Students Financial Assistance
Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
Ontario Student Assistance Program is a financial aid program that can help you pay for postsecondary school. The program offers funding through grants (money you don’t have to pay back) and student loans (money you have to pay back once you’re done school). When you apply to OSAP, you are automatically considered for grants and a loan. If you don’t want to take a loan, and you’re a full-time or part-time student, you can decline it after your application is approved.
OSAP helps pay for:
- books and equipment
- fees charged by your school
- living expenses (full-time students only)
- child care (for full-time and part-time students with children)
OSAP is available for Ontario residents of any age who are:
- Canadian citizens
- permanent residents or
- protected persons
OSAP may not be available if you:
- don’t meet the academic progress requirements
- have enough financial resources, including other forms of government aid, to cover your expenses allowed by OSAP
- report income on your OSAP application that’s significantly different from what you reported to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
- have defaulted on a student loan
- have grant or bursary overpayments or multiple outstanding loan overpayments
- failed a credit check
- filed for bankruptcy, made a consumer proposal, obtained a consolidation order, or filed a document seeking relief for the orderly payment of debts
- have reached your lifetime limit of student loan funding (340 weeks of funding, 400 weeks of funding for doctoral studies, and up to 520 weeks of funding for students with disabilities)
- are an international student
- are not a resident of Ontario
The amount of money you can get depends on your:
- education expenses – the amount of money you need for tuition, books, child care (for full-time and part-time students), personal living expenses (full-time students), supplies, and equipment
- course load – whether you’re a full-time or part-time student
- program hours – for students in micro-credential programs only
- personal financial situation – based on your and your family’s income, family size, dependants, and other factors
Additional funding may be avilable if you are:
- youth in or from Extended Society Care
- a person with a disability
If you use money from your Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), it won’t affect how much OSAP money you can get.
To learn how and when to apply to OSAP, click here.
To learn what comes after applying and how you get the money, click here.
To learn about repaying your loan, click here.
If you want to learn more details about OSAP including an OSAP Aid Estimator:
Ontario Learn and Stay Grant
Ontario Learn and Stay Grant gives funding for students studying in priority programs in priority areas in Ontario. This program:
- requires you to learn and work in the region where you study
- responds to labour market needs, including healthcare
- helps communities get the workers they need for in-demand professions
Along with free tuition, the program covers the cost of compulsory fees, books, and other educational costs.
To be eligible, you must:
- successfully apply to and enrol in the first year of an eligible program in a priority community
- be an Ontario resident who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person
- commit to fulfilling a service agreement and work in the same region where you studied after you graduate
- not be receiving funding from any of the following government programs:
- BEGIN Initiative (Bringing Educational Grants In Nursing)
- Better Jobs Ontario
- Skills Development Fund
To learn how to apply and more details (eligible programs & regions) about Ontario Learn and Stay Grant:
Financial Aid from Schools
You can check with a college or university directly to see what financial aid programs they offer.
You could be eligible for:
- work-study programs
- summer employment opportunities
These are all sources of money you don’t have to pay back.
Most schools also offer emergency loans. For example, you could be eligible for a short-term loan to cover tuition if you’re waiting for OSAP to arrive. Contact your financial aid office to see what is available.
Scholarships and Bursaries
You can learn about other scholarships and bursaries from:
Graduate students can apply for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship or the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology at your school’s graduate office. You can get $5,000 per term, to a maximum of $15,000 for an academic year.
Banks, trust companies, and credit unions offer student loans and lines of credit. Talk to your financial institution for information.
Saving money from a summer job or a job you hold throughout the year to help pay for your education is a great idea. Your parents/guardians or relatives might also be able to contribute to education costs. You could also consider investing savings through a financial institution – so that money can earn interest – if you plan to attend college or university in the future.