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Frequently Asked Questions

OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program)

OSAP is the Ontario Student Assistance Program. It is comprised of many different loan, bursary, and grant programs to provide funding for eligible students. Learn more here.

General

Does OSAP cover all expenses associated with post‐secondary studies?

No. The purpose of OSAP is to assist with your expected tuition, book, travel, and living expenses.

Am I eligible to apply for OSAP?

In general, you are eligible if you are:
  • A Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or Protected Person. Details.
  • If Ontario is the last province in which you or a spouse/parent resided for at least 12 consecutive months without being a full-time post-secondary student. Unless you are a new immigrant to Canada who has landed directly to Ontario from your original country of residence. Details
  • You plan to enroll in at least 60% of a full course load per term. (40% if you are a student with a confirmed permanent disability). See "Full-Time APPLICATION PROCESS" for more information about course load.

Why must I pay a deposit to the College when I am applying for OSAP?

The deposit is required by the College to be eligible to enroll in classes. Details

As a student what are my responsibilities with regards to OSAP?

As the recipient of OSAP, you assume certain responsibilities and obligations. Among these are:

  1. Read, and follow the terms and conditions you agreed to in your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA).
  2. Provide information for your OSAP application that is accurate when submitted.
  3. Provide all the required documentation listed on your list of required documents.
  4. After submitting your application, you must inform the Student Awards & Financial Aid office in writing of any changes such as:
    • Change in your program of study
    • Withdraw from your program
    • You decide to attend a different post‐secondary institution
    • You do not want your student loan funding
    • Course load changes
    • Study period income (link income change form)
    • Government income (link income change form)
    • Summer/work term income (link income change form)
    • External Academic awards
    • Marital status
    • Name change
    • Any errors made on the original OSAP application you submitted

Please submit an OSAP Application Update form to notify us of your changes. Please be aware that some changes may require additional supporting documentation – contact the Financial Aid Office for further information or go to the OSAP website and look up the required form under "Find a Form".

Note: Your income is verified by OSAP with the Canada Revenue Agency. Not reporting changes listed above could affect your eligibility for current and/or future funding.

  1. If you have not received your expected OSAP funding by the end of the first month of the semester please check your OSAP account to verify our status in case there is still documentation for you to provide.
  2. If you are not applying for OSAP and you have returned to school full time please come down to your Financial Aid office with the proper photo I.D.'s and we can check on your eligibility for Interest-Free status.

What is the difference between a Part-time and Full-time student?

OSAP uses your course load percentage to determine if you are Full-time or Part-time. It is not determined by whether you are taking day or evening courses with the College. See "Full-Time APPLICATION PROCESS" for more information about course load.

I heard about "free tuition" coming for 2017-2018. Will my tuition actually be free?

Your tuition is still charged by your school, however starting in September 2017, OSAP is being redesigned to help the people who need it the most. As a result of these changes, the new OSAP is providing financial support for applicants from low- and middle-income backgrounds. "Free tuition" is defined as grants from OSAP that equal or exceed the average cost of tuition (not including ancillary fees) for a regular college diploma program.

What does "make average tuition free" mean for students with need?

The new Ontario Student Grant funding should equal or exceed the average tuition (not including ancillary fees) and will in essence make tuition "free" for students as grants are not repayable. This may not be true for every student at or below this income level. Some students may not have enough financial need (e.g., they may have large scholarships) to qualify for the new Ontario Student Grant as their financial need will be fully or partially met before reaching the grant threshold.

Exactly which grants are being replaced under the new OSAP?

The 30% Off Ontario Tuition Grant, the Ontario Access Grant, the Ontario Child Care Bursary, the Ontario Student Opportunity Grant and the Ontario Distance Grants will be replaced under the new OSAP with the new Ontario Student Grant.

Why is the threshold set at $50,000 for families and at $30,000 for a single independent student?

