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Queen's University
 

University Registrar - Student Awards

FAQs - Government Student Assistance

Questions:

  1. What is Government Student Financial Assistance?
  2. What is OSAP?
  3. My home province is not Ontario. Do I apply for OSAP?
  4. When should I apply for OSAP? (Government assistance from other Provinces/Territories?)
  5. How many courses must I take in order to be eligible to apply for OSAP? (Government assistance from other Provinces/Territories?)
  6. Does government student financial assistance cover all of my educational and living costs?
  7. Is the full amount of OSAP Repayable? (Government Student Financial Assistance)
  8. Tuition and the student assistance levy is due in full for both fall and winter terms by September 1, however I cannot access my OSAP funding until September - what are my options?
  9. My government student financial assistance is paid in two instalments, yet, the balance of tuition, fees and residence is due in full on September 30 - what are my options?
  10. Where can I find information about OSAP Performance Indicators?
  11. For Ontario students receiving OSAP, what is a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA)?
  12. I have forgotten my OSAP OAN and/or my OSAP Password.  What do I do?

Answers:

 

1. What is Government Student Financial Assistance?

The federal and provincial governments provide student financial assistance for Canadian citizens and permanent residents studying at the post-secondary level.

This assistance is generally offered in a combination of repayable loans and non-repayable grants on the basis of financial need (as determined by the government), and is intended to supplement student and family resources.
The appropriate provincial or territorial authorities will evaluate your application and will then provide funding, based on your assessed financial need, in federal and/or provincial student loans.

2. What is OSAP?

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) provides student loans and grants for Ontario residents who are studying full-time at the post-secondary level.   Please visit the OSAP website for further information.

3. My home province is not Ontario. Do I apply for OSAP?

No. To qualify for OSAP you must be considered a resident of Ontario as defined by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. However, you may apply to the Ministry or Department of Education (or equivalent) in your home province for information regarding government assistance. See Government Student Assistance for a link to your province's financial assistance web page.

4. When should I apply for OSAP? (Government assistance from other Provinces/Territories?

You can apply for OSAP as soon as the application is available (generally, beginning of February). A typical application will normally take two weeks to process (depending on the time of year), while an application which requires special consideration may take eight to 10 weeks to process.

Application deadlines are published annually in the OSAP application package or on the OSAP web site. The recommended deadlines can be found in the Dates and Deadlines section of the OSAP information on the Student Awards website. Students are advised to apply for OSAP by the beginning of July. If your application is filed after the first 45 days of classes, a penalty will be assessed. If your OSAP application is received less than 90 days before the end of your study period, you will not be eligible to receive OSAP funding.

Out-of-Province: generally, applications in each province/territory will be available in April-June for study in September.

5. How many courses must I take in order to be eligible to apply for OSAP? (Government assistance from other Provinces/Territories?)
  • Undergraduate Students:
    You must be enrolled in a minimum 60% course load in order to be eligible to apply for OSAP assistance.*
    At Queen's University, a 60% course load is 9 credit units in every term of study (i.e., 9 credit units fall term, 9 credit units winter term, and 9 credit units summer term).
    No averaging of course loads is permitted. If a student is taking 80% of a full course load in the first term (12 credit units) and 40% (6 credit units) in the second term, the course load cannot be averaged to equal 60% to meet the minimum course load requirement. (Please note: A 6 credit unit F/W credit course equals 3 credit units fall; 3 credit units winter.)
    *Students who have a permanent disability as defined by OSAP are eligible to apply for OSAP in a minimum 40% course load (i.e., 1.0 credit in every term of study).
  • Graduate Students:
    Graduate Students must be enrolled full-time (100%). Graduate students with a permanent disability may be enrolled part-time (50%)
  • Non-Ontario students:
    In most jurisdictions the course-load eligibility is defined as above. Although, in some jurisdictions the registration requirement may be a minimum 80% course load to be eligible (e.g. NFLD, Quebec).
6. Does government student financial assistance cover all of my educational and living costs?

No. Assistance under the program is intended only to supplement the financial resources available to students from their parents or spouses, from summer earnings, or from other sources.

