How do I apply for OSAP?
It is strongly recommended that you apply online at http://www.ontario.ca/osap
Submit your OSAP application, then print the consents and declaration pages and forward them to Financial Aid & Awards, Enrolment Services at U of T, or upload them within the online OSAP application.
If you did not receive OSAP in the last two years, print the MSFAA, sign it, complete your banking information and take it to a designated Canada Post Outlet with two pieces of appropriate identification. Canada Post will verify your identity and then forward your MSFAA to the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) for processing. Don’t delay. Submit your MSFAA as soon as possible to ensure your funding is processed in time for the start of your studies.
If you are a returning applicant you may not need to submit any documentation.
What is a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA)?
The MSFAA is the student loan agreement that has replaced the paper loan certificate. You are only required to sign the MSFAA once in your lifetime. By signing the MSFAA, you agree to the terms and conditions for holding federal and provincial funding. In addition, it allows for the electronic release of OSAP funding directly into your back account. The MSFAA process is in place for all OSAP recipients.
If you did not receive OSAP in the last two years, you must print your MSFAA after you submit your 2016-17 OSAP application. Complete your MSFAA and bring it to a designated postal outlet. Once the MSFAA is received by the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) then your OSAP funds will deposited into your bank account at the start of your study period.
I’ve submitted my OSAP application. What happens next?
Once your OSAP application has been accepted as complete, your MSFAA has been processed by the National Student Loans Service Centre (new OSAP applicants only), and your full-time enrolment has been confirmed by U of T, your funds are ready for disbursement. In the first few weeks after classes begin, your funds will be deposited electronically into your bank account.
How do I register or pay fees if I won’t receive my OSAP funds until my classes begin? How can I request a tuition fee deferral?
OSAP recipients may register at U of T before receiving their OSAP funding – no minimum payment is required. The University permits students to register beginning in mid-July without paying the ‘Minimum Payment to Register’ amount on their Student Web Service/ACORN invoice if they have been assessed by OSAP and OSAP has determined that they will receive at least $1 in OSAP funding. Information is available at Student Accounts regarding the OSAP/Government Student Aid Tuition Fee Deferral.
Students can complete the OSAP/Government Student Aid Tuition Fee Deferral Online form by logging into the ACORN and selecting Financial Accounts. In the ‘Financial Accounts’ area, students can select ‘OSAP/Govt Deferral’.
Students who are unable to access the OSAP/Government Student Aid Tuition Fee Deferral tool on the ACORN must visit their college or faculty to request a manual tuition fee deferral.
I have enough savings to last until the end of first term. When should I apply for OSAP?
You should apply for OSAP as soon as possible (do not wait until you have run out of money!). Apply early, 8-10 weeks prior to the start of classes provides ample time to process your application, and if there are any errors, time to make corrections. There are application and processing deadlines that will prevent you from receiving funding if you wait too long. OSAP applications may be submitted to 60 days before the end of the academic session, but if you apply and receive your assessment early, you will be able to manage your budget better during the school year.
How do I pay my fees with OSAP?
- Once your OSAP funds are deposited into your bank account, you must pay your U of T fees promptly.
- If you indicated on your OSAP application that you wanted your OSAP funds to be redirected automatically to U of T to pay your tuition fees, please be aware that this process is not in place at U of T.
- Immediately after you receive your government funds, you will have to pay your fees on your own. If you do not receive any funding, you are still responsible for paying your fees and must begin doing so as soon as you receive notification of ineligibility/refusal.
- You can access your personalized fees invoice from ACORN to determine the amounts and due dates for your fees.
- Instructions are available at Student Accounts.
- The University charges a monthly service charge beginning on October 17and every month thereafter on the outstanding balance of all fees owing.
How is my OSAP released to me?
You must be registered in a full-time course load in each term of study in order to receive your OSAP funds. You cannot average your course load between terms. The OSAP minimum course loads are:
- Undergraduate Students: 1.5 credits per term
- Undergraduate Students with a Permanent Disability: 1.0 credits per term
- Graduate Students: full-time registration status or confirmation from your coordinator that you will be in a 60% course load (or 40% if you have a documented permanent disability)
OSAP funds are disbursed in two installments. Generally, for a two-term study period, 60% of the funding will be disbursed in the Fall, and the remainder in the Winter term.
The first installment will be deposited directly into your bank account after the University confirms your full-time registration in September. If you applied by mid-June, this should happen by the first or second week of classes.
Halfway through your study period, you must complete your “Confirmation of Student Income” form on the OSAP website in order to receive the second installment of your OSAP funds. Instructions will be sent to you by the Ministry about a month before your second disbursement.
Why does my Student Account say I owe fees when I have already indicated on my OSAP application that I want to redirect my OSAP funding to U of T to cover my tuition?
U of T will not be redirecting students’ OSAP funds to the University.
Even if you have elected to have your OSAP funds redirected to U of T, no fees will be redirected. Immediately after you receive your government funds, you will have to pay your fees on your own. If you don’t receive any funding you are still responsible for paying your fees and must begin doing so as soon as you receive notification of ineligibility/refusal.
