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Archive for the ‘OSAP’

Mar15

mario kart ghost mode is the only mode that matters

Hi there,

I am currently in my third year  at UTSG and sitting at a 2.61 GPA and I am feeling pretty shitty about myself, I had a pretty rough last semester, but am trying to get myself back on track for my last year and a half. Is messing up a semester going to set me back significantly? do you think that taking summer courses and trying to get good grades in my 4th year would be enough time for me to pull my GPA back up? I feel really bad because I went from a 2.9 in my first year to a 2.61 in my first semester of third year, because of personal reasons and I also changed programs. How do I stop comparing myself to the accomplishment of others? I know my GPA is not the worst, still a B, but it is so hard being surrounded by others who are doing so well, and is so toxic and damaging to my mental health.

ALSO OSAP QUESTION

I was advised by my registrar to drop the courses that I was not doing well in this year to save my GPA, which brought me to 3 courses per term, which is still a full time status, and was told that i would not get in trouble with OSAP for dropping these courses. Is this correct? I am afraid to drop the courses I want to this semester because of this and I do not want to get into any type of trouble with osap.

thanks..

——————————————

hello!

coupla questions here, so i guess i’ll break it up like i usually do.

can i pull my gpa up?

i thought about this one for a while. looked at the numbers and all, and tried to figure out if there was some mathy way i could give you reassurance. unfortunately, my brain doesn’t really work like that, but i can link you to the u of t gpa calculator that will be able to give you a more definitive answer anyway. basically, it’ll let you input your grades so far, as well as hypothetical grades for future semesters. then, it’ll calculate your SGPA and CGPA with all that considered.

the thing with summer courses is that they are accelerated, so they can sometimes be harder to do well in. so just be cautious before rushing into it, i would say.

osap!!!

ah, money issues. so for your OSAP to be secure as an undergrad, you need to have at least 1.5 credits per term– that translates to three courses. as long as you make sure you keep these three courses, your osap should be safe! keep in mind this doesn’t mean an average of three per semester– you can’t take two now and four later, and hope you’ll be okay. osap looks at each term separately. and if you do have a permanent disability of any sort, that requirement drops down to 1.0 credits or two courses.

what about my mental health?

i feel like i should start by linking you to mental health resources. i’m only really aware of the ones @uoftears_ on instagram uses: where to get free mental health help in toronto, as well as the university health and wellness centre and mental health resources. if you check these out, they’ll likely to be able to give you better support than i can, and if you’re struggling with your own mental health i want you to get the best help possible.

with that said, this is definitely something i’m sensitive to.  every time i get a question along these lines i’m at once saddened that another person feels this way, but glad that we have the opportunity to talk about it a little. we go to a competitive school, and based on your program/community maybe you’ll feel it more than others might.

one way i’ve been taught to look at it– and you can decide for yourself whether this perspective makes you feel better or pisses you off– is that you never know what’s going on under the surface. it may seem like some people have it all– are doing super well, have that golden 4.0, whatever. the thing is, people with all sorts of GPAs are self-conscious about their grades, and those at the higher end of the scale often feel an insane amount of pressure that begins to impede on their mental health as well. seems like they should be happy with what they’ve got, yeah, but the happiness isn’t intrinsic to the number– it’s more about how you look at it.

basically, it can be rough no matter what your GPA is, unless you’re able to work towards the place where your grades and self-worth aren’t intertwined. obviously, this is just my take. it’s something i struggle quite a lot with myself, if that helps. i myself was raised in an environment where my self-esteem was contingent on my academic achievement, and that’s something i’d like to leave behind but haven’t yet. bad grades still feel hella personal, especially when i know people are doing a lot better than me. so i definitely sympathize there.

something i’m trying to learn is that it’s definitely healthier to focus on yourself. think about it like playing mario kart ghost mode, if you will. sure, you can try to out-race everyone else, but because i SUCK at racing games i’ve learned to be okay with beating my own record. hopefully someday that’ll transfer over to the rest of my life. but for now, it’s a start. wow, a metaphor! hope my high school english teacher would be proud.

suffice it to say that i really hope you’ll be able to pull your GPA up, but if you can’t? just work on what you can control– improving your study habits, learning the material, and reaching out when you need help. and throw some time in to take care of yourself too, man. put on a face mask. spend a lil time outside, now that it’s warming up. watch an episode of a show you like. idk, whatever works for you. best of luck, my friend.

x aska

Jan21

take the money and run

I logged into acorn and it says I’m eligible for a 3k osap refund? what does it mean? the FAQ just tells me how to request and who may be eligible, but it doesn’t tell me why? I already paid my full tuition with my osap money are they trying to give about half of it back to me? why? I was a full time student in the beginning of the year and I’m still a full time student as far as I know.

——————————————

hi!

so… i kinda have…. no effin’ clue what’s up with this.

i dont know no clue GIF by HULU

i suggest that you check in with the people at enrollment services. they’re the OSAP/ financial aid experts on campus and they’ll be able to give you the most up-to-date and accurate info.

sorry i can’t be more helpful, but i don’t wanna lead you astray.

hope this helps, though!

xoxo,

ask

Nov26

(non)answers all around

Will OSAP punish me if I explain to them the desire to go to grad school and require funding for a fifth year but instead of taking those pre-grad school courses I use the funding to complete another minor? One of the financial advisors told me OSAP doesn’t look back but another advisor frowned upon my idea.

——————————————

hi!

unfortunately, i have no effin’ clue.

britney spears idk GIF

it really sucks that you’re getting conflicting information, and now i’m being no help. sorry ’bout that!

i suggest that you get in contact with enrollment services, since they’re the financial aid experts on campus. they should be able to give you a more definitive answer.

i hope this (non) answer helps! good luck!

xoxo,

aska

Sep24

we’re all confused together

if I pay my minimum fee myself because osap hasn’t processed yet, will they reimburse me? hasn’t osap policy changed so it goes directly to the school? I can manage to scrounge up enough to pay the minimum fee but I’m scared they wont reimburse me

——————————————

hi!

first, let me apologize for how late this response is. i’m not sure if this will still be relevant to you since the minimum fee deadline has passed, but i’ll answer anyways for future reference.

you’re right; OSAP will now go to u of t directly and be applied to whatever outstanding fees that you have for that specific term. whatever is left over after it’s paid u of t will be sent to the bank account that OSAP has on file. so, you should be reimbursed if you paid your fall fees out of pocket.

according to enrollment services’ OSAP FAQ page, they will only “use the account balance for fall 2018 to calculate the amount of OSAP to send to u of t in september.” if you’ve “already paid your fall tuition and fees before your OSAP is received, your OSAP would not be redirected” to u of t. the info is pretty hard to find and their wording is really really confusing, so i don’t blame any confusion you may have. to be honest, it took me multiple read-throughs to get what they were saying. (to the tune of that high school musical song: we’re all confused together!)

high school musical sixteen sixteen sixteen days of hig GIF

if you have any other OSAP related questions or if you’re still confused about what i laid out above, you should get in contact with enrollment services. 

i hope this helps, and sorry again for the delay!

xoxo,

aska

Sep07

yikes, fam

I haven’t been able to deffer my fee because I still have to deal with osap stuff so how long do I have.. are they gonna kick me out for not deferring the fee slash paying the minimum amount?

——————————————

hi!

yikes, fam. it’s getting a little late in the game to have not paid/ deferred your fees.

though the deadline to pay or defer was august 29th, there is a 10 day grace period before you will be deregistered (meaning you will be “financially cancelled” and removed from your classes). this means that while you are a little late, not all hope is lost.

there are basically two options:

1. make a payment.

you can make a payment ASAP and present proof of payment (bank receipt, screenshot of the confirmation page that comes up when you use online banking, etc) to your registrar’s office. once you show them proof of payment, they should be able to manually register you (meaning your status on acorn will go from “invited” to “registered”).

2. defer your fees.

if your OSAP application has been processed, you can show proof that you will be receiving OSAP to your registrar’s office (this usually means showing them a screenshot of your OSAP dashboard and funding estimate). they can manually defer your fees and register you there.

if you don’t do this in time, you’ll have to visit your registrar’s office to be re-registered, pay a fee, and be put back into classes. the scary thing is that there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to be in all the classes you were in before if you lose your place.

panic omg GIF

to avoid that, pay or defer ASAP!!!!!

hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska

May23

long time reader and asker

Hi Aska!

So last year, I came to you with a huge conundrum about life, about quitting school, and other sad stuff like that. But now I am back from my well needed year off and am ready to take on the new school year! Except for the fact that I feel like I have completely lost all my smarticle-particle brain cells and am starting on a blank slate. Not so good.

I left all my school related issues behind on my year off because I’d get these really bad anxiety and panic attacks from overthinking about my problems. Bad idea though. Because now I’m starting to feel a little panicky again because I pushed everything to the side and am completely lost.

I have to write a letter for my OSAP Academic Probation since I dropped so many courses last year that OSAP started wondering where the heck their money went. They were mostly LWDs and so I couldn’t get a refund for the class. My registrar told me that it would be fine and nothing would happen BUT YA I GOT PLACED ON OSAP PROBATION SO SOMETHING DID HAPPEN BUT NOW I GOTTA FIX IT AND I NEED HELP. HELP.

sorry, just freaked out there. i was in a really tough spot last year and was too stupid to not figure it out. so yeah.

