your student life specialists

Archive for the ‘OSAP’


a grant is granted


So. This is my first year back after about 10 years, so I’m a little rusty. I took 1.5 credits this summer, and have just dropped a half-credit (0.5) course.
Last week, before I dropped said course, I received a top-up from UTAPs, and was fully intending to continue on in the course, but life happens and an advisor told me I should LWD from it rather than risk failing (which was highly probable). So as of now:
1. Will I be on academic probation with OSAP (first time offender),
2. will I have to pay back the extra top up provided the university? I haven’t spent it all but definitely paid some rent and bought groceries and ttc etc.
Much appreciated!


hey there B,

1. since you need to be in/pass at least 1.5 FCEs to be making “sufficient academic progress” in the summer, then yes, you will likely be put on OSAP probation at the end of the summer term. if that happens, you’ll need to write a letter to OSAP explaining what happened and how you’ll make sure that it won’t happen again in future. if you want help with that, you should definitely contact enrolment services. i mean, you definitely don’t want my help with it. as soon as i can’t link to stupid GIFs in a written medium, i’m at a loss. stick with enrolment services, for sure.

2. UTAPs is a grant, so you shouldn’t have to repay it to the university after you receive it. the only instance in which this might happen would be if you dropped all your courses before you got an instalment. from what i understand, that’s not what happened in your case, so you should be a-ok.

feel free to follow up with your registrar’s office and/or enrolment services with all this, so they can guide you through this process.




OSAP, we need some time apart

I’ve done very poorly this school year and I’m a first year student. My academic standing was not accessed because I attempted less than 4.0 credits. I received a letter from the national student loans service center telling me I have to repay my loans already, thing is I know I’ve done really bad. I want to resume school and avoid probation/suspension; but I have to pay my loans first before enrolling. Can I take time off of school and repay my loans first, and then return to school where they access my academic standing. Or is it not possible to take time off, or else it affects my GPA further?


hey there,

so, what i’m guessing happened is that you weren’t able to complete any credits this year. the NSLSC treated that as if you had been away from school for a year, and is now saying that you need to repay the loans, because according to them, you’ve been “out of school.”

if that is the case, i would speak with a financial advisor at utm to see what you can do about the situation. it may be possible to communicate to the NSLSC that you want to continue in school next year, and explain what your plans are to improve your academic standing. in that case, you could come back to school on OSAP, and not be required to start paying it back immediately. but speak with the advisor to be sure, because they are experts in this stuff, where aska is what you might call an amateur advisor.

what i’m saying is coming back to school on OSAP may not be possible in your case, so speak with the experts to find out the best next steps.

if you do indeed need to take time off to repay your loan before continuing at school, that’s a-okay. you are free to take as much time off school as you need to; all you have to do is not sign up for courses! it won’t affect your GPA. your academic record will stay the same until you return. GPA’s don’t have a half-life; they don’t deteriorate while you’re away from school.

whatever happens with your OSAP repayment, taking time off may even be a good choice, academically. time off from school gives you – well, time – to reflect on whether uoft is the best path for you, what your goals are, and, if you’d like to return, what changes you can make to ensure that you’re successful. sometimes time is the best decision-maker. if the time comes when you feel ready to come back, re-registration is a very simple process.

good luck!



don’t gamble with OSAP, man

Man when is the fee deferral period this year?



the last date to defer your minimum payment to register using OSAP or another government loan is August 23rd, 2016 for the upcoming Fall/Winter session. the earliest you can do a deferral should be whenever you’re a) invited on ROSI/ACORN b) your OSAP assessment has come through and c) your account invoice for 2016-2017 is up.

so if you haven’t already finished your OSAP/loan application, do it now so you’ll be all ready to go for August 23rd. the later you wait, the more you’re taking a gamble on whether it will be processed in time for the deferral deadline. and OSAP is pretty much, like, the worst online gambling experience you could have.

seeing as you’re asking this question in June though, you seem pretty on top of it. i respect that.




