Need $ for grad school? OSAP 101

We can’t talk about grad school without talking about money.

You may want to pursue grad school but how the heck will you pay for it?

If you are from Ontario, you are in luck!

For residents of Ontario, OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) is a funding option for students no matter what school you attend in Canada.


When I hear funding or financial aid, I want to these four things:

  • Am I eligible?
  • How much do I get?
  • Do I have to pay it back – is it a grant or a loan?
  • What do I have to do for it?

The OSAP website is super easy and intuitive to use and answers all these questions for you. I took advantage of OSAP in my Master’s degree and again now in my Doctoral Degree. I want to be able to talk about anything on this blog – even the hard stuff like money. So, in the spirit of transparency:

  1. Yes, I am eligible
  2. I get around $10,500
  3. $4,000 is a grant, $6,500 is a loan
  4. Don’t have to do anything.

Sure, it might not be much (the $4000 grant will only cover one semester of tuition fees) but anything helps and I am grateful that we have this option from our government in Ontario.

All you need to do is go visit the website here and it should answer all your questions around receiving funding through OSAP.

For those who want a quick summary, here you go:

They provide two types of aid:

  • Grants – money you don’t have to pay back
  • Loans – money you need to repay


  • Available for part-time and full-time students
  • Based on a bunch of factors i.e. family income
  • Canadian Citizens
  • Ontario residents for 12 months
  • Check out the website for criteria that will make you ineligible to receive OSAP



The OSAP website has a school search feature to see if the school your attending provides this type of financial aid.



OSAP Application Process:

Typically opens in April of the same year you will attend school (but stays open even when you start school).

Super easy process, you can start the application and come back to complete it.

Submit your OSAP application no later than 60 days before the end of your study period.

Most Canada Post Offices should know about OSAP applications and can help you submit it.

If you are applying for a graduate or professional program (e.g., law, medicine), you need to apply through your school’s financial aid office.


Receiving and Repayment of Loan:

Receiving the money is very simple, as long as you follow directions it will show up in your bank account.

During your six-month grace period: no interest is charged on the Ontario portion of your loans.

After 6 months, interest is charged on the Canada portion of your loans

The interest rates on the Ontario and Canada portions of your OSAP loans are different:

  • Ontario: prime rate of interest + 1% (currently)
  • Canada: prime rate of interest +2.5% (currently)

Repayment calculator is available on their website for an estimate of your monthly payments for your loan.

There is a calculator feature to estimate how much aid you could receive from OSAP. Go get an estimate and see if you’re eligible! If you are looking for financial aid, OSAP can be a unique opportunity to provide you with some financial security and ensure your success in graduate school.


Now go get that $ and let me know how it goes!

Until next time,
Christine xo

P.S Don’t forget to use #ScholarCulture and #ScholarSquad to keep me updated on your experiences as grad students.

P.P.S Applying to grad school in 2018? Check out this FREE eBook on 5 steps to a successful grad school application. Click here.

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