and in research on a thesis or Major Research Paper (MRP), are eligible to be considered for OSAP provided they have their supervisor sign a form (available in Student Services) attesting that they are engaged in research the equivalent of a 60% courseload.
Part-Time students, enrolled in research on a thesis or Major Research Paper (MRP) only, are eligible to be considered for OSAP provided they have their supervisor sign a form (available in Student Services) attesting that they are engaged in research the equivalent of a 60% courseload.
Can I defer my fees based on OSAP?
Fee deferrals, based on OSAP, are completed on ROSI. Login to ROSI and choose Financial Accounts. Scroll down and click on the link for OSAP/Gov't deferral. If you receive an error message while attempting the deferral drop into Student Services with your OSAP Notice of Assessment and complete a Tuition Fee Deferral form. If you have not yet received your OSAP Notice of Assessment, but would like to defer your fees (and have already applied to OSAP) you can visit Enrolment Services (172 St. George St.) and request a Tution Fee Deferral form be authorized. You can then bring this form to Student Services for processing.
After submitting your online OSAP application you will be able to print your personalized Master Student Financial Assistance Agreeement (MSFAA) along with your OSAP signature pages. Take the MSFAA, with identification and banking information, to a Canada Post outlet (Student Services has a list of designated postal outlets) to be forwarded to the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). You will be able to receive multiple disbursements over your academic lifetime with a valid MSFAA. A new agreement would only be required if there was a break in study of more than two years.
Confirmation of Income
Updates to summer and school year income, previously updated through a Confirmation of Enrolment that was completed when you picked up the first installment of OSAP funding, will now be updated online (on the OSAP website). The second installment of OSAP funds will not be released in January until your income information has been updated.
OSAP signature papers and supporting documentation
Students will still have to provide Enrolment Services with their OSAP Signature pages and supporting documentation for update to their OSAP accounts.
Where do I negotiate my loan document?
As mentioned above, OSAP will no longer be producing paper loan/grant certificates. Once you have printed your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA), take it to a postal outlet (Student Services has a list of designated postal outlets) to be forwarded to the National Student Loans Service Centre. You will be required to present your SIN card, a photo ID (student card) and a VOID cheque at the postal outlet. Your loan will be directly deposited into your bank account within 7 days.
If you did not qualify for OSAP or don't require funding, and have previous OSAP loans, you will still need to have a paper OSAP Continuation of Interest Free Status (Schedule 2) form authorized. You will need to complete or hand in the form at the Registrar & Student Engagement Office on the 4th floor at specific times of the year to have the form completed and return in two days time to take it to Enrolment Services for data entry on the OSAP system to ensure that your previous loans remain interest-free.
Use the following guide to determine the best time to visit our office:
Continuing PhD: On or after September 1, 2015, but not before.
Ist Year PhD: On or after September 8, 2015, but not before.
All Masters Degrees: On or after September 8, 2015, but not before.
If you are receiving OSAP this year, you do not need to complete a schedule 2 form to keep your loans in interest-free status. If you are not receiving OSAP this year you must advise your lender(s) that you are registered. Complete a Schedule 2 form at Student Services. You must return to Student Services in 2 days to pick up the authorized form and take it to Enrolment Services, where the information is entered online to advise your lender(s) of your updated period of study dates. It is best to submit the Schedule 2 form early in the term so that the National Student Loans Service Centre and/or your bank know that you are in school and your loan does not go into repayment and interest does not accrue on your loan.
Masters students must complete the schedule 2 form in September (for the period September through April) and again in May (for the period May through August); ITE students need only complete the form in September (for the period September through May); doctoral students need only complete the form in September (for the period September through August).
It is important to note that the form cannot be signed outside of the period to which it refers, i.e., the form could not be signed in September 2014 for the 2013/14 academic year, or in the case of Masters students, it could not be signed in May 2014 for the September 2013 through April 2014 period or in September 2014 for the May through August 2014 period.
Must I keep OSAP informed about changes to my income?
Yes. You must notify Enrolment Services, in writing, of any changes to your academic, financial, family, or study-period status, and if applicable, any change to your parents' or partner's financial and/or family status.
Failure to notify OSAP (through Enrolment Services) of changes to your income, for example, has grave consequences. You could be restricted from receiving further OSAP funding, you could be prevented from receiving an OGS award (if offered one) and your loan forgiveness could be revoked. Alternatively, you could be required to repay any overpayment (that may have resulted from a failure to report your income) before further OSAP funding is awarded. Note that OSAP verifies your reported income with the Canada Revenue Agency.
Can I appeal the amount of my OSAP Loan?