The thresholds for Ontario aid vary by family size because the same amount of income goes further when there are fewer people in the family to support. A single independent student only has costs for one person, while a family of three or four has significantly more costs. For this reason, measures of low-income typically vary by family size. The threshold will be set at $50,000 for the most common family sizes (a family of two, three or four people), and then will increase by $5,000 per additional family member for larger families. It should be noted, however, that many students above this threshold could be eligible for additional grant funding.

Will the new OSAP be limited to students who are less than four years out of high school?

No. The new OSAP will be available to all eligible students who are enrolled in OSAP-approved full-time programs, including dependent students, mature single students, married students and students with children.

 

Full‐Time APPLICATION PROCESS

When should I apply for OSAP?

It is our suggestion to apply at least 6 weeks before the start of your study period. If you have made more than one application for OSAP you must close those applications as you are only allowed to have one active application. We also encourage you to still apply early even if you are waiting on an offer of admission to attend Seneca.

How do I apply for OSAP?

Apply for OSAP online.

If this is your first time applying for OSAP funding, you will need to register first for an OSAP Access Number (OAN) and password; otherwise, use your existing OAN and password to log in. Before you start your application, you will need to decide whether to apply to the full time or to the part time program by determining your course load. See "Full-Time APPLICATION PROCESS" for more information about course load.

After you have completed and submitted your application, print, gather and upload or submit any required supporting documentation. These documents (except the Master Student Financial Agreement) must be uploaded or submitted to the Financial Aid office at your campus for the OSAP application to be completed.

Any changes you need to make to information on your application once it's submitted need to be reported in writing to your Financial Aid Office.

What is the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA), and what do I do with it?

The MSFAA is a document to allow for OSAP funding to be direct deposited into the student’s personal banking account. The MSFAA must be processed in order to receive OSAP funding. You must complete the following steps in order to process your MSFAA:

1) Bring the MSFAA in person to a designated Canada Post office. To view a complete list of designated post offices go online to the CanLearn website.

2) Show your proof of Social Insurance number, and a government issued photo ID to the Canada Post employee (Contact Canada Post to ask about type of proof they will accept).

3) Ensure your banking information (i.e. use a void cheque or direct deposit slip from your bank) is on the MSFAA.

4) The Canada Post employees will check your identification and send your MSFAA to the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) free of charge and give the second page back as a receipt.

How long does it take to process an OSAP application?

Normally it takes between 4 to 6 weeks after the Financial Aid Office has received your signature pages and all required supporting documents. If you upload or submit documentation late or do not provide acceptable documentation then your OSAP assessment and confirmation will be delayed. Check the status summary for your application on the OSAP website for the list of required documents.

What is the application deadline for OSAP?

Applications will be accepted up to 60 days before the end of your study period for Full-time OSAP.

What are the eligibility requirements for Full-Time OSAP?

Click here for all Full-time OSAP eligibility requirements.

How do I know if my course load is eligible for Full‐Time OSAP?

You need to have a minimum 60% of your semester course load (40% if you have a confirmed permanent disability) to be eligible for Full‐Time OSAP. Apply for Part‐time OSAP if your semester course load is between 20-59%. Daytime affiliated students please log onto Student Center to see the level you are in for your term. Divide the courses you are taking versus the required courses. Ex: You are taking 4 out of 6 required courses you would have a 66% course load.

If you are retaking a course(s) that you have already achieved a credit please come to the Financial Aid Office to check if the course(s) are eligible for funding.

If you are a Continuing Education affiliated student in an OSAP eligible program (link to list) then your semester course load will always be 5. Divide the courses you are taking versus the required courses. Ex: You are taking 3 out of 5 required courses you would have a 60% course load.

Note: You must maintain your course load throughout the term of your OSAP study period.

I'm not doing a full-time course load. Does this mean that I can't receive OSAP funding?

You might still be eligible to receive funding through an OSAP for Part-time Students application. OSAP for Part-time Students funding may assist with your educational costs, but does not fund your daily living expenses. Apply for OSAP for Part-time Students through the OSAP website. Apply for OSAP for Part‐time Students if your semester course load is between 20-59%.

Why must my parents fill out the OSAP documents when I don't live with them?

The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) requires that students who have been out of Full-time high school less than 4 years (Adult learning is not considered Full-time high school) include parental income information as part of their OSAP application. We encourage you to explain this to your parents as you are still considered a dependent for OSAP purposes.

Why was I not informed by the College of the academic requirements or documents needed for my application?

It is the student's responsibility to ensure they are meeting the Ministry requirements for their supporting documents and course load. Check the status summary of your application on the OSAP website for the list of required documents.

When is the deadline to upload or submit the required documentation for my Full-Time OSAP application?

The deadline is 40 days from the end of the study period of your application.

I have a permanent disability. What grants and bursaries are available through OSAP?

The Canada Student Grant for Persons with Disabilities (CSG-PD) is considered with your OSAP application and if you have submitted acceptable documentation proving a permanent disability you could receive the CSG-PD. There is also the Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) and the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment (CSG-PDSE) which is a component of OSAP though separately disbursed by the College. Students who want to apply for the BSWD/CSG-PDSE must contact Counselling and Accessibility Services and book an appointment with a counsellor to determine what their needs are and potentially what funds for which they qualify. Deadlines to apply are the same as your OSAP application.

Does my tuition get automatically deducted from my OSAP?

If you chose to have OSAP to remit fees on your behalf to Seneca any outstanding fees listed on your Student Service Center account at the time of your confirmation of enrolment will be sent to the College. If additional fees are added by the Registration Office after your enrolment is confirmed you will need to use some of the funds you received to your bank account to pay for these fees. OSAP does not cover required deposits of the College.

When will I know how much funding I will receive?

At the time you submit your online application you may view an estimate of your entitlement. This is an estimate only. Check your actual entitlement by logging on to your OSAP account to view your funding summary. It is your responsibility to monitor the status of your application and to upload or submit all required documentation by all required deadlines to ensure a timely assessment.

Note: Your funding may change with any updates to your information

Do I apply for OSAP each year?

Yes. Each new academic year requires a new OSAP application. The academic year normally will run September through to August of the following calendar year.

 

Full‐Time PROCESSING AND CONFIRMATION

When do I get my Full-time OSAP?

Seneca will at the earliest start to confirm 10 days prior to the start of the term if you are enrolled with the appropriate course load requirement. Your funds will then be disbursed to you usually within 5 to 10 business days after confirmation if you have provided the correct banking information and have no government restrictions.

My OSAP funding has changed. Why is that?

There are numerous reasons your funding summary can change since your initial online application. You could have changed your program, course‐load, status, updated your income, added a dependent, etc.

Please note: It is required that you update with Financial Aid any changes with regards to your OSAP application. Details.

What identification do I need to have to inquire about my OSAP?

You will need to bring your valid Canadian government issued photo identification and Seneca OneCard or two valid Canadian government issued photo identifications for us to discuss specific OSAP issues. If you are coming to reset your OAN and password we will also need your proof of Social Insurance number (SIN card, Letter from Service Canada, or a Notice of Assessment from the CRA) in addition to your government photo I.D.

Full‐Time ‐ AFTER CONFIRMATION

As a student what are my responsibilities with regards to OSAP?

As the recipient of OSAP, you assume certain responsibilities and obligations. Among these are:

1. After submitting your application, you must inform the Student Awards & Financial Aid office in writing of the following changes:
  • Change in your program of study
  • Withdraw from your program
  • You decide to attend a different post-secondary institution
  • You do not want your student loan funding
  • Course load changes
  • A change in study period income. See OSAP Financial Income Change Request Form.
  • A change in government income See OSAP Financial Income Change Request Form.
  • Summer/work term income See OSAP Financial Income Change Request Form.
  • External Academic awards
  • Marital status
  • Name change
  • Any errors made on the original OSAP application you submitted
  • Please submit an OSAP Application Update form to notify us of your changes. Please be aware that some changes may require additional supporting documentation – contact the Financial Aid Office for further information or go to the OSAP website and look up the required form under "Find a Form".
Note: Your income is verified by OSAP with the Canada Revenue Agency. Not reporting changes listed above could affect your eligibility for current and/or future funding.