In assessing tuition fees, books and equipment, and basic living expenses, the maximum assistance available through OSAP for a single undergraduate student is $360 x number of program weeks ( i.e. $360 x 34 weeks = $12,240): September-April. The maximum assistance available through OSAP for a single graduate student is $360 x number of program weeks (i.e., $360 x 52 weeks = $18,720): September-August. The maximum assistance available through OSAP for a sole support parent or married student is $560 x number of program weeks. Funding thresholds will vary among provincial/territorial jurisdictions.

7. Is the full amount of OSAP Repayable? (Government Student Financial Assistance)

Generally, a portion of OSAP comes in the form of a grant.

By completing the OSAP application you will be considered for a variety of non-repayable grants. The Ontario Student Opportunity Grant is available to help students reduce their annual Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan debt by limiting a student's repayable debt to $7,300 for a two-term academic year and $10,950 for a three-term academic year. It is available at the end of each of your academic years.

Those provinces participating in the Canada Student Loan Program will administer the Canada Student Grant. Some provinces/territories may administer a loan forgiveness program. Please refer your provincial jurisdiction or CanLearn.

8. Tuition and the student assistance levy is due in full for both fall and winter terms by September 1, however I cannot access my OSAP funding until September - what are my options?

Students will be granted an automatic deferral if they have applied for OSAP for the upcoming academic year and have received an assessment.

9. My government student financial assistance is paid in two instalments, yet, the balance of tuition, fees and residence is due in full on September 30 - what are my options?

Undergraduate students receiving OSAP will automatically receive a waiver of service charges up to 40% of their overall OSAP entitlement conditional on students processing their first OSAP instalment. Please note changes to an OSAP assessment will also change the amount of the service charge waiver (i.e., reducing course load, opting out of student activity fees, etc.).

OSAP information is received regularly from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and updated on SOLUS to provide the most recent OSAP information. Out-of-province undergraduate students receiving government assistance may apply for a waiver of service charges up to the amount of their second instalment. Students must bring proof of the amount of assistance to the Office of the University Registrar (Student Awards). If proof is not available, students may apply for a retroactive waiver of service charges at the time of processing the second disbursement of government student financial assistance (generally in January).

10. Where can I find information about OSAP Performance Indicators

Refer to the Queen's University Office of Institutional Research and Planning website on the OSAP Indicators page.

11. For Ontario students receiving OSAP, what is a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA)?

The MSFAA is a lifetime loan agreement that will cover Ontario students for the lifetime they are in full-time postsecondary studies. Students accessing OSAP will no longer have to go the Student Awards Office to pick up their funding certificates before each term to submit to the National Student Loans Service Centre!

The MFSAA is printed from the student OSAP account along with the other supporting documentation after the student has submitted his/her application.  The MSFAA is completed and then taken to a designated Canada Post outlet.  The student will be asked to present (a) a Social Insurance Number card (or proof of SIN) and (b) a piece of government-issued photo identification (i.e., driver’s licence or passport).

Funding will then be directly deposited into their bank account once the Student Awards Office confirms enrolment. The Student Awards Office will be confirming enrolment through an electronic process. For most students this will happen at the start of the academic year of study (i.e. September) and then again for the winter term (i.e. January).

12. I have forgotten my OSAP OAN and/or my OSAP Password.  What do I do?

If you have forgotten your OAN please visit the Forgot Your OAN? (or Forgot Your Password?) section of the OSAP website to retrieve your OAN (or password) (you will need your Social Insurance Number and the answers to the challenge questions you created when you submitted your first OSAP application).

For security reasons, your OAN or temporary password cannot be provided over the telephone, email or via fax.

If you are not able to access your OAN (or Password) from the 'Forgot Your OAN?' (or Forgot Your Password?) tool, you can visit the Ontario Financial Aid Office at the post-secondary institution (university or college) closest to your current residence.  You must present your present (a) Social Insurance Number card (or proof of SIN) and (b) a piece of government-issued photo identification (i.e., driver’s licence or passport).

If you are outside of Ontario or are unable to visit an Ontario post-secondary institution you must complete the Request for an OSAP Access Number (OAN) form (or Request for a Temporary OSAP Password form)  and send it to the Ministry of Training College and Universities.  The Ministry will send you your OAN (or password) by mail.

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