A #YUBlog Guide to OSAP

Posted by Sophie Morgan on June 14, 2018

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University can provide you with wonderful opportunities to learn, grow as an individual and prepare for your career. It’s also a big investment – it involves expenses including tuition, textbooks, supplies and transportation. You may use a variety of methods to fund your studies, such as savings, employment income, scholarships and/or the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). If you’re enrolling at York University for the upcoming 2018-2019 Fall-Winter Session(s), you should start thinking about your OSAP application. You should complete your application by June 30 in order to have your funds for the start of the Fall term.

We at the #YUBlog are here to help you navigate this government financial assistance program with our guide to OSAP!

Before we discuss OSAP and the application process, it’s important to know that this OSAP guide is tailored to full-time students. If you are not a full-time student, please use the following resources to learn about your application process:

Note: Once you receive financial assistance, you assume the student obligations outlined on York U’s Student responsibilities webpage. It is your responsibility to submit all necessary documents and signatures on time to receive your funds by the start of the term.

An image of two people's hands holding pencils over a document next to two Apple laptops. Image represents discussing OSAP funds.
For any questions you may have about OSAP, don’t hesitate to contact Student Financial Services at the Glendon Campus or at the Keele Campus to meet with a Financial Aid Adviser!

What is OSAP?

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program that can help you pay for college or university. It offers funding through grants (money that does not have to be paid back) and loans (money that needs to be repaid once you are done school).

Most grants are awarded based on financial need. Additional grants for full-time and part-time students and students with permanent disabilities can be found on OSAP’s Maximum amounts of aid webpage and the Canada Student Grants webpage.

You are automatically considered for both loans and grants. However, if you do not want a loan from OSAP, you can decline it after your application is approved. Even if you plan to decline your OSAP funds, it’s a good idea to apply in order to be eligible for any financial assistance through the Student Financial Profile (SFP). Without applying for OSAP, you could be ineligible to receive additional funding through the SFP.

Success Tip: It’s very important to understand OSAP’s terminology as a student borrower. If you are unfamiliar with any of OSAP’s terms, be sure to check out the OSAP definitions page!

Am I Eligible to Receive OSAP?

You can receive OSAP if you:

  • Are a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Protected Person;
  • Are an Ontario resident or have lived in Ontario for 12 consecutive months without studying full-time at a postsecondary institution;
  • Register in an OSAP-approved degree program;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress while receiving OSAP aid;
    • While receiving financial aid, it is expected that you successfully complete and pass your courses. Your academic progress will be reviewed to ensure that you continue to be eligible. Please review York U’s Academic progress and OSAP eligibility webpage for more information.
  • Demonstrate financial need as calculated by the government; and
    • In this calculation, OSAP considers gross family income and student resources/assets among other factors.
  • Meet the minimum course load requirement.
    • A course load refers to the number of courses you have registered for in an academic session. Be sure to visit York U’s Calculating course load page for more details.

Check out our previous post, “Understanding OSAP: Before You Apply” for more details!

What Can I Use OSAP for?

You can use OSAP for any education expenses while at university, including living expenses and any school supplies you may need, such as tuition and books.

Image of a woman in a blue sweater writing in a notebook. Photo is focused on her hands. From Pixabay.
It’s a good idea to budget your OSAP funds to ensure that you are using this money wisely!

How Much Can I Receive from OSAP?

OSAP funding varies from person to person. However, OSAP is calculated based upon:

  • Education Expenses: the money required for tuition, books, supplies and living expenses.
  • Personal Financial Situation: considers your family’s income, family size and number of dependents among other factors.
  • Course Load

If you’d like a more specific calculation about the funding you may be eligible to receive, be sure to use the OSAP Aid Estimator!

When Can I Apply for OSAP?

Applications for the 2018-2019 Fall-Winter term(s) are already open for full-time students!

Be sure to check out York U’s OSAP Important Dates webpage and the chart below for additional dates to look out for!

Term Start Date Recommended Date to Apply for OSAP
September June 30
January October 31
May March 31
A photo of a person hand's typing on a laptop. Image represents person filling out OSAP application.
OSAP processing times usually take from four to six weeks. Be sure to apply online by the suggested deadline, June 30, to ensure you receive your funds on time!

