Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

In 2013, more than 26,000 York students applied for OSAP, and more than 95% received funding.

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program offered jointly by the Ontario and federal governments. It is the largest source of loans and non-repayable grants for Canadians, permanent residents and protected persons residing in Ontario (eligibility details available here). York students receive more than $200 million in financial assistance from the program annually.

Two types of funding are available through OSAP:

  • Repayable loans
  • Grants (money you do not have to pay back)

Benefits to applying for OSAP

  • You could be eligible for more than a loan (several grants, bursaries and scholarships are tied to OSAP)
  • OSAP loans are interest free as long as you are a full-time student
  • An OSAP application is required to be considered for some York awards and bursaries
  • OSAP loans offer low interest rates, with payments not due for full-time students until after graduation

How much will I receive?

The amount of assistance you may receive will be determined by assessing your financial need. This is done by adding together the costs for your education and living expenses, and then subtracting any financial resources that may be available to you. OSAP offers an aid estimator to help you determine your educational costs and get an estimate of the financial aid you could receive.

OSAP Aid Estimator

A sample estimate is shown below. In the example, estimated grants amount to approximately 45% of the funding calculated in the example, which is the amount of funding that will not need to be repaid.

Example from the OSAP Aid Estimator
Loan or grant type Estimated amount
Estimated Provincial Student Loans $ 3,750
Estimated Federal Student Loans $ 6,930
Estimated Provincial In-Year Grants $ 0
Estimated 30% Off Ontario Tuition $ 1,730
Estimated Federal In-Year Grants $ 768
Total Estimated OSAP Funding $ 13,178
Estimated Ontario Student Opportunity Grant 
(applied against loan repayment balance)
$ 3,380
When the Ontario Student Opportunity Grant above is applied, the student in this example would receive $13,178 in funding and only need to repay $7,300.

When do I apply?

Once you have been admitted and accept your offer, you should apply for OSAP. The application typically becomes available in May for studies beginning in September. You can apply for Fall OSAP  up to 60 days before the end of your study period (when classes will end). However,  applying weeks after classes have begun can mean that you receive less money (your entitlement is pro-rated).

Start date to receive funding Deadline to apply*
September June 30
January October 31
May March 31

* Includes application and submission of all necessary supporting documentation, properly signed.

How to apply

  1. Visit the official OSAP website for the application and instructions, and
  2. See the York OSAP website for next steps and to learn about the OSAP process at York.

What if OSAP doesn’t cover my costs?

For students with greater financial need than OSAP covers, the Ontario government introduced the Student Access Guarantee. Through the guarantee, Ontario notifies publicly-funded colleges and universities of students with assessed need that has not been fully met by OSAP. This remaining financial need is supplied to the student directly from the college or university,  for expenses directly related to a student's program, including books, tuition and mandatory fees.