Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
Federal and provincial governments offer financial aid to students in the form of loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, and repayment assistance programs. The Student Financial Aid Office administers these programs on behalf of the various levels of government.
In Ontario, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) and Canada Student Loans (CSL) offer an integrated Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). OSAP provides eligible Ontario students with financial aid to help pay for educational-related costs such as tuition, books, compulsory fees, transportation and associated living costs. OSAP is intended to supplement a student’s (and family’s) financial resources and contributions towards their education.
The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) is the financial institution responsible for the distribution and repayment of student loans. Out-of-province and out-of-country student loan programs provide similar assistance though methods of delivery may vary.
Note: If you are an undergraduate submitting an application for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and you anticipate receiving any scholarship, award or bursary funding from Western University, do not report it on your OSAP application as we will report it on your behalf. Students are still responsible for reporting any external funding received (i.e. not awarded by Western) on their OSAP application.
Graduate students must report all income, scholarships and awards with exception of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). This will be reported to OSAP on your behalf by Graduate Studies office.
To be eligible to apply for OSAP, students must meet the following eligibility requirements:
OSAP is open to Ontario residents who are:
- Canadian Citizen
- Permanent Resident
- Protected Person (Protected Person Status Document is required)
In order to be considered a full-time student for the purpose of receiving OSAP funding you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Undergraduate students must be fully-registered student in at least 60% of a full-time course load per term (the equivalent of at least three half courses)
- Undergraduate students who self-identify as having permanent disability are eligible by enrolling in at least 40% of a full-time course load per term (the equivalent of at least two half courses)
- Graduate students may or may not be required to take courses as part of their degree. Graduate students are either full-time or part-time. A full-time Graduate student would have a course load of 100% on the OSAP application. Part-time Graduate students are only eligible for full-time OSAP if they are students who self-identify as having permanent disability. In this case you would have a course load of 50% on the OSAP application.
It generally takes 6-8 weeks for OSAP applications to be completed by Financial Aid Office.
Students who want to use OSAP to pay tuition and/or receive funding at the start of their study period should apply by June 30.
An OSAP application is academic year specific (i.e. 2015-2016). You will need to apply for OSAP each academic year. The OSAP application is generally available in May of each year for the upcoming academic year.
Apply for OSAP online as soon as the application becomes available.
To apply online you will need an OSAP account. If you already have an OSAP account and have forgotten your Ontario Access Number (OAN) or password please visit the financial aid office of any Ontario college or university for assistance. Be sure to have your government issued photo identification and your SIN card when inquiring about your OSAP account.
When you have completed your application mail, drop off or (upload by logging into your OSAP Account) any required supporting documents to the Financial Aid Office at Western University.
If a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) is required you must print, sign and take it to a designated Canada Post outlet. They will mail the document to the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) on your behalf. Please do not send this form to the Financial Aid Office at Western University. If you cannot go to a designated Canada Post outlet because you are outside Canada, in a remote area, or do not have a designated outlet, you can mail page 1 of your MSFAA along with photocopies of two pieces of documentation to prove your identity (see list of acceptable documentation above) to: National Student Loans Service Centre, PO Box 4030, Mississauga, ON L5A 4M4.
Complete the Summer OSAP form if you have already applied for current academic year and would like to update your existing assessment.
Deadlines for the 2015-2016 OSAP application for full-time students is as follows:
Your application must be received by your financial aid office no later than 60 days before the end of your study period.
All required documents must be received by your financial aid office no later than 40 days before the end of your study period.
Note: Documents received after your deadline date will not be considered.
Any review request must be received no later than 40 days before the end of your study period.
Most OSAP supporting documents can be uploaded via your OSAP Account, except the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA). Instructions for submitting the MSFAA are indicated on the form.
The Financial Aid Office at Western University uses an electronic process to confirm your enrolment directly to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. We start this process at the beginning of each term and the process is ongoing throughout each term.
What can I do to make sure I get my funding at the start of the term?
- Hand in, mail (or upload by logging into your OSAP Account) all of your required documentation for your OSAP application to our office for processing. Please view our recommended deadlines to ensure your submit any required documentation on time. You can check the status of your application by logging into your OSAP Account.
- Check that your course load and/or program on Student Center match the course load and program on your OSAP application. Use the Online Change Form if you need to change this information on your OSAP application. Submit this form to our office for processing.
- Western confirms your enrolment
- The Financial Aid Office must confirm your full-time enrolment before your funding can be released. Enrolment is verified prior to each disbursement. For most students, this happens at the start of the study period (e.g., September) and again halfway through the study period (e.g., January).
4. Check Status
- OSAP: Check OSAP funding entitlement by logging into your OSAP account.
- Bank Account: At the beginning of the term, confirm OSAP funding has been deposited to your personal bank account. Funds are usually deposited at the beginning of the study period if the application process is completed by the appropriate due dates.
- Western Student Account: Review your Statement of Account on Student Center for any balance owing (a few times in September and regularly throughout the year).
5. Income Update
- Following the first disbursement of OSAP and before the release of your second disbursement, which is generally halfway through your study period, you will be able to confirm or update your pre-study and study-period income by logging into your OSAP account. Instructions will be sent to you from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities about a month before your second disbursement.
- Students can submit income changes by using the Change of Income Form and submitting it to the Financial Aid Office at Western – Western Student Services Building, Room 1100. ***NOTE this form does not replace the Income Update required through your OSAP application. The Ministry will contact you when the Income Update web page is available.
- Your OSAP entitlement may be re-assessed based on changes in your income. Check your status for upcoming additional bank deposits, fee payments or possible overpayments.
- What is an OVERPAYMENT? It is when a student receives more OSAP than eligible for due to a change in course load, income or other changes. Income verification is when a student and parent(s)’ income is compared to their income tax return. A variance between the values can lead to an overpayment. The second overpayment on an OSAP application acts as a restriction. Students will need to pay back the overpaid amount before continuing with OSAP funding. For more information about paying an overpayment go to the OSAP "How To ..." tab.
- Do you need to report a change in course load, program of study, income, marital or citizenship status? Complete the OSAP Change Form to make changes for Fall/Winter terms and Summer OSAP Change Form for Summer term Submit to your Financial Aid Office.
- Do you need to appeal your OSAP entitlement? Appeals are based on specific provincially-mandated guidelines. The deadline to appeal is 40 days before the end of your study period.
- Do you need financial aid counselling? Follow this link: Book an appointment. ID is required.
Unsure how a change will affect your eligibility? Book an appointment with a Financial Aid Officer to discuss changes and how they may affect your entitlement.
Six months after completing your full-time post-secondary studies, whether you graduate, transfer to part-time studies, withdraw or take time off, you are required to begin repayment of your student loans!
Sign up for an OSAP Repayment Webinar with the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC).
You will learn about:
- The importance of the first 6 months after you leave school
- Understanding your Consolidation Agreement
- Your interest rate options
- Choosing your repayment term
- Maintaining your student loan in good standing
- Avoiding repayment difficulties
You can also create an account on the CanLearn website that will allow you to keep track of your loans, learn more about repaying your loans, the Repayment Assistance Program and managing your student loan debt.
For further information about OSAP repayment go to: