OSAP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about OSAP. If your question is not here, please see the FAQs Portal.

If you’re a full-time student completing your first OSAP application for the 2023-24 school year, you’ll need to complete a short information session presented just before you start your application.

The session will help you understand:

  • how OSAP works
  • your roles and responsibilities, if you become an OSAP recipient
  • basic financial information to support you through your postsecondary education (for example, creating a budget, understanding credit and debit)

Only full-time students completing their first OSAP application for the 2023-24 school year need to complete this module. If you choose to reapply to OSAP for the 2024-25 school year, you will not be required to complete this module again.

You should search for the name of the degree you intend to complete, as opposed to your major. Example: “Bachelor of Arts” instead of “English”. Your application will be processed more quickly if you choose the correct program from the list.

For undergraduate students:

  • Search for the name of the College or Faculty you’ll be attending.
    • Examples: New College, Trinity, University, Woodsworth, Mississauga, Scarborough, Engineering.
  • Click on Search for program. You’ll see a list of possible programs. Choose the appropriate program and year of study.
    • Example: Bachelor of Arts and Science will cover most undergraduate programs in Life Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities.

For graduate students:

  • Search the name of your degree program (e.g., Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Teaching, PhD, etc.). Choose the best match for your program.
  • Masters students: In most cases, OSAP funding is provided for the September-April period only. To extend your funding for the May-August term, you must request a Summer OSAP extension. The extension application is available in early March of each year.

If you cannot find your program when you get to the end of the list, type in the name of your program in the box under “Can’t find your program?” The next screen will allow you to manually enter your start and end dates. The University will verify your program details after you submit your application and required supporting documentation.

No. Payments from your own resources before your OSAP is released will not affect the amount of OSAP funding you qualify for. Since you will have reduced your outstanding fees, less of your OSAP funding will be applied to your account. In other words, more of your OSAP funding will be deposited into your bank account.

OSAP is an assistance program. You and your family are expected to supplement OSAP funding with your own resources. However, if you still do not have enough to cover your financial needs after your OSAP and other resources have been applied to your fees, the University has programs to assist you.

For example, the University of Toronto Advanced Planning for Students (UTAPS) program is the University’s largest need-based support program and covers the financial gap between a student’s actual education costs and the costs recognized by their provincial/territorial government student financial aid program. In other words, UTAPS covers unmet financial need. Through UTAPS, U of T provides non-repayable grants to students to help cover this financial need gap, or unmet need.

By completing a financial need application through the Need Navigator tool, you will be considered for UTAPS grants (or for grants available through your division/college/faculty).

In addition, after you complete the application on the Need Navigator, reach out to your college, faculty, or academic divisional for Financial Counselling. They can help you determine your budget, and apply for a bursary to help cover costs not met by OSAP or UTAPS. Completing the application on the Need Navigator is an important first step for any bursary, grant and/or need-based award application.

If you are experiencing a financial emergency, please contact your faculty, college, or academic division to apply for assistance. Undergraduate students can apply for assistance using the Undergraduate Grant application. Graduate students may seek out emergency funding from the School of Graduate Studies.

Because your outstanding fees to the University of Toronto may be greater than the amount of OSAP funding that has been redirected to the University of Toronto.

Remember, you are responsible for the payment of your tuition and other fees, even if your OSAP funding doesn’t cover your full account balance. If there are delays in your OSAP funding, service charges may be assessed. Please refer to the Student Accounts website for information about the fee deadlines for your division.

Your ACORN invoice shows the current amount owing on your account. Check the OSAP website for your current OSAP status and how much OSAP you may have qualified for.

After confirms your full-time enrolment to OSAP, your OSAP funding will be sent to the University of Toronto and applied to your account balance indicated on your Invoice. Once the University of Toronto receives your OSAP funding, your invoice will be updated to reflect the OSAP payments received. It can take a few days for OSAP to send us your payment, so be sure to check your OSAP account carefully for the amounts sent to the school to avoid double payments.

Students participating in the Professional Experience Year Co-op program are eligible for interest-free status on their previous OSAP loans.

You can submit your Continuation of Interest-Free status (CIFS) application online as early as 15 days before your PEY starts in September. The final deadline to submit a CIFS application is 21 days before your PEY ends in April. CIFS forms received outside of this period will not be accepted. Once you have submitted your CIFS form, The University will confirm your status with OSAP to keep your loans interest-free.

To access the CIFS form, log into your account and click on “Apply for interest-free status” on the Application page. In the field asking for your program name, write “Engineering PEY Co-op” or “Arts and Science PEY Coop” (not your academic program). When completing the form, indicate the start date of your study period as September 1, 2023 and end date of your study period as April 30, 2024.

Yes. You must let OSAP know if any of your financial or other information changes. You can check the information on file by checking your Application Summary in your online OSAP account. Write a letter explaining the changes, sign it, and upload it to the “Changes to Your Application” section in the Documents page of your OSAP application.

Graduate Funding Package

Yes. As part of your OSAP application you agree to provide income information that is complete and true. Failure to report income to OSAP can result in OSAP overpayments and loss of eligibility in future years.

All graduate fellowships must be reported to OSAP as Scholarship or Award funding, including your tuition award. The only exceptions to this are the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and the Queen Elizabeth Graduate Scholarship in Science & Technology (QEII-GSST). These two Ontario government awards are reported to OSAP by the University of Toronto so you do not have to report them yourself.

The funding available for graduate students varies depending on your department and your program. Check with your graduate department to find out whether your funding is paid out as a stipend or as employment income. Typically funding received through stipends and fellowships is reported on a T4A. This funding should be reported as scholarship income on your OSAP application. Any employment income (reported on a T4) must be reported in the “Other Income” section, if it is over $5,600 per term ($11,200 for two terms, $16,800 for three terms) Please note that if you have a funding package, OSAP funding will not be redirected to cover your tuition and fees, since you have an agreement in place with the University of Toronto to cover your tuition and fees already.

You can receive OSAP while on exchange, but you must provide some additional documentation. The instructions are available at the Learning Abroad website.

Before making a refund request, visit the Student Accounts website for important information.

The fastest way to get a refund is to set up direct deposit information on ACORN. Please make sure your mailing address and bank account information is accurate on ACORN.

If you have received Full-Time OSAP for the current term, and you have a credit balance in ACORN, you should request a refund through ACORN. When you log into ACORN you should see a link for the OSAP Refund request. If you do not see that link in ACORN you can go directly to the refund request site: ACORN Refund Request.

The processing time for ACORN refund requests is around 4-6 weeks.

Note: You may not be eligible to receive the full amount of the credit balance refunded to you. If you’ve withdrawn from full-time studies or your OSAP has been re-assessed, the credit balance will be applied to repay the University awards and OSAP overpayments first. You will then be refunded the amount that’s left over, if any.

If you have not received full-time OSAP for the current term, please follow the instructions on the Student Accounts website.

There is no requirement to inform OSAP if you are taking a break from studies. Students need to reapply for OSAP every year, so if you are taking a term or academic year off, no action is required. However, if you are taking a break of six months or longer, you should be aware that previous OSAP loans will go into repayment.

You can find information about the repayment process on the OSAP website and through the National Student Loans Service Centre. Interest is currently waived on the federal portion of your loan (i.e., Canada Student Loan), but borrowers are still required to make monthly payments. If you are financially unable to make your regular monthly payments, you can apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan.

If you have already submitted a Full-Time OSAP application for 2023-24, you can cancel it on the OSAP website until funding has been issued. When you log in to the list of your full-time OSAP applications, simply click the “Close application” button.