I also can’t find the notice they sent me through the mail so this is mostly based on my horrible memory. i swear, im like a grandparent.

anyway, my first question(s) is/are: who do i send this ding-dang letter to? financial aid office or something? what’s their address? do i send one to some osap office as well? also, will it be ok for me to apply for osap during this time?

ok second set of questions are related to a course i really wanna take this upcoming school year. funny story though, i put it on my enrollment cart and was super excited to figure out how to get to my classes and the time of travel it takes to get there. i looked it up on my handy-dandy physical map, and the BUILDING CODE DOES NOT EXIST AT ST. GEORGE. searched it up. found out its at UTM. great.

will I still be allowed to take the course even though im registered at st. george? also, if i am allowed, how will i manage to get back and forth from each campus? apparently there’s a shuttle but where is it located? how much is the fare?

Anyway Aska, thanks for listening and helping. i don’t know what it is–maybe it’s your casual way of answering questions or replying to each student, but i always feel a little better hearing back from you. and you make us all laugh. thanks again and sorry for the freak outs.

hope to hear from you soon!

——————————————

hi friend!

so, i just went back and reread the answer that the past aska give you (there’s been an aska turnover since then!).  i’m sorry that you’re going through a bit of a rough time right now, especially since the year off was much needed. hopefully my response helps.

since you’ve asked two sorta separate questions, i’ll answer in two sorta separate parts.

  1. osap probation

so i’m assuming that the “letter” that you need to write for osap is this one? on it, it says to return it to enrollment services. you should also direct any questions you have about osap or financial aid to enrollment services. you can find their contact info here. unfortunately, i don’t know too much about osap (they’re notoriously confusing) so i think your best bet is getting in contact with enrollment services who have all the osap knowledge.

2. taking courses at utm as a st. george student

yes, this is allowed! these courses will count towards your 20 FCE needed to graduate and can count towards your program requirements.

just keep in mind that, even though the course is being held at a different campus and faculty, you are still subject to st. george’s faculty of arts and sciences’ deadlines. so, for example, if you wanted to drop the course without academic offence, you’d have to do it before the st. george deadline, not the utm deadline. check out this link for the faculty of arts and sciences’ deadlines and this link for utm’s.

also, if you want to use the utm course towards your program(s), you’ll want to make sure that the utm course actually has a relevant equivalent course at st. george (as in, the credit will transfer over and you can actually use it towards your program). you can do this through the transfer explorer. 

as for the utm shuttle, it departs from hart house everyday in 20 minute intervals according to the past winter semester’s schedule. i can’t imagine the schedule changing too drastically in the fall, but look up the new schedule come fall to make sure. also note that it costs $6 each way for non-utm students (like yourself). i know tons of people who have taken the utm shuttle (either for classes or because their families live in mississauga and it’s lowkey cheaper than the ttc + whatever transit system they have in the ‘saug) and they’ve said that it’s a pretty great system, but can be slow during rush hour. the shuttle bus is probably your best bet for getting to and from utm.

i’m really glad that taking a year off was productive and healthy for you, and i hope that the rough patch you’re going through right now passes. just know that if you ever need help, all you need to do is ask for it, which is the hardest part. and you’ve already done that!

i highly suggest getting in contact with someone from your registrar’s office to discuss anything related to your academics, especially since you took a year off and are on osap probation. they’re super duper helpful and understanding. i would also suggest looking into the academic success centre, they’re a criminally underused service at u of t. you can book an appointment with a learning strategist (who does exactly what it sounds like, strategize how you can learn better) or attend workshops on academic success. getting some help and learning how you learn and can be more successful academically should (i hope) give you confidence when you come back to school. they’re awesome, check them out.

good luck! you’re gonna kill it.

model good luck GIF

xoxo,

aska

Feb16

the limit? i guess it exists

Since OSAP is only for completing degree, if all my degree requirement s are met I.e eligible to graduate can I still get OSAP? Do I have to submit forms explaining why I need an extra year OSAP? I wish to stay one more year in university but I also need the $.

——————————————

hi!

unfortunately, i don’t know a whole lot about OSAP and the OSAP website doesn’t seem to have any information on your particular circumstance.

i suggest that you get in touch with enrollment services, they’re the OSAP experts on campus.

sorry that i don’t have more information/ can’t answer your question. you’ve managed to reach the limit of aska’s otherwise limitless expertise.

cady heron math GIF

nonetheless, i hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska

Sep21

uh oh osap!

If I earn $1000 to $1200 each month how will that affect my osap? Right now I’m eligible for free tuition.

