The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) provides eligible students with various types of assistance based on financial need.

Assistance from OSAP is intended to supplement the financial resources available to students from their parents or spouses, from summer savings or from other resources. You may find that what OSAP allows for expenses is less than what your actual expenses may be.

The amount of money you can get depends on:

  • Your education expenses: the amount of money you need to cover tuition, books, child care, personal living expenses, supplies and equipment.
  • Your personal financial situation: how much you and your family are expected to contribute, based on income and other factors.
  • Your course load: full or part-time.
  • The basic formula is:

Allowed education expenses – money you’re expected to contribute = financial need

Maximum amount

The maximum amount you can get depends on your circumstances. For one academic year (two terms) for a typical, full-time student:

  • single, no dependents: $12,240
  • married or common-law or sole-support parent: $19,040.

We strongly recommend that you apply for OSAP, even if you think that you will not receive funding! OSAP is not just loans. Students who apply for OSAP will automatically be considered for non-repayable funding such as the Ontario Tuition Grant, Ontario Access Grants, and the Canada Student Grant for Persons from Low/Middle Income Families.

Other sources of financial assistance for which you must fill out a separate application, are listed below and are explained in detail on the OSAP website.

  • Bursary for Students With Disabilities
  • Canada Study Grant for High-Need Part-time Students
  • Interest-Relief and Debt-Reduction Programs
  • Sheridan Work Study Program
  • Part-time Canada Student Loans

Student Access Guarantee

For all but about 15 per cent of college and university students, OSAP will cover the cost of tuition, books and school fees. For students with greater financial need than can be covered by OSAP, Ontario introduced the Student Access Guarantee.Through this guarantee, colleges and universities receive public funding to provide enough financial aid to cover a student’s direct education expenses, including books, tuition and mandatory fees, if these costs have not been fully met by OSAP.

OSAP Appeals

Visit the Financial Aid and Awards Office to review your application for possible appeals if your OSAP assessment is zero or if it is insufficient to meet your needs (and you are not receiving the OSAP maximum amounts noted above). Please note that there are limited appeal options available. Appeals may be made only after your application has been processed as complete by the Financial Aid Office.

Applying for OSAP

Who is eligible for OSAP?

In order to apply for OSAP funding, you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You must be a Canadian citizen, protected person or permanent resident (landed immigrant) of Canada.
  • You must be an Ontario resident according to OSAP criteria.
  • You must be enrolled in an OSAP-approved program.
  • You must be taking at least 60% of the credits identified as a full course load (40% for students with a permanent disability).
  • You must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Any previous government-issued student loans must be in good standing (you must not have defaulted on a previous student loan).

OSAP and part-time students

If you are a part-time student enrolled in 20% to 59% of a full-time course load in an OSAP-approved program, you may be eligible for OSAP for Part-Time students. Please visit the OSAP website for more information.

When to apply

It is best to wait until you confirm your offer before you apply for OSAP. If you choose to apply for OSAP before you receive official notification, keep in mind that you will be required to submit a separate application at each institution for which you are applying for OSAP assistance. To avoid delays in receiving your OSAP, you should try to limit the applications you submit to your first and second choices. A typical application will normally take 6 weeks to process.

You should apply for OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) at osap.gov.on.ca as soon as possible. It generally takes 6 weeks for OSAP applications to be processed, however, an application which requires special consideration may take 8-10 weeks to process. Don’t wait until you run out of money. There are penalties if you apply late for OSAP.

Application deadlines are published on the OSAP web page at osap.gov.on.ca and in the OSAP application package.

How do I apply for OSAP?

It is strongly recommended that you apply online to OSAP through the OSAP website at: osap.gov.on.ca.

Step 1: Register on the OSAP site

If you’re a new applicant, first you’ll need to register to get your OSAP Access Number (OAN) and to create a password.

Step 2: Submit your application

Detailed information, including online application procedures and deadlines for applications is available on the OSAP website at osap.gov.on.ca.

To apply:

  • go to the application website
  • log in with your OSAP Access Number (OAN) and password
  • choose the right academic year
  • choose the right application: full- or part-time student
  • fill out the application
  • submit the application online.

It's important to be accurate. Any changes you need to make after you submit your application need to be done in person at your school's financial aid office.

If information is missing or invalid on your OSAP application:

  • your application could be put on hold
  • OSAP could ask you to clarify certain information
  • your financial award could be re-assessed.

Step 3: Gather Supporting documents

  • Print your declaration and signature page. Sign and date it./li>
  • Print the declaration and signature page for your parent(s) and/or spouse if they provided information on your OSAP application. Have them sign and date it.
  • If you’re a full-time student, print your lifetime student loan agreement. (Then see Step 4.)
  • Gather any other supporting documents, if needed (e.g., an affidavit).
  • Mail or deliver in-person the documents (except your lifetime student loan agreement) to your school’s financial aid office.

Step 4: Print and submit your lifetime student loan agreement

The Master Student and Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) is your lifetime loan agreement with OSAP.

  • For first time applicants only complete, print and sign the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA)
  • Submit your MSFAA to a designated Canada Post outlet. Bring your ID (proof of SIN card and valid government issued photo ID) and a void cheque or record your banking information on your MSFAA. This only needs to be done once and will be in place throughout your time as a full time, post-secondary student.

