Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
The Financial Aid Office works with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development in administering the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for students attending the Western University.
The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) is 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 or TA income 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 per term)
- Undergraduate students who have a permanent disability are eligible if enrolled in at least 40% of a full-time course load per term (the equivalent of at least two half courses per term)
- 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 the Financial Aid Office.
Students using OSAP to pay tuition, and/or ensure funding is received at the start of their study period should apply by June 30.
An OSAP application is academic year specific (i.e. 2016-2017). 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 at any Ontario college or university for assistance. Be sure to have your government issued photo identification and the proof of your SIN card when inquiring about your OSAP account.
When you have completed your application you can 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 page 1 (keep the other pages as reference as they outline the terms and conditions) to a designated Canada Post outlet. They will forward 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 the required documentation (see list of acceptable documentation below) to: National Student Loans Service Centre, PO Box 4030, Mississauga, ON L5A 4M4.
List of Acceptable documentation:
- Proof of your Social Insurance Number (SIN):
- Your Social Insurance Card, or
- An official Government of Canada document that contains your Social Insurance Number (e.g., a Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment, a Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions, or a Confirmation of Social Insurance Number from Service Canada).
- One piece of valid photo ID issues in Canada by the federal, provincial or territorial government. Examples of acceptable ID: Canadian passport, permanent resident or citizenship card, Ontario photo card, valid driver's license of provincial health card with photo. Student ID cards are not acceptable forms of photo ID.
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 2016-2017 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, with the exception 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 with Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. This process starts at the beginning of each term and 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 you 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. OSAP funding is based on the number of courses you are enrolled in and the costs associated with your course selection. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate your OSAP application correctly. 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. Changing your bank account information
- If your bank account information changes after you submitted your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement, you can complete a Bank Account Change Request form and submit to National Student Loan Service Center, address and fax number are listed on the form. This form is available from the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) Toolbox.
6. 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 Advanced Education and Skills Development approximately one month before your second disbursement.
- Students can submit income changes by completing a 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? This occurs when a student receives more OSAP than they are eligible for due to a change in course load, income change or other changes. Income verification is when a student and parent(s)’ income is verified to their income tax return. A variance between the values can lead to an overpayment. The second overpayment on an OSAP application will cause a restriction and future funding will not be released. Students must to pay back the overpaid amount before continuing with OSAP funding.
- 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 Complete and 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: