Need Help Paying for Your University Studies?
Many students and their families have been impacted by the economic downturn. OSAP assistance can help alleviate the burden on struggling students and their families as they weather the economic situation. The Provincial government recently announced major improvements to the Ontario Student Assistance Program as part of the 2010 provincial government budget. University students are getting greater access to financial aid and more flexibility on loan repayments. Some of the enhancements include:
Increased weekly assistance limits:
Students will have access to more financial support. The weekly maximum loan limits have been increased to a combined provincial/federal total of $360 for single students. The weekly limit for married students and students with dependents has been increased to $560 per week.
Students from low income and middle income families may also be eligible to receive Canada Student Grants. Grants are NON-REPAYABLE financial assistance. For a complete list of grants which OSAP applicants can qualify for, please refer to the contact section below.
Exemption of income earned while in school:
Students will be able to keep more of the income they earn while in school without it affecting their OSAP funding. Currently, students can earn up to $50 per week during their studies before their OSAP funding starts to be reduced. The government is doubling the income exemption to just over $100 per week. The exemption will increase annually to keep pace with inflation.
More help for married students and students with children:
To help married students, OSAP is reducing the share of income that students’ spouses are required to contribute to their partners’ education by 10 percent. For married students and students with dependent children, the government will also double the OSAP vehicle exemption so that vehicles worth up to $10,000 will not affect the student’s OSAP assessment.
More flexible, income-sensitive repayment assistance:
The government is joining the federal Repayment Assistance Program to provide students with more help in repaying their Ontario student loans. Under the program, no payment will be required from those with very low incomes. No graduate will be asked to pay more than 20 percent of their family income towards their loans. After 15 years, any remaining student loan debt is forgiven. There are also enhanced measures for students with permanent disabilities.
No interest period:
The government will pay the interest charges during the first six months after graduation, in addition to the six months of no payments currently offered. This makes the Ontario portion of all OSAP loans interest free and payment free for the first six months for all graduates.
Introduction of a new, part-time grant:
The government will provide a new $500 grant to part-time students receiving a Canada Part-Time Student Loan, but who do not qualify for the Canada Student Grant for part-time Studies.
Student Access Guarantee:
Students who have applied for OSAP, and whose need as determined by OSAP calculations is greater than the amount available under the OSAP program maximums will automatically qualify for financial support from Laurentian University to assist with tuition and book costs in excess of a Ministry defined threshold. There is no separate application required, and the Student Access Guarantee can be met by the University through the bursaries, scholarship, work study support or a combination of these.
More information on these and other financial assistance programs is available:
Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP):
National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC):
Or contact the Student Awards office at Laurentian University:
(705) 675-1151 ext. 3050
While the above measures are all positive steps towards assisting students in financing their university education, there continue to be far too many students whose financial needs are unmet or who fall outside the criteria for financial assistance, particularly mature and part-time students. LAMPS together with our partners will continue to lobby government to reduce tuition fees, increase funding to educational institutions and for more real financial assistance by the way of grants. Our collective efforts will ensure that all students can access appropriate financial assistance and successfully achieve their educational goals.