The Ontario Student Assistance Program
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Canadapersonalfinancewebsite.comwebsite (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This articleoriginally published on the above website on Sep 29, 2011
The Canadian Government does not want any students stop going to college or university because of the lack of financial support. In order to prevent that, the Government provides financial assistance to eligible students in paying for their post-secondary education through various programs and services throughout Canada. OSAP or Ontario Student Assistance Program is the main source of assistance in the province of Ontario. OSAP is a student loan program which is made up of both federal and provincial funding for the eligible post-secondary students living in Ontario.
OSAP Loan Amount
The amount students receive will be based on their financial need. This amount is designed to cover expenses such as tuition, books, living costs, transportation costs, and so on. There are various factors that determine the loan amount such as parent’s income, marital status, student’s own or spouse’s income, course type (full-time, part-time) course length, and so on. There is a financial aid estimator or calculator available to give you an approximate idea of the amount based on your scenarios. To find out more, check Government of Ontario OSAP website.
There are many criteria that need to be fulfilled in order to be eligible for OSAP. Some of them are:
– You have to be a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident, or a protected person.
– You have resided in Ontario for the last 12 months
– You academic standing is satisfactory
Visit the OSAP site mentioned above for full eligibility criteria.
How to Apply For OSAP?
There are two ways to apply for OSAP: via paper application and online. Online application is quicker and therefore the preferred way. There is a cost of $10 to apply via paper application.
OSAP Loan Repayment and Interest
Once students graduate, stop attending school, or reach lifetime maximum, repayment of OSAP will start. Loan repayment starts 6 months after the student ends full-time status. The loan is interest-free and interest is paid by the government as long as students remain full-time.
OSAP is no different than any other loan and as such, you should treat it with responsibility and care. Not handling the OSAP properly can affect your credit rating. If you have difficulties paying OSAP, don’t wait for the last moment. Contact the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) at 1-888-815-4514 or visit their website at NSLSC.