What's New with OSAP?

What has changed with OSAP?

  1. What has Changed with OSAP?
    The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program that offers funding for post-secondary education through grants and loans. It is funded by both the Ontario government and the federal government. As of August 2017 there have been changes to OSAP, making financial aid more accessible. These changes include a rebranding, introduction of a more user-friendly website, consolidation of several grants, free tuition for eligible students, and a net cost view for eligible* students outlining the financial information related to attending George Brown College. These changes make the costs of post-secondary education more transparent so students can have a better understanding of the out-of-pocket expenses of going to college. 

    Apply for OSAP here. Open New Browser Window

    *Eligible students are those who have registered with the college, have a full-time course load (or 40-60 per cent course load with a disability), and who are receiving full-time OSAP aid.

  2. I'm a mature student, how will I benefit from OSAP?
    Eligibility for OSAP grants (money that you don't have to pay back) does not depend on the number of years someone has been out of high school, or the program level, however, loan funding may be contingent on your status.

  3. What exactly is net cost view?
    When you log into your Stu-View account, you will have access to your net cost view as soon as your OSAP application is complete. The net cost view will outline your educational costs (tuition, compulsory fees, etc.) payable to the college, alongside OSAP funding (grants, loans), and other institutional aid you may receive (awards, scholarships, bursaries) that will be applied to your student account. It will clearly display the out-of-pocket expenses you will need to pay to attend George Brown.

  4. I received an invoice, how is this different from the net cost view?
    Invoices are mailed, emailed and posted in your Stu-View account. Your invoice is a statement that lists all fees (tuition and compulsory) that must be paid to George Brown College. It's prepared by semester and outlines your fees and due dates.

    Your net cost view (available to eligible students by logging into your Stu-View account) will show the cost of your program including tuition and compulsory fees, alongside OSAP funding (grants, loans), and other institutional aid you may receive (awards, scholarships, bursaries) that will be applied to your student account to pay for the cost of your program. It will clearly display the out-of-pocket expenses you will need to pay to attend George Brown. The net cost view is displayed on a semester basis.

    Eligible students will also have access to a net tuition summary through Stu-View which is based on a full academic year. The net tuition summary shows the tuition for a student's program (without compulsory fees) minus any OSAP grants (non-repayable aid) and any institutional aid (scholarships, grants, and bursaries) the student has received. The goal of this summary is for students to see the actual cost of tuition that they are responsible for.

FREE TUITION

  1. I've seen in the news that OSAP is offering free tuition. What exactly does that mean?
    The Free Tuition initiative aims to help eligible students from families with incomes of $50,000 or less to receive free average tuition*. This includes dependent students (those less than four years out of high school), married students and single-parent students. Single independent students (those who have been out of high school for four or more years and who are not married or have children) may be eligible for free average tuition if they earn $30,000 per year or less.

    The government has also consolidated a number of OSAP grants into one upfront grant. Financial support previously provided at various times (e.g., start of studies, end of studies, or years later) is now provided to students in an upfront grant to help with education costs when they are most needed.

    While average tuition will be free for many students from families with incomes of $50,000 or lower, this will not be true of every student at this income level. Some students will not have enough financial need (e.g., they may have large assets or resources) to qualify for grants that exceed the value of average tuition, as their financial need will be fully met before their grants reach that value.

    If you qualify for free tuition, it means you will receive grants from OSAP (money that you don't have to pay back) that will equal or exceed the average cost of tuition. It is important to note that these funds may not cover other compulsory college or course related fees.

    *Average cost of tuition for a regular college diploma program across the province.

  2. What isn't included in free tuition?
    Free tuition covers the cost of tuition alone, and may not include other compulsory college fees such as student association, technology, athletics or course related fees like material fees, text books, uniforms, etc.

GENERAL OSAP Q&A

  1. When should I apply for OSAP? 
    If you will be starting college in January or May 2018, applications for OSAP are now open. For September 2018, you may apply for OSAP in November 2017, and you will be encouraged to apply when you complete your OCAS application.