2. If you have not received your expected OSAP funding by the end of the first month of the semester please check your OSAP account to see your status in case there is still documentation for you to provide. (Add OSAP link)

3. If you are not applying for OSAP and you have returned to school full time please come down to your Financial Aid office with the proper I.D.'s and we can check on your eligibility for Interest-Free status. Please see the section under "Full-Time PROCESSING AND CONFIRMATION" for details about required identification.

My OSAP funding was deposited into my bank account but was not for the amount I expected – What should I do?

OSAP will usually come in one to three deposits into your bank account which will match the amount listed as released to you under your OSAP funding summary. The reason this occurs is that your funding could come from different sources – provincial loans, federal loans, or grants.

Can I appeal a decision on my OSAP application?

Come to the Financial Aid Office to speak with an advisor if you want to discuss your options if you believe your situation merits a review. Please note if your application information is correct, then the assessment will not change.

Why am I asked confirm my Income with OSAP after I have been approved?

You will be asked to confirm your income on-line through your OSAP account. It is the student's obligation to ensure their income is up to date with the correct information as there may have been changes since you first applied.

I changed my timetable. What should I do?

OSAP can only be confirmed if you meet the required course load for the application you created. Please ensure your timetable still meets the OSAP requirements before the start of the term to avoid any delays. Check the term that you are currently affiliated (this is not always the number of terms you have attended) and then check the academic requirements for that term.

I have not received my second semester installment for OSAP and the semester has started. What should I do?

If your OSAP is not confirmed for your second semester please come down to the Financial Aid office to see if you are still eligible for OSAP funding.

I changed my program during my study period listed on my OSAP application. What should I do?

You will need to inform OSAP of any changes to your situation since you first applied including program changes. Please go to the OSAP website's Find a Form and print the OSAP Application Update: Change to Study Period or Program for the current academic year. Fill out the form and bring it to your Financial Aid office to be processed. OSAP cannot be confirmed for any installments if your program does not match the program on your application.

If I withdraw from a course or from my term what are the consequences for my OSAP?

If you drop below the course load requirements for your OSAP application there can be issues ranging from probation, overpayment, and restrictions from further OSAP funding. Please speak with the Financial Aid Office to discuss the situation and update your application.

  

OSAP for Part‐time Students

How do I know if my course load is eligible for OSAP for Part-time Students?

You need to be enrolled in 20% to 59% of your semester course load to be eligible for OSAP for Part-Time Students. Apply for Full-time OSAP if your semester course load is 60% to 100% (40% if you have a permanent disability).

If you are retaking a course(s) that you have already achieved a credit please come to the Financial Aid Office to check if the course(s) are eligible for funding.

If you are a Continuing Education affiliated student in an OSAP eligible program (link to list) then your semester course load will always be 5. Divide the courses you are taking versus the required courses. Ex: You are taking 2 out of 5 required courses you would have a 40% course load.

Daytime affiliated students please log onto Student Center to see the level you are in for your term. Divide the courses you are taking versus the required courses. Ex: You are taking 3 out of 6 required courses you would have a 50% course load.

Note: You must maintain your course load throughout the term of your OSAP study period.

How long does it take to process an OSAP for Part‐time Students application?

Once the withdrawal deadline has passed it normally takes 3 weeks if the Financial Aid Office has received your signature pages and all required supporting documents. If you submit documentation late or do not provide acceptable documentation then your OSAP assessment and confirmation will be delayed. Check your application on the OSAP website for the list of required documents.

Does my tuition get automatically deducted from my OSAP for Part-time Students?

Yes. If you have outstanding fees the College will request they be deducted from your OSAP for Part-time Students funding. OSAP does not cover required deposits of the College.

What is the application deadline for OSAP for Part-time Students?