the CLN scares you? wait ’til you get on campus

hiya,love this blog i got a couple questionsfyi-> incoming full time- first year- engineering- unsettled 1) what counts as honors standing in the engineering faculty for undergrads? they said someone is accepted to transfer to any engineering program even engsci after first year if they finish both first year semesters with honors but it doesn’t say  what gpa that would be or what else is considered…2)…should i be studying during summer as in is it expected or recommended by whoevers recommendations i’m supposed to listen to? 3) when i check my osap application status for full time studies it says i still need to provide documents for both the parent declaration and the student declaration. i printed them myself and uploaded them and i thought that was good enough because its says upload them or submit to your financial aid office. in one column beside the name of the documents  it says received on one side yet there’s a big red X on the other side. for the MSFAA that i mailed in its a green check and it says done instead of recieved. i uploaded them june 1st am i risking getting funding in time by not handing my declarations in to financial aid on top of uploading?! 4)what happens if a dont have enough money, i read a post about UTAPS helping but i missed that feb deadline by a mile 5)work-study only lets you work 12 hours, can i have 2 work-study jobs? or should i just get a part time job without restrictions is is even possible for first years to get work-study in labs or libraries, CLN scares me 6) i will be commuting 4 hours total, i wanted to save the rent money (rent debt tbh since osap would bankroll me) is this doable do commuters grades suffer? like is it too much to sleep in a library then boot and rally to shower at a gym and keep things in a rented locker for lectures sometimes


hey there,

1) i don’t know what you mean by honours standing. as far as i can see, the minimum university GPA to be considered as a transfer applicant to engineering would be a B (which at 5 uoft would be a 3.0). so i guess that’s the answer!

2) i mean, if you feel really insecure about a certain subject or something, it could certainly never hurt to study extra (not to mention how admirable it would be). if you want my personal thoughts, though? i would spend the summer before university travelling if you can, spending time with family, relaxing, and maybe earning a bit of money to help put you through university. you have four years of studying ahead of you. may as well enjoy the time off while you can.

3) that all sounds fine to me? and if you submitted by june 1st you should be assessed in time. however, if anything looks weird or out of place to you, the place to call would be enrolment services. maybe you have to submit the signature forms to enrolment services as well as uploading them, or something. also, some portions of the application are completed by the school, rather than by you, so perhaps those things are showing as unfinished and it’s throwing you off. regardless, enrolment services will be able to walk you through it and sort things out.

4) if you’re an Ontario student getting OSAP, you will be automatically assessed for UTAPS. the February deadline is only for out-of-province students.

5) you can only work one work-study job at a time, and to be honest, that’s probably a good thing. 24 hours a week is bordering on excessive for a full-time student, ESPECIALLY a first-year student. that’s just my two cents, though. if you’re determined to work two jobs or need to for financial reasons, you can. you can get a work-study and a non-work-study job, or even get your second job off-campus.

as for how difficult it is to get a job: i’m not gonna lie, lots of lab/research opportunities go to upper-year students with more specialized knowledge. on the flip-side, there are a TON of work-study jobs that go up for September. whatever it is that scares you about the CLN, you gotta get over it, because it’s a treasure trove of opportunity.* try and think of the job listings as a fun adventure (and i know this is hard when you’re strapped for cash, but it is the only way to get through the horror of a job search in my experience; otherwise, you’ll checkout mentally and not be as alert in the hunt). there are lots of opportunities here, and maybe even a couple that are perfect for you.

6) commuting is rough. i commuted for my second year only, and my total commute was three hours long. it was not fun. i felt exhausted at the end of every day. however, having now finished my degree, i’ve looked back  and realized that my highest annual GPA happened in my second year, the only year i had that brutal commute.

how did this happen? well, it’s certainly not because the people snoring softly in the quiet zone of the GO train inspired me academically. it’s because commuting forces you to be really smart about how you spend your time. a large part of that is time management, i.e. studying in the library between classes, setting up a weekly study schedule that you make sure to stick to, etc., BUT it also forces you not to overburden yourself. when you live close to or on campus, you can sometimes convince yourself that you can do everything, because it’s all so close by!

by contrast, knowing that your commute takes up time/energy forces you to be realistic about how much you can do outside of school. in second year, my participation was meaningful, but modest. i was part of a few clubs, each of which only required a couple hours a week of my time, i had a work-study, and that was it. and i did really well in school! fancy that.

by sharing my experience, i don’t mean to imply that yours will be exactly the same. everyone has a different experience at university, especially one as big as uoft. i just want you to know: it’s possible. if you’re smart and organized about it, you can do it.

finally: you may want to check out these tags if you’re already thinking about sleeping in libraries; there’s a lot of info there about the best places to study, rent lockers, cry without being noticed (hopefully you won’t need that one), nap, etc.