    Consider applying for OSAP as soon as possible so you can see your net estimate on the OSAP website.  The net estimate will show you the cost for each post-secondary program you are accepted to, and how much OSAP and financial aid you may receive.  This will give you an idea about how much you will need to pay for each program, and help you decide where to go to school.

    Find out how to apply for OSAP Open New Browser Window. You are encouraged to apply for OSAP early to ensure that there is ample time to process your application. In the event of any questions or errors regarding your application, applying early gives you time to resolve them. The sooner you have your assessment, the easier it will be for you to budget for the year.

  2. How can I find out how much OSAP funding I will get?
    You can visit the OSAP Aid Estimator Open New Browser Window to find out how much OSAP you may be eligible for. After answering some questions, you will get a basic OSAP estimate made up of grants (money that you don't have to pay back) and loans (money you need to pay back) that you may be eligible for. (This estimate is subject to change upon processing of your complete application).

  3. Do I need to pay a $500 initial deposit, even though I have applied for OSAP?
    The initial deposit is a minimum requirement for you to register, confirming your attendance to your program and to create your timetable. It is the student's responsibility to cover this deposit as they must be registered in order to receive OSAP funding. This initial deposit requirement is not waived for students who have applied for OSAP.

  4. I'm applying to George Brown College as a first year student starting September 2018, when will I know how much OSAP funding I'm eligible for? 
    The OSAP application for the 2018/19 academic year is expected to be available in November 2017. When you apply for college through OCAS, you will be directed to the OSAP website and are encouraged to apply early.

    If you apply to OSAP before the deadline to accept your offer to college or university, the OSAP website will provide you with your net estimate. The net estimate will show you the cost for each post-secondary program you are accepted to, and how much OSAP and financial aid you may receive. This will give you an idea about how much you will need to pay for each program, and help you decide where to go to school.

    If you have accepted an offer to attend George Brown in the 2018/19 academic year, and have registered, you will be able to login to your George Brown College Stu-View account in the summer of 2018 to see your net cost view. It will outline your educational costs (tuition, compulsory fees, etc.) payable to the college, alongside OSAP funding (grants, loans), and other institutional aid you may receive (awards, scholarships, bursaries) that will be applied to your student account.

    The net cost view will be helpful, as it will clearly display the out-of-pocket expenses you will need to pay to attend George Brown.

  5. Is my OSAP assessment final?
    Your OSAP assessment may be eligible for a review of your funding in some situations. This may include when you:
    • Are unable to make your expected contributions.
    • Have experienced a family breakdown (e.g. divorce, death of parent or spouse) since applying.
    • Have declared bankruptcy.
    • Are struggling academically (e.g. failing to meet course requirements) due to circumstances beyond your control.

    Please visit the Financial Assistance office of the campus you are attending for further information. They'll let you know if you should consider requesting a review.

  6. When is the deadline to apply for OSAP? 
    The deadline for applying for OSAP is 60 days before the end of a student's study period during any given academic year. For example, if your study period ends on April 21, the last day to apply for OSAP is February 17.

    However, it is recommended that you apply as early as you can. The sooner you apply, the sooner you can ensure that there is ample time to process your application, receive your funding assessment and know how much OSAP funding you will receive.

  7. Where can I get specific information about my OSAP application? 
    Once you have applied for OSAP, you can log into your account at any time to check the status of your application. In addition to your account, there is a lot of helpful information on the OSAP website Open New Browser Window.

    If you still have questions or you need additional help with OSAP, please contact George Brown's Financial Assistance Office. They have locations at each campus and can be reached via email at FinAid@georgebrown.ca. Throughout the year, if there are any changes to your personal, financial or academic situation, you must report these changes to the Financial Assistance Office as soon as possible.

  8. Why did I receive multiple funding deposits?
    OSAP funding can be composed of several types of funding (Federal and/or Provincial). These are deposited separately, sometimes at separate times.

  9. Is there anything I need to do to receive my second funding installment?
    As long as you are registered full-time your funding will be automatically released at the beginning of your study period. Keep in mind this may take up to 10 business days for processing.