When you sign and return your MSFAA to the NSLSC, you are agreeing to accept and be responsible for all funding you receive from that date forward. The next time you apply for student financial assistance, you won’t have to sign and submit a new MSFAA (some exceptions apply, for example, if you take a two-year break in study). Just complete and submit an OSAP application and wait for your Notice of Assessment to come in the mail or online.

Step 5: Monitor your application
You can check the processing status of your OSAP application on the OSAP website: osap.gov.on.ca. You will need to know your Ontario Access Number (OAN) as well as your password to access this information. It is recommended to begin checking your status no earlier than 4 – 6 weeks after you have submitted your signed consents and declaration pages to the Financial Aid Office

Step 6: Receive your funds

Once your student-aid application has been accepted as complete, your MSFAA has been processed by the National Student Loans Service Centre and your enrollment has been confirmed by your school, you can relax.

During your first few days of classes, your funds will be deposited electronically into your bank account and/or forwarded to your school to pay your academic fees (e.g. tuition). Contact Sheridan directly if you want to make alternate arrangements.

If your OSAP funding consists of both federal and provincial loans and/or grants, there will be more than one deposit on separate days to your bank account. Please check your OSAP account on the OSAP website to confirm the breakdown of your OSAP funding.

Your OSAP funding is released to you in two installments.

If you are attending two consecutive study terms: You will receive your first loan/grant certificate at the start of your first study term and your second loan/grant certificate at the start of your second study term.

If you are attending one study term only or enrolled in a co-op program (i.e., study term Sept-Dec, work term January-April): You will receive your first loan/grant certificate at the start of your study term and your second loan/grant certificate in the same study term, approximately 3-4 weeks after you complete the confirmation of income.

Step 7: Update your income information for OSAP

You must confirm your income before the release of your second installment of OSAP funds. Instructions will be sent to you about one month before your second installment of OSAP is scheduled to be released. If you do not confirm your income, the second installment of your OSAP will not be released.

Step 8: Notify the Financial Aid office of any changes to your status

You must make the Financial Aid Office aware of any changes to your status. Failure to notify the Financial Aid Office of any of the changes listed below may result in your future restriction from receiving OSAP assistance:

  • Income prior to and/or during the study period (e.g. part-time work, bursaries, external scholarships and awards)
  • Financial situation (for you and/or your family)
  • Marital status (yours or your parents)
  • Place of residence during the school year (e.g. living at home or away)
  • Other changes to your personal information (e.g. vehicle purchase, driver’s licence, children information)
  • Course Load (i.e., dropping courses or applying for Advanced Standing) – speak to a Financial Aid Advisor BEFORE making any changes to your course load as it may affect your eligibility for OSAP funding.
  • Program of study - speak to a Financial Aid Advisor BEFORE making any changes to your program as it may affect your eligibility for OSAP funding.
  • Academic progress (i.e., withdrawal from full-time studies, failure to progress academically)

OSAP Tuition Deferrals

Students who apply for assistance from the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) may be eligible to defer payment of fees until receipt of their OSAP funds. All OSAP students who wish to defer their tuition fees must:

  • pay a $500 non-refundable tuition deposit by the deadline specified on their Fee Invoice
  • apply for OSAP at http://osap.gov.on.ca
  • submit your OSAP application and follow the instructions on the OSAP website

The OSAP application states that the Ministry may use a portion of your OSAP funding to pay, on your behalf, your tuition and compulsory fees directly to your school, unless you have specifically requested that your fees were not to be paid on your behalf.

If you have an approved tuition fee deferral, the Financial Aid Office will instruct the National Student Loans Service Centre to deduct your tuition fees from your loan/grant certificate. Payment will be forwarded to Sheridan by the National Student Loans Service Centre on your behalf. If your OSAP loans/grant funding is insufficient to cover your tuition fees, you are responsible for prompt payment of all outstanding tuition fees. Please refer to your Fee Invoice (available through Access Sheridan) to find out about payment options.

If you have indicated on your OSAP application that you did not wish OSAP to redirect tuition and compulsory fees directly to your school or are ineligible for OSAP, or if your OSAP funds are not sufficient to cover your tuition, it is your responsibility to pay all outstanding fees to Sheridan. Please refer to your fee invoice for payment due dates. Late payments on outstanding fees will result in a $150 late charge.

Payment of the $500 deposit is your commitment to attend Sheridan. Students who either do not receive financial assistance, or for other reasons, wish to withdraw from a program must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing by the published withdrawal dates. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Policy states that partial refunds are only possible if such withdrawal requests are made by the 10th day of class. The student is accountable for all outstanding fees should this process not be followed. Please note that the $500 deposit to register at Sheridan is non-refundable. If you choose to withdraw after the 10th day you are not eligible for a refund and will be responsible for your full semester fees.

Sheridan also publishes withdrawal dates that enable a student to withdraw without academic penalty later in the term – fees are not refunded in these situations. Please visit the Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawing from your program or individual courses to determine how this decision will impact your OSAP eligibility.

Financial Aid Support and Assistance

You can obtain assistance over the phone or you can visit the Financial Aid Office in person (our hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday). No appointment is necessary - students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Davis Campus Room B212h, 905-459-7533, ext. 5061
  • Trafalgar Road Campus Room D100, 905-815-4060
  • Hazel McCallion Campus Room A155, 905-845-9430, ext 2628
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