If you wish to appeal the amount granted to you by OSAP you should contact Enrolment Services, 172 St. George St. OSAP uses standard criteria to assess your financial need and to determine the amount of funding available to you. In some cases, these criteria may not adequately reflect your particular circumstances. If you applied for an OSAP loan, and are not satisfied with your assessment results, you have the right to request a review of your file.
When your OSAP application is assessed, standard criteria are applied for allowable costs like housing, transportation, food, and the like. Many actual expenses you may have incurred will be considered by OSAP upon review only. The request is examined by the University’s Enrolment Services Office based on Canada and Ontario Student Loan legislation and regulations, policy guidelines, and previous decisions. All reviews must be received by Enrolment Services sixty days before the end of your study period.
Your loan entitlement could increase if you’re are able to show that you (or your spouse) had exceptional expenses as listed:
* part-time study costs;
* student loan payments;
* uninsured medical, dental,or optical expenses;
* payments for child or spousal support to a non-dependent child or former spouse;
* legal fees related but not limited to separation/divorce or criminal/civil cases;
* child-care expenses for children with disabilities 12 years of age or older;
* essential house repairs required for health and safety reasons funeral costs not covered by the deceased’s estate, Canada Pension Plan, or other benefit plans;
* pre-study additional local travel;
* costs of care for elderly or infirm relatives.
The $5000 allowable vehicle exemption may be raised to $10,000 if:
* public transit is not available for you to use from your home to the university or for your spouse to his or her place of employment;
* access to a vehicle is required to fulfill the requirements of your program of studies (e.g work placements) and no public transit is available between your home and field placement requirements; or the use of public transit is more than one hour from your home to the work placements; or the work placements are more than 40 kilometres from your home; your spouse’s employment requires access to a vehicle;
* you are a single dependent or independent student residing at home and you require access to a vehicle in order to commute to university;
* you are a sole-support parent or married student and you require a vehicle to transport your dependent children (e.g. under the age of 12) to and from a child care provider.
There are also other grounds on which you can ask for a review. You may want to check these out with a counsellor in Student Services or at Enrolment Services.
Ontario Student Opportunity Grant (Loan Forgiveness)
Any amount that you borrow in excess of $7300 for the year ($10,500 for doctoral students) will be offset by a grant from OSAP equivalent to that amount subject to you having successfully completed your program of studies, income verification by OSAP with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, and provided that you have not defaulted on any previous loans. OSAP will determine your eligibility for this grant (formerly called loan forgiveness) six months after your study period ends. If you qualify, OSAP will forward this grant to the National Student Loans Service Centre (or to the bank that holds your loan if you received loans prior to August 2000) to pay down your debt. In some cases, this amount can be fairly significant. Click HERE for more information on the Ontario Student Opportunity Grant (Loan Forgiveness).
OSAP Ineligibility or Disqualification
Students who are ineligible for OSAP for reasons such as defaults on previous government loans, previously under-reported income, disqualifying credit histories, or reaching maximum lifetime OSAP limits should put together a strong financial plan. The level of assistance that the University might provide in these instances is determined on a case-by-case basis. You may wish to speak with a Student Services counsellor regarding this.
What is UTAPS?
UTAPS is a program that identifies students who have unmet OSAP-assessed need after receiving maximum government aid. The University, through a non-repayable grant, "tops up" any amount you received from OSAP. You are automatically considered for UTAPS if you applied for OSAP. Out-of-province students should contact Enorlment Services at 172 St. George St. to fill out an application.
If you have received any amount of assistance from OSAP and still find that you are in serious financial difficulty, you are eligible to qualify for bursary assistance from the faculty. Bursaries are non-repayable grants and you may apply for, and receive, a bursary once per academic session, ie. fall, winter, summer. You are expected to exhaust other avenues of assistance like OSAP first. If you did not apply for, or qualify for, OSAP, the chances are very slim that you will receive bursary funds but special circumstances are taken into consideration. International students, though not eligible to apply for general bursary assistance, may apply for emergency assistance. If you are having difficulty meeting your education costs, please call our front desk at 416-978-4300 to inquire about the options that may be available to you.
You may apply for bursary assistance once you are registered.
Ontario Work Study Program
The Ontario Work Study Program (OWSP) is a special program that gives students a chance to supplement their funding through working part-time on campus. You can earn about $106/week during your period of study without it affecting your OSAP entitlement and gain valuable experience at the same time. Many of these positions are advertised in the University's Career Centre. The deadline for applying for any work-study positions on campus is normally the end of October.
Short-term emergency loans are available for graduate students who are facing an unanticipated emergency. Drop in to see a Student Engagement counsellor to see if you can qualify for a loan.
Other Useful Websites
CanLearn (You can check the status of your loan here.)