Canadian Student LoansCanadian students who need financial help to enable full-time studies directed toward a degree at an institution of higher education may apply for aid through the Ontario Student Assistance Program.
The loans are interest free for full-time students and until six months after graduation or termination of full-time studies. After the interest-free period has expired, students are responsible for the repayment of principal and the interest on the outstanding balance at a loan rate in effect when the loan was taken.
Application forms are available from Student Awards Branch, Ministry of Education and Training, P.O. Box 189 Red River Road, 4th Floor, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6G9. Telephone 1-800-645-3013.
For more information visit the OSAP web site at www.osap.gov.on.ca.
Another loan option for Canadian students is available through Global Education Management Services (GEMS). Visit www.myglobaled.com for loan features, program requirements and to apply.
OSAP Frequently Asked Questions:
- OSAP is a term used to refer to provincially and federally funded student financial assistance in Ontario.
- OSAP provides assistance in various forms to over 200,000 students per year.
- OSAP is a need-based program. This means that your financial aid through OSAP is based on a formula that compares your educational costs to expected contributions from your parents/spouse (if applicable) and your own income and assets.
To be considered for OSAP, you must meet the following requirements :
- Be a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident or Protected Person;
- Meet Ontario residency requirements;
- Be enrolled in an approved post secondary institution taking an approved program;
- Be taking at least 60% of a full course load, or 40% if you have a permanent disability.
- Borrowers receive and repay a single Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan, issued through the National Student Loans Service Centre.
- Your OSAP student loan is called a Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan.
- The government pays your loan interest charges while you are in school.
- Interest starts to accrue on your loan 6 months after you graduate, finish your studies, stop attending university or when you are no longer a full-time post secondary student.
- Interest rates are different on the provincial and federal portion of your loan and will start accruing at different times.
- The interest rate on the provincial portion of your loan is the prime rate of interest plus 1%.
- On the federal portion of your loan, you can choose the prime rate of interest plus 2.5%, or lock it in at prime plus 5%.
- You are responsible to start repaying your loan 6 months after you graduate, finish your studies, stop attending university or when you are no longer a full-time post secondary student.
- Your financial aid through OSAP is based on a formula that compares your educational costs and expected contributions from your parents and your own income and assets.
- All things being equal, the more income your parents earn, the lower the amount of financial aid you will receive from OSAP.
- There is no parental income amount beyond which you automatically become ineligible for OSAP.
- If you are in financial need, we strongly encourage you to apply for OSAP financial aid regardless of your parents’ income.
- To apply for OSAP, you must fill out and submit an OSAP Application for Full-Time Students.
- You can use the online application available from the OSAP web site:
- Almost 99% of students apply through the web.
- The online application on the OSAP web site is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- There is no application fee.
- You can get an on-the-spot estimate of the amount of funding you may be eligible to receive.
- You can check the status of your application online.
- When you apply online, you will have the option of printing declaration and signature pages from the web or requesting that the ministry mail copies to you.
- In order to complete the processing of your application, the signature and application pages should be completed and submitted to your Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.
- Funding cannot be released until all required signatures are received by your Financial Aid Office.
- You should submit your OSAP online application at least 10 weeks before your classes begin, to allow sufficient time for verification and processing.
- Applications for the upcoming academic year are typically available in late spring. It is better to apply early.