your student life specialists

Archive for the ‘OSAP’


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.




all that $$$ going straight to The Man

Due to some unfortunate circumstances with OSAP, I had to pay for school on my own last year. It was really painful because every paycheck I got (till the end of the school) went straight to my tuition. This year (15/16), I would like to get assistance from OSAP. I have just finished submitting my application.

Would OSAP not give me money if my estimated financial amounts are too high?

They are high because, when I estimated my amounts, I assumed I would be working full-time till the end of the summer. (So far, I have been working full-time since May.) If something changes.. like maybe I get fired tomorrow and can’t find a job for the rest of the summer.. how would they know?


hey there,

that sucks, man. don’t you love how the UofT Corporation Inc. continues to demand money in exchange for its services? despicable.

i’m assuming you used this aid estimator to see how much funding (if any) you’ll likely receive based on your current circumstance. (if you didn’t use that…you may want to try it).

if the estimator says you’re not eligible for funding, then that is probably an accurate reflection of what actual OSAP will say. however, just because OSAP says no dice, doesn’t mean you’re out of luck in terms of funding. you can always talk about your situation with your registrar’s office.

every college has some amount of emergency grant funding for their students, in case you suddenly lose a job, gain an unexpected expense, or your trust fund runs out because you bought one too many yachts (again. Dammit, Wilbert Charles Samuel the Third, when will you learn?).

also, students whose costs aren’t completely covered by OSAP for whatever reason can receive extra assistance from UTAPS.

finally, if you were to suddenly lose your job or have some other financial calamity, you can and should definitely report that to OSAP by altering your application online. that way, OSAP will know your situation and might bump up your funding. which is always nice.




sassing is truly an important pastime

Okay I feel like this is a stupid question that I’ll probably find the answer to right after I send this email, but I’m having a mild panic attack about this, so asking around can’t hurt. Okay, so I’m at UTM and I just dropped a Y course, which brought my course load down from 70% for this semester to 50%, so I’m now considered a part time student. I’m not on OSAP, but I did get 30% off my tuition, I know you have to inform OSAP when your course load changes, or it can effect your funding in the following years. I downloaded and filled out the Financial Aid Change Form, I’m just not sure where I’m suppose to submit it or address it to. The Office of Registrar? The Financial Aid Office at the downtown campus? I’m just so vexed as to what to put on the front of the envelope.

Thanks so much for your help. And if I do manage to figure this out on my own than sorry for wasting your time.


hey there,

not at all! i actually don’t consider this a waste of time. even when people ask me which college is the best college, EVEN THEN i don’t consider it a waste of time. i find sassing them is time well spent.

anyway, yes, that form is produced by the registrar’s office, and page 36 of this presentation says that any changes to your status relating to OSAP should be reported to them, so i think it’s safe to say the form should be going to the registrar.




but i FEEL like i’m here all the time

Hey Aska,

I am currently taking 4 courses, one full year and three half year courses, for a total of 2.5 FCEs. I would like to drop one of the half year courses but if I have only 2 FCEs will I become a part-time student? I am on OSAP so will this affect that as well?

I wouldn’t mind being a part-time student but only for this semester- I want to take 3 courses in the summer so if I do end up going for part time, how difficult would it be to do that then change back to full time in May?

Thank you!


hey there,

if i could have one wish in all my life, it would be that people told me what campus they were on before they asked a question. alas, there seems to be no genie in sight for me.

in any case, on all three campuses, you need to be taking at least 3.0 FCEs in the fall/winter terms to be full-time (it’s articulated slightly differently on each campus, but that’s what it boils down to).

so if you’re in 2.5 credits, then you’re already a part-time student. that may affect your OSAP, and i would recommend talking to the financial counsellor at your local registrar’s office about it.

applying for OSAP and registering for courses in the summer term is a completely separate process from registration and OSAP in fall/winter, so if you’re a part-time student now, that shouldn’t at all affect any future semesters. all you have to do to be full-time in the summer is sign up for at least 1.5 FCEs.




money on TAP


I recently stumbled upon an email from OSAP (November) reminding me to update my income on the application. I was awarded a 2014-2015 UTAPS grant ($4000+) from the school with a letter clearly stating that an OSAP report is not needed. However, the section under Income Received During Study Period on the OSAP application says, “Do not report any award, bursary, and/or needs-based scholarship received from a public Ontario college or university if the college/university informs you in writing that they will report the award to OSAP directly. If you have not received notification in writing from your school, then you must report this income”.

From this point, I’m a bit confused as the letter about the UTAPS grant states that an OSAP report is not needed, yet the OSAP application indicates I must report the award/grant if the school has not done so. The UTAPS grant has essentially paid off the rest of my tuition for this year as my account balance is at $0.00. I am receiving the rest of my OSAP funding (also $4000+) in 2nd semester that I was supposed to use to pay off my tuition, which will now be used to excessively pay for upcoming textbooks. I do not want to be overfunded and forced to repay more than I have to after graduation. Thus, I have not updated my income yet, what should I do?

Should I report the UTAPS grant? Any suggestions? Thanks!


hey there,

if the university told you that you don’t need to report UTAPS on your OSAP, then that’s because the school has reported/will report it for you. seems to me that OSAP statement is also telling you NOT to report the award, since you were “informed in writing that [the university] will report to OSAP directly.”

from what i can tell, it’s all up to the school now; they said they would report it, which means it’s out of your hands. sit back and relax. have a drink. enjoy the wonderful weather we’ve been having.

however, if you want to be absolutely certain (which i would recommend), you can always call enrolment services and double-check.

have a rad rest-of-the-afternoon!



gimme an O gimme an S gimme an A…

Hey there, when can I start to apply for 2015-2016 OSAP?


hey there,

i can’t find any documentation about this because enrolment services’ information (no disrespect, guys) is a teensy bit out of date, but my SECRET SOURCES here at aska HQ tell me that it’s typically not until may.

so don’t start freaking out about it just yet – you’ve still got some time.




takin’ care of business, everyday…

Dear askastudent,

Google and the terrible UofT website have been able to answer the majority of my questions but unfortunately not these ones. That is, however, where you come in.

– Will my OSAP cover the first payment on my residence or will I have to take care of business myself?

– Whilst applying for Victoria College I checked off my interest in residence. If I (And I will so this is a non-issue) fail to get into Vic will I have to confirm my interest in residence at all the other colleges I may end up in? I like to deal with things as pre-emptively as possible, to prevent future issues and so if I could deal with this now it would be best.

Thank you very much for your time wise askastudent. Have an excellent, fun filled evening.

The Muscles Champ


hey there Muscles Champ,

*huffs* how dare you call the uoft website TERRIBLE? terrible, with its circuitous, illogical tangents and constantly moving web pages? nonsense! it’s not terrible, it’s?magical.

1) it all depends. apply for OSAP, and when they release an estimate of how much aid you’re eligible for (that’s fancy talk for how much money you’re likely to get), they’ll tell you the dates that each instalment will be released.

then you just have to figure out when your residence fees are due, and do the math. and then you can, as you said,?take?care of business, whatever the case may be.

2) nahh.

basically how it works is that, if you’re interested in residence, you do everything through a myres application. you’ll have to indicate your initial interest in residence through myres by march 31st.

then, once you’ve been accepted to uoft and given your college placement, you’ll log into myres again. at that point, myres will recognize which college you’re a part of, and they’ll only list residence options that are available to you. so if you get into vic, you might?be given vic residence and chestnut (which is not affiliated with any college), for example.

i hope you also have an excellent, fun filled evening, Muscles Champ. and thanks for the kind wishes.



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