Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) – What You Need to Know

June 26th, 2024 by Sherri Leblanc

Post-secondary education in Canada is among the most affordable in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without expenses. Fortunately, in Ontario, students pursuing postsecondary education in the form of career college programs at institutions like CTS Canadian Career College have access to a diverse range of financial aid options to help offset the costs of their education (along with dedicated teams to help you acquire said financial aid).

The flagship program available in Ontario is the Ontario Student Assistance Program (or OSAP). 

In the following post, we’ll walk you through an overview of OSAP, who it’s for, what you can expect, and also outline some of the other funding options available for students in Ontario hoping to offset some costs of their education.

Student Funding in Ontario: Broad Overview

When discussing student funding and financial aid for education in Ontario, there are several main avenues which the financial aid office at schools like CTS Canadian Career college will help you understand and navigate:

  • Scholarships and bursaries from your college of choice, such as the CTS High School Scholarship
  • Some financial institutions also offer special loans for education / students, and may be worth looking into if you do not qualify for other avenues
  • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), offering a mix of loans and grants
  • Ontario Learn and Stay Grant, for select programs like Primary Care Paramedic

What is the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)?

OSAP is the primary funding venture for postsecondary studies in Ontario. It includes a mix of grants and student loans to help students fund their way through their studies.

When you apply for OSAP, you are may be eligible for both grants and loans. However, if you would prefer not to take on any loan that has to be repaid, this is also a possibility.

What funding elements does the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) include?

OSAP can cover some or all of the following:

  • Books
  • Tuition fees
  • Equipment and supplies needed for your studies
  • Living expenses (provided you are a full-time student)
  • Child care (for both full-time and part-time students who have children)

What are the eligibility requirements for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)?

To be eligible to receive OSAP funding, you must be one of the following:

  • A Canadian citizen
  • A permanent resident
  • Under the protected persons status, such as a refugee, who holds a valid Verification of Status document (or a Protected Persons Document if issued prior to January 1, 2013)

How much funding does Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) provide?

Funding varies according to every individual application to the OSAP program. 

When do students need to pay back their Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)?

You typically need to start repaying your OSAP loan six months after completing your studies. The exact amount depends on your particular application, and the status of your loans and grants (and if any grants were converted into loans). However, there could be certain situations where repayment could be delayed, this includes repayment assistance and continued studies. Please be sure to speak with your financial aid officer for further details.

How do I apply to the Ontario Student Aid Program (OSAP)?

Institutions such as CTS Canadian Career College have a dedicated financial aid office that works closely with all students who enroll, helping ensure they apply for as much funding as possible.

Final Thoughts on OSAP

In sum, there are numerous means at your disposal if you are looking to either continue into post-secondary studies after your high school graduation or even if you are a professional looking to return to school for a career change. Be sure to review your options beforehand, or check if the school you are looking into has a dedicated financial aid department who can help you navigate any questions you might have.

Are you looking to pursue your post-secondary education in Ontario? Whether you are a recent high school graduate or a learner looking to return to school to train for a second career, there are plenty of options available. 

At CTS Canadian Career college, we have a dedicated financial aid team that can help you get the most out of the available scholarships, loans, grants, and other financial aid options available at all of our campuses. Simply reach out to us using the form on the right side of the page or send us an email at [email protected] and we will get in touch with you as quickly as possible!