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Financial Aid Directory

Government Funding Programs in Ontario

Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities

In 1998, the Government of Ontario enacted legislation creating the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), which is the name given by the province to the EAPD program. This program was designed to replace the VRDP program in the province. A government directive expressly prohibits the use of the ODSP to support costs associated with post-secondary education. The directive states:

"The following goods and services WILL NOT be funded under the employment supports component of the ODSP: … Programs where financial assistance is available under the Ontario Student Assistance Program or programs available through the Education Act, and any goods and services required to attend these programs …" Source: Brochure "Ontario Disability Support Program - Employment Supports: Eligible Goods and Services." Directive # 105-01, January 1, 1999, ODSP Branch, page 32.

Student Loans Program

The Ontario government provides students with financial assistance through direct operating grants to post-secondary institutions and through OSAP. Each year, over 200,000 post-secondary students receive more than $1.6 billion in financial assistance from OSAP.

OSAP's objective is to help students from lower income families to 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 to replace, the financial resources that the student (and his or her family, if applicable) is expected to contribute.

Student Support Branch
Tel.: 807-343-7260 (Ontario students attending a post-secondary institution outside Ontario)
Tel.: 1-866-330-3331 (automated telephone voice response system for status of application; available only in Canada)
TDD/TTY: 1-800-465-3958

OSAP Loans and Bursaries

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. 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), stepparent, 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. Approved post-secondary institutions:

To be eligible for a Canada Student Loan you must be enrolled at an approved post-secondary institution anywhere in the world. To be eligible for an Ontario Student Loan you must be enrolled at an approved public university or college of applied arts and technology in Canada, or an approved private post-secondary institution in Ontario.

Credit Check: If you have not applied for OSAP in the past year the ministry will perform a credit check. If it is determined that you have been 90 days in arrears on three or more personal loans or credit accounts, each with a value of $1,000 or more, within the past three years, you will not be eligible for an Ontario Student Loan. In addition, you may not be eligible for a Canada Student Loan. You will be notified in the event that you fail the credit check. An appeal mechanism is available to you if you can demonstrate exceptional circumstances and a strong likelihood of being able to repay your student loan(s).

For more information contact:

Student Support Branch
Tel.: 807-343-7260 (Ontario students attending a post-secondary institution outside Ontario)
Tel.: 1-866-330-3331 (automated telephone voice response system for status of application; available only in Canada)
TDD/TTY: 1-800-465-3958

Bursary For Students With Disabilities

Students with disabilities in Ontario may be eligible for a Special Opportunity Grant (Canada Study Grant) through the Canada Student Loans Program and the OSAP Bursary for Students With Disabilities. Applications for this bursary are available through disability services offices and student awards offices in the province. Costs covered under the bursary program may include, but are not limited to, items or services such as notetakers, tutors, special transportation, technical aids/equipment, computers, special chairs and splints.

Funding Available
A student attending school in the 1999-2000 academic year (for programs starting any time after August 1, 1999) will be able to access loans of up to $9,350 (of which $7,000 is repayable) in Ontario Student Loans through OSAP.

OSAP is based on financial need, which means that the amount of loan assistance available through OSAP will depend on the individual circumstances of the student and his or her family. Lower-income students will be able to access loans to cover part of their eligible costs of studying at out-of- country post-secondary institutions. Parents of students with moderate and higher incomes will be expected to make a contribution to the costs of their children's education, which will reduce the amount of loan assistance available.

All students regardless of family income, will receive a bursary for eligible costs which are in excess of the maximum combined loan entitlement of $275 per week of study of the Canada Student Loans Program and the Ontario Student Loan Program.

If you have additional questions contact the Student Support Branch, Ministry of Education and Training by e-mail at, by telephone at (807) 343-7257, by TTY at 1-800-465-3958, or by fax at (807) 343-7278. Source: Information found on line at the OSAP web site:

Gloria Landis Memorial Bursary

This bursary was established in memory of Gloria Landis for her significant contributions to LDAO and her community on behalf of individuals with learning disabilities.

One bursary will be awarded annually in the amount of $1000.00 to a mature individual with learning disabilities in a postsecondary program or accredited vocational institute who has been absent from full-time education for a period of three years. Deadline for application is June 15 in each year.


  • Candidates must have documentation of their learning disability.
  • Candidates must be at least 25 years old.
  • Candidates must have been absent from full-time education for a period of three years
  • Candidates must be considered to be mature students by the institution of their choice.
  • Candidates must have been accepted for study by the institution, at the time of funding.
  • Previous recipients of the bursary are not eligible to apply again.
  • Candidates must be Ontario residents

The bursary will be administered by LDAO. The selection will be made by a committee comprised of an LDAO board member, a member of the Adult Advocacy Committee, a member of the Landis family or a designate, and an LDAO staff person.

The application will be available on the LDAO website, or contact: (416) 929-4311 Ext.42 or Ext.22; e-mail: or


All contents copyright ©, 1999-2019, National Educational 
Association of Disabled Students. All rights reserved.