How is OSAP changing?

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The Ontario Student Assistance Program Open New Browser Window (OSAP) is a government-funded financial aid program that offers support to students pursuing post-secondary education. The funding available is made up of grants (money you don’t need to pay back) and loans (money that you will need to pay back) and is dependent on financial need.

In January, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities announced changes to OSAP, coming into effect for the 2019-2020 academic year. As someone considering attending college, you’re probably wondering what this means for you. We’ve outlined some of the major changes below:

  • Lowering tuition rates by 10 per cent and freezing tuition rates for the following year.
  • Introduction of the Student Choice Initiative which will allow students to opt out of some non-essential ancillary fees. (The Ministry defines an ancillary fee as “as a fee imposed or administered by a given institution, or one of its constituent parts or its federated or affiliated institutions, in addition to regular tuition fees, which a student pays for a service or product.”) At George Brown, decisions about which ancillary fees will be mandatory and which ones will be optional are currently under review.
  • Changes to the definition of independent student from four years out of school to six years out of school. With this change, parental income will be factored into the OSAP needs assessment for dependant students based on the new definition.
  • Interest will now be charged on the provincial portion of loans during the six-month grace period after graduation/leaving full-time studies.

There are other changes to OSAP and we encourage you to visit ontario.ca/page/osap-ontario-student-assistance-program Open New Browser Window to learn more. You can also contact our Financial Aid office if you need help navigating these changes or if you need help with the application process. The applications will open in early spring for the 2019-2020 school year. You can use the OSAP calculator to get an estimate of how much funding you may be entitled to.

It’s important to remember that there are other ways to fund your college education. Student awards result in millions of dollars being distributed to students with financial need each year. You can find information on awards offered at George Brown at georgebrown.ca/financialaid/awards_scholarships. You can also visit Career Services to get help finding a job either on campus or off while you’re studying.