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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.




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.


and still there never seems to be/a single penny left for me/that’s too baa-ad!

Hey there!

So I recently got my UTAPS funding and ended up with about $2000. What’s weird is a couple of my friends say they got just over $7000. Now the only difference between our OSAP information is I reported an income of $5000 in the summer. I know these grants are not suppose to be at a 1 to 1 ratio (right?) but it clearly looks like it is. Kind of feels like I worked for free in the summer and I was just wondering if there is anything I can do about this situation.

Thanks in advance!


hey there,

listen, a $5000 income in the summer is going to have an effect on your funding. i don’t know exactly how financial aid is calculated because it depends on a lot of factors, none of which i have access to or know about you.

what i would do is go to enrolment services and ask if you could sit down with someone and talk about why you got the funding you did. another option would be your college registrar – there, you can inquire about bursaries or grants that may be available at the college level to top you up.

these options may both end in, “sorry, you’re not getting another cent,” BUT it’s always worth asking. after all, i would never have found out that cats and dogs didn’t pee out of their tails without asking about it. (i was in elementary school when i made this particular discovery, by the way – i haven’t been walking around in my twenties without a working knowledge of animal tails. heaven forbid.)




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.




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!



throwing shade at capitalism like a left-wing twenty-year-old idealist do

what is UTAPS? Do I have to repay it? or is it not even something that gives me money…


hey there,

if you’re in the position of wanting higher education and not falling into the income bracket of people who for some reason have easier access to it than everyone else regardless of academic merit (hashtag shade @capitalism), then UTAPS is there to help you out.

UTAPS is uoft’s financial aid backup plan. if you apply for OSAP (slash whatever student financial assistance is available in your province/territory), and OSAP gives you the maximum amount of aid, but?you still need more in order to cover your schooling, UTAPS will cover that.

you don’t need to apply for UTAPS separately. just apply for OSAP/your province’s financial aid, and if necessary, UTAPS will supply any remaining grant money to your student account.

UTAPS is a grant, not a loan, so you don’t repay it. i’d say that’s lucky, but if you’re getting UTAPS then you’re also loaning the maximum amount of money from OSAP possible, so maybe it’s not so lucky.





applying to uni sure is fun

Hi there!

I was just wondering if I will get a separate email from Trinity College on how to apply for the supplementary application. I tried going through the link they have on their website but it won’t open.

Since I had to rank colleges… If I don’t get accepted to the first college, will the second then the next etc look at the application? Or will all colleges look at the application then offer an admission? I’m kind of confused with this process… How will this affect the choices for residence if let’s say I prefer Woodsworth or New College/s Residences over Trinity Residence? Is the deadline February 28?

When I tried applying to UTAPS, it linked me to the OSAP site.. is it the same application or separate? Also, how big of an impact does extra-curriculars have on getting an offer from U of T (Faculty of Arts & Science)? Is there something similar to a PEY for Humanities students (Ethics, Society & Law) or an internship etc?

Sorry for all the questions!

Thanks so much & I hope I hear back from you soon.


hey there,

i’m not sure what you mean about the trin application, because it works for me. you should be able to go here, enter your JOINid (which should have been e-mailed to you by the university) and fill it out! if it’s not working, e-mail the college for help (registrar (at) trinity (.) utoronto (.) ca).

as for colleges, basically, they try to put you in your #1 choice if at all possible. so if you put trin as #1, i hope you’re happy with getting into trin. if you prefer woodsworth or new, put one of those as your first choice!

Your OUAC application should have been handed in yesterday, January 15th (though it looks like you still can submit the application up until february 28th if you need to). Trinity college doesn’t specify a deadline for their college profile application thingy, but they do have early february BOLDED as a recommendation, so i’d aim for then.

as for UTAPS, this is the application procedure.

also lol no, if you’re in the humanities you basically have to fend for yourself. but if you do a bit of careful googling, you’ll find there are lots of private internships offered by companies in the city, that you can apply to all by yourself. there’s also work-study, which allows you to work on campus for actual money! woo!

ALSO extra-curriculars are not considered for your application to uoft, though they may have some bearing on your trin application, and they are also important for scholarship/grant/bursary applications, which i would strongly recommend you apply for.




cash cash UTAPS baby

Hi aska,

I’m a first year student. I was talking to my friend and she sent me a link to the utaps application, saying it was a bursary. I applied, and now I’m terrified because I just realized I’m unsure if it’s a loan or a bursary. Do I pay uoft back for the money they loaned me? If it’s a loan, is there anyway I can cancel my application? If so who do I call or what do I do – Stupid act on my part, I know.


Made a booboo
P.S. love your website, so many helpful tips <3


Hey Boo,

Bursary, baby!

Just keep all the free money that UTAPS offers you and they will never expect you to pay them back (U of T is your sugar daddy)! If you would like all the formal info then click this linkity link.

sometimes short can be sweet,


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