What is OSAP?
The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a source of funding to help you pay for college. It might include grants (money you don’t have to pay back) and student loans (money you need to repay once you finish school).
Who is eligible for OSAP?
Ontario residents of all ages who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons can get OSAP. Funding is available for full-time and part-time students who meet eligibility.
You’re likely ineligible for OSAP if you’re an international student, if you have enough financial resources to cover your expenses, or if you’ve failed a credit check. Check OSAP’s list of things that might make you ineligible.
How much money do you get?
It depends. OSAP assesses your funding by looking at the cost of your program, your living expenses, course load, program hours, and personal finances. If you’re Indigenous, from Extended Society Care, or have a permanent disability, you may get more funding. The OSAP estimator might help give you an idea.
When should you apply?
To get funds when you’ll need them, the best time to apply is eight weeks before your program starts. If you’re starting in the fall, that means you should apply in early July. Learn more about when to apply.
If you’re returning to school and received OSAP last year, you still have to fill out an OSAP application for this academic year.
How to apply
- Register: Find your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and then register online for an OSAP account. Save or write down your OSAP access number and password for future logins.
- Complete the form: Fill out the online OSAP application form. It takes less than 15 minutes. You can save your application and come back to it, as needed. To complete the form, you’ll need:
- Info about your Georgian program
- Date you last attended high school full-time
- Your SIN number and/or your parents’ or spouse’s SIN number
- Your latest tax return and/or your parents’ or spouse’s latest tax return
- Complete your MSFAA: Watch for an email from the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). They’ll prompt you to register for an online account and ask you to complete your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) plan. This is how you provide your banking information so money can be deposited. Your MSFAA number can be found in your OSAP application, under Required Documents. You’ll only have to do this once.
- Submit final documents: Complete your signature and declaration forms and then upload them to your OSAP application. If you need to submit additional documents, you’ll be prompted.
- Monitor: Keep checking your OSAP account for updates. Opt-in for email notifications. It usually takes about three to six weeks, from the day you’ve submitted all your documents and forms, to hear back.
- Pay tuition and register for classes: You need to pay at least your minimum deposit and then register for courses. That will allow Georgian to confirm to OSAP that you’re enrolled as a student at the start of term, so that your funds can be released.
When will you receive funds?
You’ll likely get your money in two instalments. The first at the start of term (usually September) and the rest halfway through your study period (usually in January).
Just remember that to get funds you have to complete your application and upload all required documents. Your documents and information have to be verified by OSAP. And then Georgian has to confirm to OSAP that you are enrolled, which can only happen after you pay your deposit and register for classes.