About OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program)

The Ontario Student Assistance Program, commonly referred to as OSAP, is a government funded assistance plan designed to assist students by providing funding for their education and living costs during their post-secondary career. Funding is provided by the Ontario and Federal government in two ways:

  • Grants: a non-repayable form of money (you don't have to pay back)
  • Loans: a repayable form of money that is leant to you with the intent it is paid back after you finish your studies 

OSAP provides access to loans and grants to students who require funding to complete their education.  OSAP should not be relied upon to pay for education, but added onto what you already have available.  To learn more about the program and the process click on the links below.

What is OSAP?

OSAP is a joint program that distributes funds on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario.  It is run by the Student Financial Assistance Branch (SFAB) of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), and in Ontario, by all post-secondary institutions (Financial Aid Offices; FAO). 

The ministry accepts applications on behalf of qualified students through an online portal, (ontario.ca/osap) and based on the information you provide, will determine the available funding for each application.  Once your application has been assessed, the FAO will help administer the remainder of the program.

Unless otherwise stated, when a full-time application for OSAP is submitted students will be automatically considered for all sources of funding associated with the program.

The following is a list of funding programs that you will be considered for the 2021/22 academic year that only requires one application, the OSAP full-time application:

  • Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan
  • Canada Student Grant for Persons with Permanent Disabilities
  • Canada Student Grant for Full-time Student: Available to undergraduate students studying full-time whose parental income is lower than a defined threshold.
  • Canada Student Grant for Persons with Dependants
  • Living and Learning Grant
  • Ontario Student Grant: Available to full-time undergraduate and graduate students whose income is below a given defined threshold.  Students may be considered for portions of the grant for up to 8 terms.

When to Apply?

You will need to apply every year for OSAP.  The earlier you start your application, the better but you are encouraged to start an application no later than late-May for your next year school year that starts in September.  This will ensure you know the resources that you have available for your up and coming school year.  Visit ontario.ca/osap to start your application today.

Listed below are specific programs for the 2021/22 academic year that may require separate or supplemental applications:

Full-time Application (Funding):

Full-time Application (Interest and Payment Free Status):

Part-time Application (funding; must complete the OSAP for Part-time student application available online at ontario.ca/osap):

*Please note funding availability for the part-time application differs than the full-time application.  You are only eligible to receive full-time or part-time funding, not both at the same time.

A part-time application will provide consideration to the following sources of funding:

  • Part-time Canada Student Loan
  • Canada Student Grant for Part-time Studies
  • Canada Student Grant for Part-time Students with Dependents
  • Ontario Part-time Grant

  A separate application is required to be considered for the following sources of funding while 
  registered as a part-time student:

OSAP for Micro-credentials (funding; must complete the OSAP for microcredientials student application available online at ontario.ca/osap):

*Please note funding availability for the microcredential application differs from the full-time and part-time applications.  You are eligible to receive full-time or part-time funding and funding for an approved microcredential at the same time.  Overlapping microcredentials are not permitted.

Microcredentials must be less than 12 weeks in length and cannot be broken into individual courses, they must be taken at the same time. 

Lakehead University currently offers over 50 OSAP-qualified microcredentials for a list please review the following link:


Eligible funding for these courses includes tuition, ancillary fees, and books and supplies.  Taxes that may be included in the cost are not eligible for funding through OSAP.

Interaction of OSAP and other government funding (e.g. ODSP, OW):

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Act and Regulations allow an ODSP recipient who wishes to pursue post-secondary education to receive OSAP funding for direct education costs, local transportation and child care costs (if applicable), while continuing to receive ODSP income support.  For the specific directive on the impacts of ODSP recipients please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-disability-support-program-policy-directives-income-support/511-post-secondary

In many cases should funds received through OSAP be more than the educational costs, they will be deducted dollar-for-dollar from their ODSP amount.

Students in receipt of Ontario Works (OW) are unable to receive Ontario Works and OSAP at the same time as per the policy directive of the ministry: https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-works-policy-directives/38-post-secondary-students The ministry requires students to receive OSAP for the educational and living expenses.

If you are in receipt of ODSP or OW, you are encouraged to speak with your caseworker in advance to determine how receiving OSAP will impact your additional funding.


To learn more about any of the programs please review the information in the links above.  If you have further questions please visit Student Central.