You may access your personalized fees invoice from ACORN to determine the fees owed to U of T.
How do I know if my OSAP loans/grants have been processed?
You can check the processing status of your OSAP application on the OSAP website. You will need to know your Ontario Access Number (OAN) as well as your password to access this information.
It is recommended to begin checking your OSAP status no earlier than 4 – 6 weeks after you have submitted your signed consents and declaration pages to the Financial Aid & Awards at Enrolment Services.
If your OSAP application has been processed, you can also check the amount you are eligible to receive from the government for this academic year.
Do I need to confirm my income to OSAP?
You must confirm your income before the release of your second installment of OSAP funds. It is your responsibility as a borrower to inform OSAP of any changes in your financial situation throughout the school year. Instructions will be sent to you by the Ministry about one month before your second installment of OSAP is scheduled to be released. Check your email or online OSAP status regularly for instructions.
How do I change my address so that OSAP knows?
OSAP recipients must keep their address and contact information up to date with the Ministry, National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) and U of T.
- OSAP: Students log in to their OSAP accounts to change their addresses at the OSAP website
- National Student Loans Service Centre: 1-888-815-4514
- University of Toronto: log in into the ACORN – make sure that both your permanent address and mailing address are up to date
I live in another Province. Can I apply for OSAP?
No. If your home province is not Ontario, you must apply to the Ministry or Department of Education in your home province for financial assistance.
Out of Province Students are not automatically considered for UTAPS; if you would like to be considered for UTAPS funding you should submit an application by November 1. You will need your aid assessment from your home province to complete the application.
What if I have OSAP funding from previous years?
If you have a previous Canada Student Loan, Ontario Student Loan, and/or Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan and plan to continue your studies, you must ensure that your previous loan(s) are placed in interest-free status so that you do not have to repay the loan(s) and interest while you are in school.
You must ensure that your previous lender(s) and/or the NSLSC know that you are studying full time. There are two ways to do so:
- If you are receiving OSAP in 2016-17
You don’t have to do anything. The ministry will electronically inform your previous lender(s) and/or the NSLSC that you are still in school.
- If you are NOT receiving OSAP in 2016-17 or your OSAP funding will be delayed this semester
Submit a signed Continuation of Interest-Free Status (CIFS) form to Enrolment Services as soon as your semester begins. The CIFS form is available from the OSAP website under Forms or from Enrolment Services, and must be signed by your registrar’s office. Once Financial Aid & Awards has processed your CIFS form, the information will be electronically forwarded to your lender(s) and/or the National Student Loan Service Centre. Please note that this process usually takes a few business days.
Do I have to notify Financial Aid & Awards at Enrolment Services of any changes to my status?
Yes. Failure to notify Enrolment Services of any of the changes listed below may result in your restriction from receiving further OSAP funding:
- Income prior to and/or during the study period (e.g. part-time work, external scholarships and awards)
- Financial situation (for you and/or your family)
- Marital status (yours or your parents)
- Address during the school year (e.g. living at home or away)
- Other changes to your personal information (e.g. children information, changes in citizenship status)
- Course Load (i.e., dropping courses or applying for Advanced Standing) – speak to Enrolment Services before making any changes to your course load as it may affect your eligibility for OSAP funding
- Program of study - speak to Enrolment Services before making any changes to your program as it may affect your eligibility for OSAP funding
I didn’t get enough OSAP. Can I get any more?
Visit Enrolment Services and ask about OSAP appeal options. There are a number of OSAP appeals available. If you meet criteria for an OSAP appeal, Enrolment Services will reassess your OSAP application using the documentation you have provided and you may be reassessed for more funding. However, the maximum OSAP loan funding available is:
- $370/week of study for single students;
- $570/week of study for married students, students in common-law relationships, and single parents.
What does it mean if I’m on Academic Probation for OSAP?
If you’re on Academic Probation for OSAP, it means that you didn’t successfully complete your studies last year while you were on OSAP and that for the next academic year, your academic progress will be monitored closely. This happens if you don’t complete your required course load, or if you receive funding and then drop classes.
During your OSAP probation, you can still receive OSAP funding. However, you also will be expected to pass the courses you registered for. If you pass your courses, then the Academic Probation will be removed from your OSAP file. If you don’t pass your courses, then you will be restricted from OSAP funding for a minimum of 12 months.
In order to access OSAP funding while on Academic Probation, you will need to submit a letter of Academic Progress.
Can I get OSAP funding if I have defaulted on my OSAP loan?
If you defaulted on the Canada portion of your OSAP loan, you may be eligible to bring your loan back into good standing and get further funding. Rehabilitation of your Canada Student Loans typically involves repaying all outstanding interest and making the equivalent of two monthly payments on your loan. For more information about Canada Student Loan rehabilitation, contact the National Student Loans Service Centre at 1-888-815-4514.
