Canadian citizens and permanent residents may apply for government-sponsored financial assistance to help with tuition fees, books and living expenses during the academic year. The program for Ontario residents is known as the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
The basic premise of OSAP is that the responsibility for funding a student’s education rests primarily with the student and his/her family. Inherent in this premise is the expectation that plans be in place to make adequate preparations to meet the student’s upcoming financial needs.
Ontario residents should apply online at ontario.ca/osap. The application will then be downloaded to the institution you plan to attend.
Out-of-province residents may make an application for financial assistance to the appropriate government department of their home province. The address can be obtained from the financial aid office at the university or college in their home area or from the Loyalist College Financial Assistance Office at 613-969-1913, ext. 2425 or 2226.
Loans from OSAP are not available before the start of classes, so students are expected to pay deferral fees from their own resources.
Are You Ready for Tax Season?
It’s that time of year again – time to file your income tax and benefit return for 2020.
Follow these simple tips this tax season:
Tip 1: File your taxes, even if you don’t owe tax or have any income to report
Your tax return is an application for tax credits and benefits and may help you qualify for income-based government programs.
Some of the tax credits and benefits you can apply for include the:
To apply for the Ontario Trillium Benefit, complete form ON-BEN – Application for the 2021 Ontario Trillium Benefit and Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant.
Make sure to check all the boxes that apply to your situation and declare any off-campus rent being paid by you or on your behalf.
When filing, don’t forget to keep documents that support your application, such as receipts for charitable donations and rent.
Tip 2: Report all your income
This includes your full and part-time income, as well as any side income.
Don’t forget about:
- self-generated income like selling services online
- rental income like Airbnb, and
- COVID-related income replacement benefits, like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Recovery Benefit.
Tip 3: Stay up to date
Tax credits and benefits change over time. It’s important to stay up to date so you don’t miss out.
Visit Ontario.ca/TaxReturn for more information about filing your personal income tax and benefit return.
Please note that Loyalist College does not have a COVID-19 financial need fund at this time.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is offering assistance to those who need it.
For more information about the government’s response plans, follow the links below:
- Federal – Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Provincial – Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19
- Provincial – Get support for families
On March 31, the province announced the option for OSAP payment deferrals. Details are available here.
Watch the NSLSC Support for Student Loan Borrowers after the end of the COVID-19 Relief Measures video.
Academic progress and OSAP eligibility
In addition to the minimum academic requirements, students are expected to progress through the successive years of their program of study.
Frequent or multiple program switches, dropping from a full course load to a part-time course load, withdrawing from a program, repeating a program and/or taking multiple programs at the same level of study may be considered lack of progress and lack of academic direction on the part of a student and could affect OSAP funding.
In order to remain eligible for OSAP, students must maintain OSAP academic progression standards.
- Students who do not meet OSAP academic progress goals will be placed on OSAP academic probation.
- Failure to meet OSAP academic probation goals will result in an OSAP academic restriction.
- An unsuccessful semester is when a mark of less than 60% is achieved in 60% of a full course load.
For those who have registered a permanent disability with OSAP, one unsuccessful semester is when a mark of less than 60% is achieved in 40% of a full course load.
- Withdrawals count toward an unsuccessful semester.
- Students will be notified of unsuccessful semesters as follows:
- One unsuccessful semester: Success is monitored, but no warning letters are issued.
- Two consecutive unsuccessful semesters: Loyalist’s OSAP office will send a warning letter.
- Three consecutive unsuccessful semesters: Loyalist’s OSAP office will send a second warning letter.
- Four unsuccessful consecutive unsuccessful semesters: Student is placed on OSAP restriction and will be notified by a letter from OSAP.
Please note that OSAP academic restriction lasts for the current academic year plus the next academic year.
One successful semester resets the clock on OSAP academic probation.
Download our Webinar PowerPoint: OSAP Presentation 2020
Q: If I go on restriction, will my grants be converted to loans?
A: Grants are only converted to loans if you withdraw.
Q: Do I go into repayment while I am on restriction?
A: Repayment starts six months after you are no longer a full-time student.
Q: Does coming back from restriction change how much OSAP funding I can get?
The chart below lists the impacts for not meeting the government’s minimum required academic progress while receiving OSAP:
FAILING TO MEET ACADEMIC STANDARDS FOR …
MEANS YOU …
One period of study (academic year)
Are placed on OSAP probation for 12 months (one year) but remain eligible for OSAP funding.
Succeed in all following academic periods to maintain OSAP eligibility.
Two periods of study
Lose your OSAP eligibility for a minimum of 12 months (one academic year).
Maintain outstanding student loans in good standing with lending institution during the 12-month period.
Second failure to make satisfactory academic progress after already having a previous one-year restriction.
Lose your OSAP eligibility for a minimum of 36 months (three academic years).
Maintain outstanding student loans in good standing with lending institution during the 36-month period.
Third failure to make satisfactory academic progress after having a previous three-year restriction.
Lose your OSAP eligibility for a minimum of 60 months (five academic years).
Maintain outstanding student loans in good standing with lending institution during the 60-month period.
Fourth failure to make satisfactory academic progress after having a previous five-year restriction.
Lose OSAP eligibility.
Must repay all outstanding student loans prior to obtaining new loans.
A student is enrolled in 100% of a full course load (for example, five courses in each term) in a two-term study period from September 7 to April 23.
Each course is 20% of a full course load. After the end of the study period, the student’s grades showed the following:
Course 1: Pass
Course 2: Pass
Course 3: No Grade
Course 4: No Grade
Course 5: No Grade
Course 6: Pass
Course 7: Pass
Course 8: Pass
Course 9: No Grade
Course 10: No Grade
The student has passed 5/10 courses. As the student has not received a passing grade in at least 60% of their courses taken, the student has not met OSAP academic progress goals and will be placed on an OSAP academic progress restriction.
Any student who is struggling academically should contact their Student Success Mentor for assistance.
Student Loan Repayment Webinar
Please click on the link below to watch an on-demand webinar from the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). Questions addressed include the following:
- What are the benefits of government-sponsored student loans?
- What is a non-repayment period?
- What is a consolidation letter?
- How can you save money?
- How can you avoid repayment difficulties?
- How can you maintain your student loan?
National Student Loans Service Center (NSLSC)
NSLSC helps Canadians successfully manage their student loans and reach their postsecondary education goals.
Follow @NSLSC on Twitter to stay up-to-date.
National Student Loans Service Center Videos:
Financial Assistance Office
613-969-1913, ext. 2425
Financial Assistance Office
613-969-1913, ext. 2226