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 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.
OSAP is open to Ontario residents who are:
- Canadian Citizen
- Permanent Resident
- Protected Person (Protected Person Status Document is required)
Course Load Requirements
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)
- All full-time graduate students are assessed for OSAP based on a 100% course load. Part-time students are considered to be registered in a 50% course load. Only graduate students who self-identify as having a permanent disability are eligible for full-time OSAP at this course load.
It generally takes 6-8 weeks for OSAP applications to be completed by the Financial Aid Office.
To ensure the OSAP funding is received at the start of your study period, students must apply by June 30. This is of significant importance for students requiring OSAP funding to pay their tuition.
An OSAP application is academic year specific (i.e. 2018-2019). 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.
When you have completed your application you have the option of uploading all supporting documentation through your online OSAP account. You may also submit your required documents to the Financial Aid office for processing.
Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) - Prior to the 2018-2019 academic year, this document was a paper process. Please note, this document is now an online registration process when applying to OSAP.
Submit your OSAP application no later than 60 days before the end of your study period.
Also, your Financial Aid office must receive the following no later than 40 days from the end of your study period:
- Supporting documentation (e.g., signature and declaration pages, etc.)
- Request for review (if applicable)
It generally takes 6-8 weeks for the Financial Aid office to process your application.
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).
- Following the first disbursement of OSAP and before the release of your second disbursement, 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.
- Do you need to report a change in course load, program of study, income, marital or citizenship status? Complete the OSAP Change Form and submit to the Financial Aid Office.
- Do you need to appeal your OSAP entitlement? Appeals are based on specific provincially-mandated guidelines. The deadline to submit an appeal is 40 days before the end of your study period.
- Unsure how a change will affect your eligibility? Do you need financial aid counselling? Click here. ID is required.
If you are currently enrolled in school on a full-time basis (60% or more of a full course load; 40% if you are a student with a permanent disability) in each term you are applying for the interest free status; and you are NOT receiving Full-Time OSAP funding for your current study period or your funding application has been delayed, you and your school must complete a Continuation of Interest-Free Status Application.
How to apply for Continuation of Interest-Free Status:
Students now have two ways to apply for CIFS consideration:
- Online, by logging into your online OSAP account and submitting the new CIFS web-based application.
- On paper, using the new Continuation of Interest-Free Status Application (released April 28, 2017).
Students should apply online. It's much faster than applying on paper. Students can also check the status of their application online.
Note: This form can be completed on or after your study period start date and no later than your study period end date.
The Continuation of Interest-Free Status Application can be found on the OSAP website's form list.
Graduate students will need to complete and submit a Continuation of Interest-Free Status Application every term you are attending studies if you are not in receipt of Full-Time OSAP funding or your funding application has been delayed.
For further information, please go to "Keep your OSAP loans interest-free at https://www.ontario.ca/page/after-you-apply-osap.
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!
The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) offers a Repayment Webinar on demand! The link to this webinar is provided below:
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
The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) offers Information and Repayment Webinars for your convenience. 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:
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.