Ontario Student Assistance Program
Students enrolling in at least 60% of a full course load (or 40% if they are a student with a permanent disability)who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, who have been residents in Ontario for one year prior to beginning their academic program and who satisfy the admission requirements of a Canadian university or an eligible post-secondary institution in Ontario, may apply for funding through this program.
Students qualify for assistance from OSAP on the basis of an established financial need, and funds are provided to supplement students' own financial resources and those of their immediate families.
To facilitate early processing students are strongly advised to apply in May for the following academic year.
Students wishing to use OSAP funding to pay for tuition must submit their OSAP application and all the required supporting documentation (including signature pages) to the Financial Aid Office by August 1 to ensure that funding processes in time for the start of classes. Please note that the final deadline to apply for OSAP for the fall/winter session is 60 days before the end of the study period (end of February).
How do I apply?
Applications and further information can be found online at Ontario.ca/osap. Additional information on the program in general and on budgeting for university may be found at the Canada Student Loans website or the website for the National Student Loans Service Centre. Throughout the year, please check your OSAP website regularly for updates to your funding.
Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA)
The Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) is a legal document that outlines your responsibilities and the terms and conditions of accepting and repaying your student loans. The MSFAA is a multi-year agreement. Students belonging to the following groups must complete the MSFAA to receive government funding (grants and loans) for the academic year:
- First-time recipient of government funding
- Previous recipient who has had a break in their studies of more than two years
The MSFAA can be completed online through a two-step process. You will require the following information:
- Your 10-digit MSFAA number – available through your OSAP application, on the “Required documents” page
- Your date of birth
- Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Your bank account information – bank’s transit number, institution number, and your account number
Step 1: Register online with the National Student Loans Centre (NSLSC)
Once you have been assessed by OSAP and approved for funding, NSLSC will send you a welcome email within two to three business days (to the email address that you provided on your OSAP account). Follow the link in the email to start the registration process.
You will be presented with two options for confirming your identity and registering your account with NSLSC. You can use either a SecureKey Sign-in Partner or GCKey. You will be taken to an external website to complete this identity verification process.
SecureKey Sign-In Partners are groups like banks and credit unions that have partnered with SecureKey Technologies to enable their customers to use their online credentials (e.g. card numbers or usernames and passwords) to access Government of Canada services. Your banking information will not be shared with the government through this service.
If your financial institution is not a SecureKey Sign-in Partner or you prefer not to use this service, you can obtain credentials (username and password) through GCKey, a Government of Canada service.
Step 2: Complete the MSFAA
After registering, you will be re-directed to NSLSC's website where you can complete the MSFAA by:
- Confirming your personal and contact information
- Completing your communication preferences
- Entering your banking information
- Accepting the terms and conditions of the loan agreement
The Review Process
If your funding is insufficient and you feel that you have exceptional circumstances that were not considered in the OSAP application, you can request a review of your OSAP application through the Student Awards and Financial Aid Office. Contact the office to discuss your specific circumstances and to obtain the necessary forms.
If you are unsatisfied by the review decision made by your Financial Aid Administrator, you may submit a written appeal to OSAP.
Should a student be dissatisfied with a service from the Student Awards and Financial Aid Department or a specific staff member, the student is referred to the Manager of Student Financial Services. If a meeting with the Manager cannot resolve his/her issue(s) the student is directed to the VP Finance and Administration, whose decision is final. Students can also refer to the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Students can also contact the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Development (SFAB) should their complaints not be adequately addressed.
Paying your fees with OSAP
OSAP will be used to pay for your fees on your behalf. Late in the summer, the Student Financial Services Office staff will begin the process of electronic confirmation of enrolment (so you need to ensure you are registered in your courses by then); at this time, we will let the Loans Center know what portion of your OSAP needs to be redirected to the school to pay fees owing (tuition, ancillary and residence, if applicable) for the current term.
If your OSAP is not sufficient to cover the installment due at any given time, it is your responsibility to ensure the difference owing is paid by the deadline.
Please note that even though fees are being paid through your OSAP funding, it is still YOUR responsibility to ensure that your account at Nipissing University has been paid in full. Note that it could take at least three weeks from the date we confirm your enrolment and indicate to the Loans Centre how much of your OSAP needs to be redirected for the university to receive your payment and to post it to your fee account.
Interest free status for full time students
If you have received OSAP in the past and you are registering full-time but are not going to process a new loan for the current academic session, you must complete a Continuation of Interest Free Status form in the Student Awards & Financial Aid Office to ensure your lenders put your previous loans back on interest-free status. This will ensure that you are not required to make payments on your loan for the current academic year.
NOTE: We are unable to complete this form once your current study period has ended.
Part-time students with demonstrated financial need may qualify for loan funding and a grant of up to $1200. To be eligible, you must meet the requirements for a part-time Canada Student Loan. In addition, you must have a gross (family) income below specified government guidelines. Please visit the OSAP website for more information and an online application for the program.