*i know that this makes me sound like a greasy capitalist. i’m sorry. i feel slimy.


i need my O$AP fund$

Hi there

I am a student at UofT in two summer courses. I deferred my fees in order to receive OSAP, which I did. Currently, I still have a balance on my account. I plan to apply for a late withdrawal for one course. Does that mean the balance on my account will decrease, since it is a pay per course system? I realize that I passed the date where I could drop a course without penalty. What does this do in terms of balance? I am told I need to notify OSAP if I drop a course. I am a student with a disability, and dropping a course means Ill only be enrolled in 0.5 courses this semester. Will this put me on OSAP probation if I do LWD?? I have no idea what to do. What happens in terms of OSAP if I drop from 1.0 courses to 0.5 course (and I am on disability) in a LWD – and I still have a balance due on my Rosi account??

Thank you!!


hey there.

since you’re now in LWD territory, i’m going to assume this is an ‘F’ course you’re talking about. if that’s the case, then unfortunately we have passed the last date when you could’ve received a refund for the course. that means that when/if you LWD from it, your balance will stay the same.

if you are dropping to 0.5 credits and you are on full-time OSAP, then yes, you would likely be put on OSAP probation, since the full-time course load for students with a registered disability is 1.0 credit.

if this is your first time being put on OSAP probation (and i’m assuming it is, otherwise you would already know how this game is played), there will likely not be a financial penalty at this point. that is, you would still receive the money you’ve been assessed for in order to pay off your outstanding balance – and rent, and food, and a new bottle of shampoo, finally, after trying to wash your hair with soap for a week and a half (or is that just me?).

full house piggy bank

no OSAP money can sometimes result in desperate measures

all you would have to do is write a letter explaining why you dropped from full-time.

that being said, there are many, many things that can affect your interaction with OSAP. please do not assume that your situation is standard. instead, double-check with enrolment services to see exactly how you should proceed after dropping down. they would be able to help you.





hiya aska,

i’m doing my undergrad in A&S and i rely solely on OSAP. i enrolled at U of T in 2010…a brief explanation: took a nose-dive during my 2nd year and failed 2 courses which dropped me below 60% course load, i’m still chugging away thanks to getting registered with Accessibility Services, but it’s slow going. i was on probation for a while, i forget how long but i remember having to write maybe 2 letters about how i’m going to make sure i succeed academically. if i pass everything this semester i will be 1.5 credits short of graduating. my gpa is 2.15ish now. i never found out if i was put on probation because i failed the 2 courses or because my courseload was too low.

this semester is a trainwreck because of reasons. if i fail any courses, will OSAP cut me off? suspend me? how does OSAP look upon late withdrawals and NCR course grades?

thanks for listening to my sob story


hey there,

sorry for the absurdly late response. aska’s been a bit flooded with questions lately and the catch-up process is a slow one, but we’ll get there eventually. i hope you’ve sought help elsewhere in the meantime, though.

OSAP is always a tricky thing to talk about. it has a million nuances, depending on details that i may or may not know about you. regardless of what i say today, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep in close contact with your registrar’s office whenever you’re dealing with OSAP.

OSAP is not in the business of combing through transcripts and determining academic standing; that’s the university’s job. all that OSAP cares about, basically, is that you are in a full-time course load.

if you are on full-time OSAP and you don’t achieve at least 3.0 credits in the Fall/Winter term (because you failed some courses or LWD’d or whatever), you will be required to begin paying back your OSAP 6 months after the date that OSAP deems you to have dropped to part-time (likely the end of the Fall/Winter session). if you don’t have 6 months between now and the next time you’re in a full-time course load, then you’re in luck. otherwise, you’d have to make payments monthly until the next time that you’re in a full-time course load again.

you will also likely be put on OSAP probation again, in which case you’d have to write another letter explaining why you weren’t able to make satisfactory progress.

however, if you were on OSAP probation last year and you don’t achieve at least 3.0 credits this year, you may be restricted from receiving OSAP for one calendar year (see #19).

again, i’ll reiterate that your college registrar’s office is really the best place to go for help in situations like these. they’re a resource that you’re paying for; you may as well use them for help.




don’t lie to the government

Hi there,

I was recently placed on a 4 month academic probation due to my GPA being so low, but i’m in kind of weird dilemma.

