Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a government funded program which can help students pay for their postsecondary education through grants and loans. Assistance is based on multiple factors, some of which may include the gross family income, the size of the family and overall student resources. In order to be considered, students need to apply for the funding on the OSAP website.
Student who have identified themselves as having a permanent disability on their OSAP application should follow up with the Accessible Learning Centre to ensure that they are considered for all appropriate available funding options. Connect with your disability consultant to learn about programs and next steps.
When to Submit Your Application
The sooner the better! If you will be starting school in September, submit your OSAP application as soon as possible which become available mid/late April. The application for both the Ontario Tuition Grant program (OTG) and the OSAP are available online.
To ensure the Student Awards Office has time to process your application, you are encouraged to follow the deadlines below:
- For fall release, you are encouraged to apply prior to July and submit documents no later than Aug. 1.
- For winter term funding, submit your documents by Dec. 1.
- For spring term 2017 (12 week courses) funding, you are encouraged to apply by April 1. (The final application deadline for new applications is June 9; all documents submitted by June 30).
A typical OSAP application normally takes six to eight weeks to process from the time all documents are submitted. Ensure your documents are submitted by the appropriate timeframe to allow time for processing.
Applications with special considerations or late applications may take longer to process (eight to 10 weeks).
Note: You must apply and submit your signature pages and supporting documentation (to Service Laurier) and the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) is to be brought to a postal outlet before your OSAP processing will begin.
Information for New OSAP Applicants
We strongly suggest that an application be completed as soon as the school of attendance is known. Once the application is submitted, all correspondence is directed to the school (address listed below). All required supporting documentation can be submitted by mail to:
Wilfrid Laurier University
Student Awards Office
75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON. N2L 3C5
Or submitted in person to Service Laurier on our Waterloo or Brantford campuses.
Information for Returning Students
A renewal form can be submitted online on the OSAP website. To access your account information, you will need your OSAP Access Number (OAN) and password. If you need to reset your password or retrieve your OAN, this can only be done in person at a college or university in Ontario that has access to the Ministry system. In order to reset your OAN, you will need to provide a form of photo ID as well as your social insurance card or official document from Canada Revenue Agency.
Note: Prior to the 2014/15 year, signature pages were required for all students. Beginning fall 2014, OSAP applicants who previously submitted a 2013/14 OSAP application were no longer required to submit signature pages. Signature pages will only be generated and will need to be submitted for applicants who have never applied for OSAP before. Additional signature pages may include parent or spouses.
Steps to Apply
The application for the OSAP is available online.
- Submit all required documentation, including the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (if required), prior to the start of the semester.
- Ensure that you are fully registered in fall semester courses. The percentage of your course load must equal the percentage course load you have requested on your OSAP application (e.g. 100% is equal to 2.5 credits).
- Check your 2016/17 OSAP status on your LORIS account after 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016.
Exception: If you are an MBA/Bachelor of Education student (Waterloo Campus), you may check your status 10 days prior to the start of their study term.
Applying for Spring Term OSAP
Students receiving OSAP for the current fall/winter session are eligible to extend their OSAP assistance during the 12 week spring session, seven week intersession or seven week summer session. If you have not applied for OSAP for the current academic year, you must apply online via the OSAP website.
Registration Requirements (Undergraduate)
1.5 credits 12 week spring courses=60%
1.0 credits 6 week intersession courses=80%
1.0 credits 6 week summer courses=80%
1.50 credits combination of spring/intersession=60%
1.50 credits combination of spring/summer=60%
1.50 credits combination of 0.50 spring, 0.50 intersession, 0.50 summer=60%
For students with a permanent disability, the minimum required course load is 40%
Graduate students must be registered as full-time status in order to be eligible for OSAP during the 12 to 15 week spring/intersession/summer term.
If you wish to extend your current OSAP application for the spring 2017 term, submit the following enrolment-specific form:
Note: Processing of submitted OSAP extension forms will begin after April 3, 2017.
Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA)
The Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) replaces previous federal and provincial full-time student loan agreements. Since it's a multi-year agreement, it's more efficient and easier to use. For instance, you won't have to sign a new agreement the next time you apply for student financial assistance (unless you take a two-year break in study or establish residency in another participating province/territory). Your responsibilities and the terms and conditions of accepting and repaying your student loans are outlined in your MSFAA.
When you sign your MSFAA, you are signing two contracts: one between yourself and the Government of Canada, and one between yourself and your provincial government. Your MSFAA must be processed before funds will be released.
