How To Find Financial Assistance For Post-Secondary School

Post-secondary school is a goal for many students, but the cost for continuing education increases with the cost of living over time—and this in turn can cause concern for many families in Canada. For Canadian citizens and permanent residents, tuition fees are between $2,500 and $11,400 a year (tuition alone!) depending on the school and program. Tuition fees can also be much higher for international students.

The federal and provincial governments have programs that provide loans, grants, and scholarships for students. This blog will provide you with some basic information about Ontario’s OSAP (The Ontario Student Assistance Program) to get you started on your journey, and point you in the direction for further research. 

What is OSAP?

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program that can help you pay for college or university.

OSAP offers funding through:

  • Grants: money you don’t have to pay back.
  • Student Loans: money you need to repay once you’re done school.

When you apply for OSAP you are automatically considered for both grants and a loan. If you qualify for a loan and don’t want to take it, you can decline it after your application is approved.

What can OSAP can help pay for?

OSAP can help you pay for:

  • tuition
  • books and equipment
  • fees charged by your school
  • living expenses (full-time students only)
  • child care (for full-time and part-time students with children)

Who can get OSAP?

OSAP is available to Ontario residents of any age who are:

How much money will I get from OSAP?

The amount of money you can get depends on your:

  • Education Expenses – the amount of money you need for tuition, books, child care (for full-time and part-time students), personal living expenses (full-time students), supplies and equipment
  • Course Load – whether you’re a full-time or part-time student
  • Program Hours – for students in micro-credential programs only
  • Personal Financial Situation – based on you and your family’s income, family size, dependents and other factors.

If you use money from your Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), it won’t affect how much OSAP you can get.

Additional funding may be available if you are and underrepresented learner:

  • Indigenous
  • Youth in or from Extended Society Care
  • A person with a disability

But, don’t stop here! There are other options to explore...

For example, you may also want to check out the Ontario Learn and Stay Grant. 

This grant provides free tuition and financial help for other education expenses for students in priority programs in Ontario. This grant requires you to eventually work in the region where you studied. The "priority programs" are based on market needs such as healthcare and help increase workers in professions that are in-demand. Check out this grant and more options here.

For more information about OSAP, frequently asked questions, and to start applying check out Ontario’s website HERE.