I was “financially cancelled” kind of late, i was already two weeks into the winter semester and was pulled out of my classes without any warning.

The problem is that i already bought a lot of textbooks and supplies like lab coats and manuals that i can’t return and i don’t have the money to pay it off.

Since i was pulled out late, osap thought i was still enrolled and sent out my loan but i haven’t received it yet due to some issues with my banking info and the national student loan service.

My question is will i still receive the loan or will the national student loan service turn around and send it back, i still have to pay off the textbooks that i bought.

I also plan on returning immediately in the next session which would be summer 2016, if there is anything remaining from the loan after paying off the books i would use it for the next session or pay it back to osap.



hey there,

again, this question is super late, sorry, see previous post.

if they haven’t sent it to you, then it’s likely they won’t send it to you. however, even if they do, it’s a really bad idea to take that money under false pretences. you are required to let OSAP know when there are changes in your course load. if you’ve dropped all your courses but OSAP gives you money thinking you’re full-time, that could have very serious consequences, regardless of your good intentions about what to do with the money.

i understand that textbooks are expensive and you need some way to pay for them. OSAP is not the way to do so if you are not actually in classes. if you’re in a situation where you need money now but you won’t be in courses until the summer, i’d recommend talking to your registrar’s office about how you could get together some money. you may be able to get an emergency grant, or your advisor might be able to point you to other potential sources of money.




untangling the broken slinky that is OSAP

Ok, I need some advice (although I will be going to a financial advisor in a day or so + maybe academic counselling as well) I’ve been full-time in terms of Uoft definition and OSAP definition.However ever since I got a job on the side (which was almost around 20+ hours of work per week) things took a down turn and I ended up dropping courses. Not only was I placed on academic probation from osap BUT now I have been dropped to part-time status on my student account on ROSI/ACORN I know I need to immediately write down a letter to explain myself to osap and my future goals as to how I will improve but what about my part-time status at UofT? Does this mean I need to start paying back OSAP now? Will be eligible for OSAP? Will be able to enrol as full-time next time? I just need advise as I am panicking b/c Its more than job that made me drop those courses. I didn’t like them and dropped them as close to the final day of dropping a course.


hey there,

so this question is like…three months late. sorry about that. as has been noted, i’m on a bit of a backlog right now and y’all are NOWHERE CLOSE to slowing down with your questions. which is totally cool – it’s just that it’s gonna take me some time to catch up. please stand by.

i’m sure you’ve gotten the answers you need by this point, but for general interest and the PRINCIPLE OF THE MATTER, i’m gonna go ahead and answer this anyway.

you don’t have to start paying back OSAP right away just because you’re in a part-time course load. you will be required to start paying it back 6 months after the date that you dropped down to part-time. also keep in mind that you will likely be put on OSAP probation, which just means that you’ll need to write the NSLSC a letter explaining why you dropped down to part-time. they’ll be in touch with you with instructions, so just make sure your address online is updated and keep an eye out for any information from them.

as long as you follow those instructions and start paying back your loan when it’s required of you, you would be eligible to apply for OSAP again once you got back on full-time studies. once you did that, you would no longer be required to pay back your loan – until you graduate/stop your studies. and yes, you would be able to enrol in a full-time course load; neither OSAP nor the university will stop you.

if you do end up having some time between the end of the 6-month interest-free period and when (if) you return to full-time studies, you would have to pay back the loan every month until you returned to full-time studies.

OSAP is a finicky beast, so keeping in touch with the financial advisor at your registrar’s office is a great idea. good luck with everything.




summer money: pay for school, or buy a BIG STRAW HAT

Hi Aska! I plan on taking a Y course during the summer. How do I apply for OSAP during the summer session?


hey there,

what an apt and timely question!

if you had OSAP in this Fall or Winter session, then you can apply for OSAP using this online form, which you can submit to enrolment services. the recommended deadline for that is March 31st, which is always sooner than

if you did NOT receive OSAP in the Fall, then you’ll need to go to in order to apply.