How Do I Apply for OSAP?

Successfully applying for OSAP is as easy as following these three steps. You can also visit the #YUBlog’s post, “Understanding OSAP: Applying for OSAP” for a detailed overview of the process!

1) Register online to create an OSAP account.

If this is your first time applying for OSAP, please use OSAP’s new user registration. When applying, you will need your Social Insurance Number (SIN). Be sure to keep a hold of your OSAP Access Number (OAN) and password to log in at a later date.

2) Apply for OSAP online.

  • Log in to OSAP using your OAN and password.
  • Identify York University as your university.
  • Print off all the signature forms required. Take your time to ensure that you have all of the necessary documents and have signed where required – even one missing page or signature could delay your processing time!
  • Attach any other documentation required.

3) Submit your OSAP application by the deadline

The suggested deadline for the 2018-2019 Fall-Winter Semester is June 30.

Once you have completed your application, you can submit the completed signature forms and supporting documentation to one of the following two locations:

  • Upload directly to the OSAP website.
  • Place in the drop box located in the lobby of the Bennett Centre for Student Services (open 24 hours a day) or mail to:

Student Financial Services – York University
Bennett Centre for Student Services
4700 Keele ST, Toronto, ON, Canada, M3J 1P3

Success Tip: Need to report changes to your OSAP application? It’s important to report changes to your OSAP application information and report scholarships, awards and bursaries to OSAP. You can upload the changes to your OSAP application using the link for optional uploads, “Updates to your application”. Making changes to your banking information? You can use the NSLSC Toolbox to update this information.

After I’ve Applied? What’s Next?

Complete the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement

If you are a first-time OSAP applicant, you are required to complete the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA). Your OSAP summary will prompt you to submit your MSFAA if it is applicable to you. This is a lifetime student loan agreement for full-time students and must only be completed once during your postsecondary studies. Do not send your MSFAA to York U. You must upload these completed forms to your OSAP application.

Check your OSAP application status regularly

It’s important to keep track of your application status, so you can learn:

  • If your application has been processed
  • If you need to provide additional documents
  • How much funding you may receive
  • When you could receive your funds

Track your OSAP documents

You can monitor your OSAP documents using York U’s Financial Document Tracker or through your online OSAP application.

A photo of a wooden pen on a yellow envelope lying on a desk. By Pixabay.
You can complete your MSFAA any time after you submit your OSAP application. You do not need to wait until classes begin.

The #YUBlog’s post, “Understanding OSAP: After You’ve Applied” is a fantastic resource if you would like more information about application processing and next steps!

Success Tip: In addition to applying for OSAP, it’s a great idea to complete your Student Financial Profile (SFP). If you do so, you may be eligible for additional funding and on-campus employment opportunities! Check our previous #YUBlog post, “Submitting Your Student Financial Profile” for more information.

How Do I Receive and Manage my OSAP Funds?

OSAP funds are managed by the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). Students receive their funds in two installments: 60% in September and 40% in January.

These funds can only be received after:

  • Your completed application and documents have been received and approved
  • All your information has been verified
  • Your school has confirmed your enrolment prior to both payment installments.

Although undergraduate program-based course fees for the Fall term are to be paid September 10, no late charges will be applied to your account for course payments until October 10 if you applied for OSAP by the June 30 deadline. Please visit York U’s Payment due dates webpage webpage for more information on payment deadlines for the Fall and Winter terms.

Table of the enrolment dates from the "Payment due dates" webpage from York U.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with these dates to never miss a payment deadline!

If you have any questions or concerns about receiving your funds in time, please contact the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) for more information.

We at the #YUBlog hope that this guide to OSAP has been a useful financial resource! If you are looking for even more information about managing your finances, be sure to check out our posts, “Financial Support for Domestic Students” and “Financial Support for International Students“!

If you have any questions about OSAP, please comment below or tweet us @YorkUStudents!

Sophie Morgan
Sophie Morgan

Sophie Morgan is a second-year Professional Writing and French Studies double major at York U. She is an avid writer, a baking enthusiast and a full-time cat-sitter. She hopes that her posts will inform and inspire both prospective and current York U students!

See other posts by Sophie Morgan

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