FAQs - Government Student Assistance
The federal and provincial governments provide student financial assistance for Canadian citizens and permanent residents studying at the post-secondary level.
This assistance is generally offered in a combination of repayable loans and non-repayable grants on the basis of financial need (as determined by the government), and is intended to supplement student and family resources.
The appropriate provincial or territorial authorities will evaluate your application and will then provide funding, based on your assessed financial need, in federal and/or provincial student loans.
You can apply for OSAP as soon as the application is available. A typical application will normally take two weeks to process (depending on the time of year), while an application which requires special consideration may take eight to 10 weeks to process.
Application deadlines are published annually in the OSAP application package or on the OSAP web site. The recommended deadlines can be found in the Dates and Deadlines section of the OSAP information on the Student Awards website. Students are advised to apply for OSAP by the beginning of July. The deadline to apply is 60 days before the end of your study period.
Out-of-Province: generally, applications in each province/territory will be available in April-June for study in September. Deadlines vary – please refer to your province/territory’s government student financial assistance program for further information.
You must be enrolled in a minimum 60% course load in order to be eligible to apply for full-time OSAP assistance.* At Queen's University, a 60% course load is 9 credit units in every term of study (i.e., 9 credit units fall term, 9 credit units winter term, and 9 credit units summer term). No averaging of course loads is permitted. If a student is taking 80% of a full course load in the fall term (12 credit units) and 40% (6 credit units) in the winter term, the course load cannot be averaged to equal 60% to meet the minimum course load requirement. (Please note: 6 credit unit F/W credit course equals 3 credit units fall; 3 credit units winter.)
*Students who have a permanent disability as defined by OSAP are eligible to apply for OSAP in a minimum 40% course load (i.e., 6.0 credit units in every term of study).
Graduate Students must be enrolled full-time (100%). Graduate students with a permanent disability may be enrolled part-time (50%)
In most jurisdictions the course-load eligibility is defined as above. Although, in some jurisdictions the registration requirement may be a minimum 80% course load to be eligible (e.g. NFLD, Quebec).
No. Assistance under the program is intended only to supplement the financial resources available to students from their parents or spouses (if applicable), scholarships/awards, Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP’s) or from other sources.
In assessing tuition fees, books and equipment, and basic living expenses, the maximum assistance available through OSAP for a single undergraduate student in 2017-18 is $390 x number of program weeks ( i.e. $390 x 34 weeks = $13,260): September-April. The maximum assistance available through OSAP in 2017-18 for a single graduate student is $390 x number of program weeks (i.e., $390 x 52 weeks = $20,280): September-August. The maximum assistance available through OSAP for a sole support parent or married student is $660 x number of program weeks.
Funding thresholds will vary among provincial/territorial jurisdictions.
In 2017-2018, students may choose to remit OSAP funding directly to Queen’s University to be applied to their Queen’s student fee account. If a student does not choose to remit, OSAP funding is deposited directly into the student’s bank account.
In 2018-2019, it will be mandatory for a portion (or all) of OSAP funding to be remitted directly to Queen’s to be applied to the Queen’s student account.
For qualifying students, a portion of OSAP comes in the form of upfront non-repayable grant assistance.
Students are only required to repay the amount of integrated loan they receive, beginning six months after they cease to be enrolled in full-time studies. There are programs (i.e., revision of repayment terms, Repayment Assistance Plan, etc.) available to assist with repayment of OSAP loans for qualifying students. Further information is available on the OSAP website.
If you have been assessed to receive OSAP assistance, you will receive an automatic deferral to September 30th. (Payment of Fall tuition and the SAL will not be due until September 30th.)
Ensure you submit your OSAP application by July 1st and follow up regarding any outstanding supporting documentation in order to ensure you have an OSAP assessment prior to September 1st.
Undergraduate students receiving OSAP will automatically receive a waiver of service charges up to 40% of their overall OSAP entitlement conditional on students processing their first OSAP instalment. Please note changes to an OSAP assessment will also change the amount of the service charge waiver (i.e., reducing course load, opting out of student activity fees, etc.). OSAP information is received regularly from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and updated on SOLUS to provide the most recent OSAP information.
Out-of-province undergraduate students receiving government assistance may apply for a waiver of service charges up to the amount of their second instalment. Students must bring proof of the amount of assistance to the Office of the University Registrar (Student Awards). If proof is not available, students may apply for a retroactive waiver of service charges at the time of processing the second disbursement of government student financial assistance (generally in January).
The MSFAA is a lifetime loan agreement that will cover Ontario students for the lifetime they are in full-time postsecondary studies.
The MSFAA is printed from your OSAP account along with the other supporting documentation after you have submitted your application. The MSFAA is completed and then taken to a designated Canada Post outlet. You will be asked to present (a) your Social Insurance Number card (or proof of SIN) and (b) a piece of [your] government-issued photo identification (i.e., Ontario driver’s license or Canadian passport).
Funding will then be either remitted to Queen’s and/or deposited directly into your bank account once the Student Awards Office confirms your full-time enrolment. The Student Awards Office will be confirming full-time enrolment through an electronic process. For most students this will happen at the start of the academic year of study (i.e. September) and then again for the winter term (i.e. January).
For security reasons, your OAN or temporary password cannot be provided over the telephone, email or via fax.
If you are not able to access your OAN (or Password) from the 'Forgot Your OAN?' (or Forgot Your Password?) tool, you can visit the Ontario Financial Aid Office at the post-secondary institution (university or college) closest to your current residence. You must present your present (a) Social Insurance Number card (or proof of SIN) and (b) a piece of government-issued photo identification (i.e., driver’s licence or passport).
If you are outside of Ontario or are unable to visit an Ontario post-secondary institution you must complete the Request for an OSAP Access Number (OAN) form (or Request for a Temporary OSAP Password form) and send it to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. The Ministry will send you your OAN (or password) by mail.