So, I’m a first year life-sci student at UTSG, and I initially took seven 0.5 credit courses for this year, giving me 3.5 total credits. This is because I got a 1.0 transfer credit from IB for English (which means I’m done BRs!!), and I thought doing a half-credit course in the summer would be ok. Then I called the registrar’s office and they said that it is recommended that I take 5.0 FCE’s. So I added another course, but I really wasn’t interested enough in it. So I asked an upper year friend and he said it was perfectly ok to take less than 5.0 FCE’s. So I dropped that course. Later, while I was browsing through your website, I saw that anyone who takes less than 4.0 FCE’s is still considered a first-year and it could affect my OSAP funding. And now I’m freaking out. So is it ok to take 3.5 FCE’s? I was really looking forward to the smaller course load to ease into my first year (if you can’t already tell, I suck at dealing with stress). Please help a super anxious and stressed naive first year! :'(


hey there,

you are absolutely allowed to take 3.5 FCEs. 5.0 is only “recommended” because it will allow you to complete your degree in four years, without having to take courses in the summer.

for some people, that is ideal. certainly, it is considered the standard course load by the university, and some professional schools prefer (or even require, in the case of medical school) that you complete what’s called a full-course load, i.e. 5.0 FCEs per year.

another important thing that may have been motivating the recommendation from your registrar’s office is the fact that 3.5 FCEs is the lowest number of credits you can be taking while still being under fixed program fees.

if you were to have dropped to 3.0, you could’ve been under part-time per course fees. if you’re going to be full-time, 5.0 FCEs is the best bang for your buck, because it’s exactly the same price at 3.5 FCEs, but you get more credits out of it.

finally, you can always take 5.0 credits, see how it goes, and then, if you feel overwhelmed, drop some before the deadline to drop a course without academic penalty.

so yes, there are pros to taking 5.0 – at least to begin with – financially, and academically.

HOWEVER. that absolutely does not mean that you should feel pressured to take on five courses per term if you feel unprepared to do that. if you think you will do better by taking 4.0 credits, 3.5 credits, or going part-time (3.0 FCEs or fewer), then that’s what you should do.

obviously, keep in mind that you may have to take courses in the summer, or take an extra year to complete your degree, if you choose to do this. every choice you make will have certain consequences. that does not mean, though, that certain choices are bad.

regarding OSAP: as long as your course load is at least 60% of what OSAP calls a full course load (which is 5.0 FCEs in the fall/winter at uoft), then you’re still eligible for full-term. 60% at uoft would be – get your math caps on – 3.0 FCEs in the fall/winter.

you may want to follow up with your registrar’s office to have a more in-depth chat about your situation. keep in mind that you can no longer add F and Y courses, but you can add S courses until January, if you want to up your course load at the end of the fall term.

these are your choices. it’s important to research and consider all your options, but at the end of the day, the best choice is the one that will make you the happiest and most successful.




observe ur deadlines, ppl

So I applied to OSAP later than the recommended deadline of June 30. I applied July 14. I checked all documents required that needed to be signed and printed, and there’s nothing that’s listed there to be done by me.

It’s Aug 11, and my application has been on hold for about a week. Stating the following: “Your application is currently on hold and cannot be processed any further because your school must provide information about your program (e.g., course load) and education-related costs (e.g., tuition, compulsory fees, books and equipment). Your funding cannot be calculated without this information. The financial aid office at your school will send this information to the ministry electronically. Generally this information is provided by June. Check back then.”

However, I applied later than…and now I can’t defer my fees on ROSI/ ACORN because I haven’t received an estimate.

Also “Before your funding can be calculated, the financial aid office at your school must provide the ministry with information about your education-related costs such as tuition, compulsory fees, and book and equipment costs. The financial aid office will send this information electronically approximately four weeks from the date you submitted your OSAP application. If after this time period, information on your funding is not available, you may wish to follow up with your financial aid office.