If you defaulted on the Ontario portion of your OSAP loan, you must either repay your Ontario loan in full or rehabilitate your loan in order to receive future funding. Ontario Student Loan rehabilitation involves repaying all outstanding interest and making six monthly payments toward your loan. Students may contact the following agency to determine the current status of their provincial debt and which private collection agency has the debt.
Account Management and Collections Branch
Ministry of Finance
Telephone: 416-326-0500 (within GTA)
Or toll free: 1-800-387-5604
When do I start repaying my OSAP loans?
As a borrower, it is your responsibility to fulfill your obligations and repay your student loans and overpayments to keep your loans and credit in good standing. You are expected to begin repayment of their student loans 6 months after you stop being a full time postsecondary student. For example, if you leave full time studies on April 30, your first student loan payment would be due in November.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties in meeting your repayment obligations, there are programs to help. For more information about your repayment options, visit the National Student Loans Service Centre website or phone 1-888-815-4514.
For OSAP loans borrowed prior to September 2001:
- CIBC National Student Centre: 1-800-563-2422
- Royal Bank Student Loan Centre: 1-800-363-3822
- Scotiabank (Bank of Nova Scotia) Student Loan Centre: 1-800-972-684
Will I be notified when I have to start repaying my OSAP loans?
The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) will send you a consolidation agreement during the six months after you stop being a full-time student. Ensure that NSLSC always has your most current address. Contact NSLSC (1-888-815-4514) if you do not receive your consolidation agreement.
What can I do if I experience financial difficulties when repaying my student loans?
If you ever think you may not be able to afford your payments, contact the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) at 1-888-815-4514 for information on their repayment assistance programs. Remember that missing payments on your student loans has consequences, including affecting your credit rating and your eligibility for future OSAP assistance.
What financial aid programs are available for part-time students?
OSAP and U of T both offer Financial Assistance for Part-Time Students
Part Time OSAP – available to undergraduate and graduate students registered in certificate, degree or diploma programs, apply online through the OSAP website.
Noah Meltz Grant – available to undergraduate students registered in certificate, degree or diploma programs.
For financial aid purposes, “part-time” is defined as less than a 60% course load in a particular term of study. For undergraduate students, this means that you’re taking less than 1.5 credits in a term. A term is defined as September to December, January to April or May to August.
Students with permanent disabilities who are enrolled in 40% to 59% of a full course load have the option of applying for either Full-Time OSAP or Part-Time OSAP. If a student with a permanent disability is in receipt of social assistance (such as Ontario Disability Support, Ontario Works) for their living expenses, applying to Part-Time OSAP may be a more viable choice for funding their educational costs and to limit their student loan debt.
Students who are registering in the Academic Bridging Program (part-time) or undergraduate degree or certificate students taking two credits for the fall/winter session may apply for the Noah Meltz Grant and/or Part-Time OSAP.
If you would like to delay your fee payment until your part-time funding is received, please request a manual tuition fee deferral from Enrolment Services when you hand in your application. You’ll need to hand this in to your college or faculty registrar before the deadline to register without payment.
Part-Time OSAP will continue to be released on paper funding documents for 2016-17. The Noah Meltz Grant will be paid through the SWS/ACORN system.
What’s UTAPS? How do I apply?
UTAPS stands for the University of Toronto Advanced Planning for Students program. It’s a program that is used to meet students’ financial needs not addressed by OSAP or other government programs.
OSAP recipients don’t need to apply. They’ll automatically be considered.
U of T students receiving funding from another province/territory or a First Nations band are also eligible for consideration, but they need to apply online.
How do I change the banking information I provided when I applied for OSAP?
Students who need to change their banking information for their MSFAA (Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement) must complete the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) “Bank Account Information Change Request for Electronic Disbursements” form. This completed form and supporting documentation are submitted to NSLSC to update.
Forms are available from the NSLSC.
How will I get my OSAP if I don’t have a bank account?
Students must set up their own bank accounts for OSAP direct deposit.
I earned more money during the summer than I thought I would. How can I let OSAP know? How is it going to affect my OSAP funding?
Half way through the study period, students must complete the “Confirmation of Student Income” form on the OSAP website which may affect the second installment of their OSAP funds. Instructions will be sent to the students by the Ministry about a month before their second disbursement.
If I withdraw from studies, how will it affect my OSAP funding?
Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress. That means that students are required to successfully complete the academic requirements of their program to continue to be eligible for OSAP. Frequent or multiple program switches, drops, withdrawals and/or repeats of programs that are funded by OSAP may be considered lack of academic progress and direction. Contact Enrolment Services for further details.
These are some of the consequences to withdrawing from full-time studies while on OSAP:
- Your loans will become repayable 6 months after you withdraw from full-time studies.
- An overpayment will be created due to a reassessment of your OSAP entitlement as a result of your withdrawal.
- There will be OSAP Academic probation or restriction placed on your file because you did not maintain full-time standing during your OSAP funded study period.
See our OSAP Withdrawal information page for more details.
Last Updated: September 2016