Applications will be accepted up to 42 days (6 weeks) before the end of your study period. Please note that OSAP for Part-time Students are only for one term per application. You will need to re-apply every term.

When is the deadline to upload or submit my required documentation?

Documentation deadline is the same as the application deadline. 42 days (6 weeks) from the end of the study period for your application.

Do I apply for OSAP for Part-time Students each term?

Yes. Each term you wish to apply for OSAP for Part-time Students requires a new OSAP application. The terms for the academic year normally will be run starting September (Fall term), January (Winter term) and May (Summer term).

When will I know how much funding I will receive for my OSAP for Part-time Student application?

Once your required documents are processed the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) will give you a funding assessment. Check your assessment by logging on to your OSAP account and view your funding summary. It is your responsibility to monitor the status of your application and upload or submit all required documentation by the required deadlines.

Note: Your funding may change with any updates to your information

I have been approved for OSAP for Part-time students. How do I pick up my loan certificate?

Once your OSAP for Part-time Students load certificate is ready for pick up you will be notified via your MySeneca email account. You will then come to your Financial Aid office with a valid Canadian Government Photo ID and Social Insurance Card to pick up your loan certificate. You will then take your loan certificate package to a designated Canada Post Office to get your funds released. Be aware that the loan documents are dated and getting them processed at a designated Canada Post is time sensitive.

REPAYMENT

When do I have to start repaying my OSAP?

Within 6 months of the study period end date on your last Full‐time OSAP application, or the last confirmed Interest-Free Status application. To apply for Interest‐Free status please log in to your OSAP account. Click "Start new app" under the Interest-Free application.

Please note: Your loans are is payment free for six months, not interest-free. The interest on the Canada Loan portion starts the first day of the month after you stop being a full-time student. The Ontario Loan portion is interest-free for the first 6 months after you stop being a full-time student.

How do I repay my OSAP?

You may contact National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) after your study period is over to discuss your repayment details. You can contact them at 1-866-788-0288 or go to your NSLSC account online.

What if I am unable to start repaying my OSAP?

If you are unable to make your loan payments, it is critical that you contact the NSLSC immediately to discuss alternatives. You may be able to revise the terms of repayment or apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan.

I was on OSAP before but I am still in school and am being asked to repay my loans. What can I do?

If you are still enrolled in a post-secondary institution please come down to the Financial Aid office with valid Canadian photo identification and Seneca OneCard or two valid Canadian government photo identifications. We will check your timetable and if you are eligible we will update your Interest-Free status.

I received a letter from The National Student Loan Service Centre stating I have a loan overpayment. What does this mean?

An overpayment normally occurs when you are reassessed by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) and it has determined you are no longer eligible for the amount of funding you initially received. Why this may occur can include: your income changed and was not updated, your course load is no longer eligible, or there is a discrepancy between the income you entered on your OSAP application and the income information from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Payable overpayments must be paid to the National Student Loan Service Centre before any other OSAP funding will be distributed in a future academic year.

If you would like to repay a payable loan overpayment, please contact the National Student Loan Service Centre at: 1-888-815-4514. Once you have re-paid your overpayment you will need to provide proof to the Financial Aid office so we can update the account to remove any restrictions. Please print off your loan summary statement from the Canlearn.ca website and bring it to the Financial Aid Office.

Why am I restricted from receiving OSAP? What can I do to get financial aid?

You are not eligible for OSAP if you have been restricted from for one of the following reasons:

  • defaulted on a previous loan
  • misrepresentation
  • fraud
  • a second OSAP overpayment
  • an academic progress restriction
  • Debt Reduction in Repayment (DRR)
  • Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) Stage 2
  • Repayment Assistance Plan for Persons with Permanent Disabilities (RAP-PD)
  • Significant income variances
  • Breach of contract
  • You may be eligible for OSAP once a restriction is cleared.

If you are restricted from OSAP you can still apply for scholarships, awards, and bursaries through the College via your Student Center. Be aware the amount of funding is lower than is typically given by OSAP.

Please come see the Financial Aid Office if you need further information.