It’s been 4 weeks and nothing. I can’t afford to make a minimum payment and I know its my fault but applying late for OSAP isn’t new to me. Last year I applied even later, I applied July 19 and got my updated estimate on Aug 13.

So my question…what’s going on? [ I will call registrar and find out-but I need some advice because I’m getting overly stressed over something like this] The deadline is Aug 18 to make minimum payment and September 1 to defer fees.


Is it possible that I’m in limbo right now because I haven’t assigned the correct program name?

thanks so much as always!


hey there,

it’s possible that it’s taking a bit longer for the application to go through because you typed ‘Life Sciences’ manually, instead of selecting it from a drop-down list.

however, while that might be the case, you have no way of knowing for sure why your application is being held up. also, all the pending information that OSAP needs at this point has to come from enrolment services, so there’s no way of speeding up the process.

my point is that the situation is almost entirely out of your hands now.

what you can do is what you already intuited was a good idea: go to your registrar’s office ASAP. see if there’s a possibility that they will register you manually.

however, without proof that you’ve been assessed for any funding from OSAP, they may not be able to help you. making a small payment (less than the minimum payment to register, but more than, like…$20) and proving to the office that you’ve made the payment may be enough for them – it’ll depend on the office and their policies.

the problem is that they can’t just be registering people on good faith – they need some proof that you will be able to make a payment at some point. it’s a cold, hard world we live in.

however, i would still talk with them about it right away to see what your options are.

this is a really crappy situation, but y’all gotta remember: the university is a huge, bureaucratic institution. so is the provincial government. stuff takes a long time to be processed. it’s in your own interest to follow those recommended deadlines so you don’t get into sticky situations like this in the future.

crossing my fingers that your funding estimate goes through,



“satisfactory academic progress”

Hey! OSAP put me on probation last year, holding my funding for a bit until I gave them a letter explaining my unsatisfactory academic progress. I got good grades and all, but I only completed 3.5 FCE, which meant I was still “first year” which they didn’t like. Anyway, I wrote the letter and got my funding etc. Took 4.5 FCE last year and now I;m at a total of 8.0 FCE. Which I thought was enough for 3rd year but isn’t. Will they cancel my funding this year because I still didn’t progress? Ty

wanted to add to the previous question I sent about OSAP: the only condition for the lifting of my OSAP probation, as far as I can remember, was that I had to pass all my courses, which I did.


hey there,

i couldn’t find any downtown campus resources on this, but UTSC says that as long as you HADa full-time course load (3.0 FCEs+ on the downtown campus) in the previous session, you’re “making progress towards your degree.” if you took (and passed) 4.5 FCEs last year, that definitely qualifies you.

however, if they had an issue with you not progressing to the next year level in the past, i’m not sure that wouldn’t happen again. i can’t find any evidence that it would, but i wouldn’t want to risk it.

i’d highly recommend you have a chat with a financial advisor at your college/faculty registrar’s office. they’ll know for sure, and if they think there’s a chance you could get into trouble again, they could counsel you on what to do to avoid it.

all the best,



we’re all just numbers on a spreadsheet. it’s chill tho.

Do we need any ID when submitting OSAP documents to the office of registrar?


hey there,

d’you mean, like, your signature pages and stuff? if you’re on the downtown campus, you won’t be submitting those documents to your registrar’s office. downtown, the office you want is enrolment services.

only UTM and UTSC’s registrar’s offices double as their financial aid offices. so make sure you’ve got the right place.

as far as i know, you don’t need to bring any ID when submitting OSAP stuff to enrolment services. i have no idea about UTM and UTSC. this PDF (see page 36) seems to imply that you only need ID when submitting your MSFAA to a designated Canada Post outlet. but if you want to call them to make sure, that might be the best idea. here’s UTM’s number and here’s UTSC’s.

generally, it’s a great idea to bring ID with you anywhere you go on campus. your TCard will usually be enough in the way of ID, especially at registrar’s offices, ’cause it has your student number on it, and that’s basically the key to your entire life while you’re at this university.

………………but we’re all so much more than just a number here, right? yeah.



  • Caution! student content ahead

    This site contains candid exchanges between students. Prepare yourself for vivid language and opinions.
  • Categories

  • Archives