Submitting Your MSFAA
First-time applicants are required to submit a MSFAA to their nearest post office to have the funding electronically transferred to their account. Returning students who have already submitted an MSFAA may not need to resubmit this document if their banking information has not changed. The post office will require a government issued photo ID and the applicant's SIN card. The MSFAA will be processed at the postal outlet and the information will be passed along to National Student Loan Centre on all students’ behalf. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online.
Note: If you attend school on a regular basis, the MSFAA will only needs to be completed and brought to the post office once.
For complete details about the MSFAA forms which are a requirement of the OSAP program, refer directly to the CanLearn website.
Visit the Canada Post website for list of approved outlets for processing of the MFSAA.
Paying Tuition with OSAP
OSAP Funding Redirected to Laurier
If you rely on OSAP as your primary source of funding for university, you should indicate that all fees be redirected to Laurier on your behalf to pay for outstanding tuition/residence costs.
If you apply for OSAP and submit all your required documentation before Aug. 1, you will be eligible to have your late payment fees reversed by our Business Office provided the redirection of your fall OSAP funding covers all outstanding fees.
If OSAP does not cover all of your outstanding fees, it will be your responsibility to pay the difference not covered by OSAP prior to the fee due date to avoid late fees.
OSAP Funds Directed to Your Bank Account
If you have opted to have your OSAP funds go directly to your bank account, you are required to pay the full balance by the due date of each term. If you do not meet the due date, you will be responsible for late fees applied to your account.
If you have directed your OSAP funds to yourself and would like to change this option, email firstname.lastname@example.org from your mylaurier email. Indicate that you wish to redirect your OSAP funds to the university first. Ensure to include your full name and student ID number. To have the current term redirected, you must send this email by the following dates:
- Fall term: Aug. 1
- Winter term: Nov. 1
- Spring term: April 1
Academic Progress Requirements
OSAP Course Load Changes and Other Errors
Errors often include income updates, incorrect personal information listed for yourself or your parents, or outstanding documentation.
If you have made any errors on your previously submitted OSAP application, have income updates or need to submit outstanding documentation, email email@example.com. Your email must be from your Mylaurier account and include your full name and student ID. In your email, identify the error that was made and the correct information that should be in its place.
Course Load Error
If you have received an error outlining that your course load does not match your application, this implies that the course load you entered on your OSAP application (e.g. 100%, 80%, etc.) does not match your registration. If you have stated that you are planning on being in 100% course load, it is expected that you are registered in 2.5 credits. Every half credit is equivalent to 20%, and quarter credits are equivalent to 10%. Refer to the tables below for more details.
For All Other Students
* Note: You may only be in a 40% course load if you have been registered with the Accessible Learning Centre (ALC) and have reported this to our office. Otherwise, you will become ineligible and futher OSAP funding can be affected.
For Concurrent Education Students
If you do not plan on changing the number of courses that you are registered in, but the course load on your OSAP application does not match, we can make a change to your application when you complete the following campus-specific form:
Confirmation of Enrolment Form
If you are waiting for confirmation of your enrolment to release your OSAP, visit "View my Student Aid/Funding" under the "Student Awards and Financial Aid Tab" on LORIS to see if we have successfully confirmed your enrolment or if there is an error in your application.
If you have been successfully confirmed, this confirmation will be stated on LORIS and your OSAP application should update shortly after. If you are receiving any other errors, please contact Service Laurier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuation of Interest Free Status
If you have previously received OSAP funding and are currently not receiving OSAP, you must complete a continuation of interest free status form. The government needs to know that you are currently in school. In past years, the government would know when you applied for OSAP. When you do not complete an OSAP application, the continuation of interest free status form will be confirmation to the government that you are still in school.
Completed forms must have original signatures and you must be a full-time student or registed in 1.5 credits per term. Completed documents can be mailed to our Student Awards office or dropped off at Service Laurier.
Continuation of interest free status forms must be completed during the term that you seek interest free status. Forms cannot be backdated to terms that have past.
Repaying Student Loans: Next Steps
Are you a graduating student with OSAP loans? Did you receive OSAP funding this year for the first time and want to learn more about the student loans program? If you fit either of these two categories or if you are somewhere in between, chances are you have questions concerning your student loans.
For a practical look at what your responsibilities are for keeping your OSAP loans interest free or starting the repayment process visit the Government of Canada's site canlearn.ca to get started.