——————————————

hi!

unfortunately, this is a question outside of aska’s (in)finite wisdom. OSAP is a scary, scary beast and no one is quite sure how it works. i suggest that you talk to the people at enrollment services, who are the OSAP experts on campus. they would be able to most accurately estimate how much OSAP you could get as well as answer any other questions you may have.

George Michael george michael outside blow kiss blowing a kiss GIF

i hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska

Jun04

OSnAP

Hello again! It’s me the 5th to 6th student (you replied to me using a Gosling Gif!)

So I’m a little worried about OSAP now. Thanks for clarifying that I can do a 6th year. I was put on OSAP probation bc of my performance in 4th yr and it seems I’m getting to my goal of getting off the probation this year.

I’m just wondering if i would be put on OSAP probation again because of the line in the new OSAP Academic Progress Form:

“You can be placed on OSAP probation if you drop below the required course load, or if you do not pass a  sufficient number of credits. Multiple program switches, course drops, withdrawals, multiple repeats of
a program and/or taking multiple programs may also be considered as unsatisfactory academic progress”

I’m confused because if I did a 6th year (Undergrad) would that be considered “multiple repeats of a program”?  I thought by fulling the full course load this year would take me off probation but now I’m just confused and scared I’ll lose OSAP eligibility for that 6th yr. It feels like taking a step forward and 3 steps back.

thanks.

PS. Wow I’m jealous they made the new forms for this year so much easier. When I had to send my letter in I had to get a counselor to sign it and everything.

———————————————

hello,

yes! i remember you! thanks for writing again!

your question was a little loaded so we had to reach out to someone from enrolment services!

this is what they said: (i’m going to copy and paste it word for word so i don’t mess up the meaning)

“OSAP generally allows one extra year of funding to complete your degree.  For Undergraduate students that means 5 years in total.  As long as the student hasn’t used up the maximum number of weeks of funding or interest free status: 340 weeks.  This rule doesn’t apply to students with a documented permanent disability.”

more importantly, we encourage you to talk to a financial counsellor at your college or go to enrolment services to get more information on your unique situation.

in terms of getting off of probation: your academic progress will be monitored carefully so make sure you pass your courses and meet the academic requirements of your program. again, all the information available on OSAP academic probation is attached with the note: talk to enrolment services! everyone’s situation is unique, so it’s really best if they sit down with you so they have access to your information.

hope this helped!

peace and love,

aska

 

Apr13

gimme the dough

Dear aska,

I am a future U of T student. I am writing you because I am quite confused with student loans. Indeed, I am a Canadian citizen from Ontario (so eligible for OSAP) but haven’t lived in Canada for a long time. As result, I am not eligible for the NSLSC. Needing still to borrow some money, would you happen to recommend me any private student loan or any national loaning system that would apply to me?
Since I am writing you and understood you’re a bit bored of money-related questions: I wanted to know if a boxing club existed on campus, and if yes whether or not as an Innis student I would be able to joint it.

Thanks in advance, keep up the good work,

an ecstatic, penniless and boxing passionate future U of T Student.

———————————————

hello!

so regarding your question, i spoke to a financial counsellor and she said that you should definitely double check with enrolment services to confirm your eligibility for the national loan. technically, if you are a canadian citizen, you’re eligible, but perhaps there is more to your situation that makes you ineligible. regardless, it doesn’t hurt to double check.

that being said, there are definitely options outside of student loans which can help with funding your education! a good place to start doing research is the financial aid page on the utoronto website.

throughout the duration of your undergrad, you’ll come across scholarships from your college and the university that you can to apply for. these scholarships will vary in terms of what they look for, (e.g. academic merit, leadership, area of study, etc.) and there is a helpful tool right here that you can use to look at all the awards that are available to you.

if you are eligible for OSAP, you will be automatically considered for UTAPS (University of Toronto Advance Planning for Students), which is a fund which covers the extra costs of university that OSAP do not cover.

another option is to get a line of credit, which allows you to borrow money from a financial institution with interest payments each month. if you need to talk to someone to discuss your financial situation or financial aid options, you can find the contact info for the financial counsellor at your college right here!

paying tuition is, no doubt, a huge burden, but hopefully these options will help you out a bit.

also, after publishing your question, i realized i forgot to answer your question about boxing at U of T. it doesn’t look like U of T has boxing as part of their sport and recreation programs, but i do know that there is a boxing club at U of T that you can check out. their facebook group will have more information! it doesn’t seem to be college-specific, so i’m sure you’ll be able to join!

peace, love and dolladollabillz,

aska

Aug10

a grant is granted

Hello,

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),
and,
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!

B
———————————————

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.

best,

aska

Jul18

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!

aska

Jun27

don’t gamble with OSAP, man

Man when is the fee deferral period this year?

———————————————

dude,

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.

peace,

aska

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