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High School Transition

Funding and Scholarship Programs

Ontario Student Loans

The Ontario government provides financial assistance through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). Each year, over 200,000 post-secondary students receive more than $1.6 billion in post-secondary assistance from OSAP.

OSAP’s objective is to help students from lower income families meet the costs of post-secondary education. OSAP is intended to promote equality of opportunity for post-secondary studies by providing direct financial assistance for educational costs (such as tuition fees, books, and supplies) and basic living expenses. Students (and their families, if applicable) are responsible for meeting the basic costs of post-secondary education. The purpose of OSAP is to supplement, not replace, the financial resources that the student (and his or her family, if applicable) is expected to contribute.

When you apply to OSAP, you are automatically applying to receive a loan through the federal Canada Student Loans Program and/or the provincial Ontario Student Loans Plan. If you receive a Canada and/or Ontario Student Loan, you must start repaying six months after you have stopped being a full-time student. While you are in school, the government(s) of Canada and/or Ontario pay the interest on your loans. To apply for assistance through OSAP, you must be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada (landed immigrant). VISA students are not eligible for OSAP.

You must also meet at least one of the following criteria for OSAP’s Ontario residency requirements:

  1. Be a resident in Ontario for at least 12 consecutive months up to the start of your full-time post-secondary studies; or
  2. If you are married or in a common-law relationship, your residency can also be based on the amount of time your spouse or common-law partner has lived in Ontario.
  3. If for OSAP purposes you are considered a “dependent student”; your residency can be based on the residency of your parent(s), step-parent, legal guardian(s), or official sponsor(s). Your parent(s), step-parent, legal guardian(s), or official sponsor(s) must have lived or maintained the family home in Ontario for at least 12 consecutive months up to the start of your current study period.
  4. Be enrolled or planning to enroll in an approved post-secondary institution.
  5. Be enrolled or planning to enroll in an approved program.
  6. Be taking at least 60 per cent of a full course load or 40 per cent if you are a student with a permanent disability.
  7. You must be taking a program with a minimum length of 12 weeks.


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