  10. I don't want to apply for loans, what are my options?
    If you're assessed for both grants and loan funding, but don't want the loan, you can decline it. Just select the No Loan Option that appears on your OSAP application funding summary.

  11. Who is ineligible for OSAP?
    Students may not be eligible for OSAP funding if they:
    • Have enough financial resources to cover their expenses allowed by OSAP.
    • Receive other government aid that covers their postsecondary education expenses.
    • Don't meet the academic progress requirements.
    • Report income on their OSAP application that is significantly different from what they reported to the Canada Revenue Agency.
    • Have defaulted on a previous student loan.
    • Have multiple loan overpayments outstanding.
    • Have outstanding grant or bursary overpayments.
    • Failed a credit check.
    • Declared bankruptcy or consumer proposal, or consolidation orders under the Orderly Payment of Debts.
    • Have reached their lifetime limit of student loan funding.
     

OSAP TROUBLESHOOTING

  1. What happens if OSAP doesn't cover all of my expenses? 
    If OSAP doesn't cover all of the expenses related to your post-secondary education, we recommend that you apply for student awards, scholarships and bursaries through George Brown College via Stu-View. Visit our webpage for further details on types of awards and deadlines to apply at www.georgebrown.ca/financialaid/awards_scholarships/ 

  2. When applying for OSAP, what can I do if I can't find my program on the list?
    Key words can be helpful in searching for your program name. If you're not able to find your exact program name or semester, select the closest program and this will be corrected automatically by the Financial Assistance office.

  3. I forgot my OAN number and/or password to login to the OSAP website.
    Returning users can obtain a new password by visiting the financial assistance office at any public college or university. You'll need to bring your government-issued photo ID and social insurance number (SIN) card.
    If you don't have a SIN card, you can provide proof of your SIN in the following ways:
    • Photocopy of your SIN card.
    • Federal government document with your name and SIN (T4, T1 and T5 forms are NOT accepted).
     
  4. School has begun, why haven't I received my OSAP yet? 
    There are a number of reasons why you may not have received your funding yet. It is likely that one of the situations below applies to you:
    • You may have applied for OSAP recently and your application is being reviewed. It can take up to 4-6 weeks for your documents to be processed and for the Ministry to verify your information.
    • You may not have submitted your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) or supporting documents. Your application will be on hold until the MSFAA and supporting documents have been received and processed.
    • There may be errors on your application. Check your OSAP application status online.
    • You may have made changes to your OSAP application (such as income, course load, living arrangements or transportation costs) that may have changed your funding assessment.
    • The Financial Assistance Office may have confirmed your enrollment for funding release, however it may take up to 10 business days for any eligible funds to be deposited in your bank account.
     
  5. What if my parents/spouse have not filed an income tax return? 
    Based on your OSAP status, you may be required to provide parental/spousal income information, and your application will be assessed based on this income information. Once your parent(s)/spouse file their income tax return(s) with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and the information is verified by OSAP, your OSAP funding will be reassessed. If they do not file a tax return with CRA (e.g. they have foreign income), additional documentation may be required to prove their income. For further information, check your status online.

OSAP REPAYMENT

  1. What options do I have if I can't afford to repay my loan after leaving school?
    The first six months after you graduate, finish your studies, or stop being a full-time student is called your six-month grace period.
    You start to repay your loan at the end of the seventh month after you leave school. If your family income is low, you can apply to make reduced monthly loan payments, or no monthly payments at all through the Repayment Assistance Plan Open New Browser Window.
    To learn more about loan repayment Open New Browser Window visit the National Student Loan Service Centre Open New Browser Window for more information.
    View an on-demand loan repayment webinar Open New Browser Window

  2. How can I put my previous loan on interest free status?
    If you're not currently receiving OSAP, but are repaying a previous OSAP loan, and continuing in full-time studies, you will need to complete an online CIFS application Open New Browser Window, by logging into your OSAP account.

    You can submit your online application as early as 15 days prior to the study period start date.

    The deadline to submit is 21 days before the study period end date.

    You must maintain a minimum full-time course load per term of 60 per cent or more, and 40 per cent for students with permanent disabilities