Thursday, May 9, 2024

Student financial assistance is an important factor you should consider when determining how to pay for your post-secondary education. There are many different sources of financing for your post-secondary education, and some are better than others. But you already know that. What you may not know is what those sources are, if they're right for you and how you can apply for them.

When you think of financing your college experience, from living expenses to tuition, you probably think of OSAP if you’re in Ontario, but there are other systems in place to help you pay for college. Here you’ll find our top five sources of student financial assistance.

Note: All deadlines and timelines, monetary amounts and policies mentioned in this blog are subject to change on a regular basis. Financial assistance varies according to individual circumstances and there is no guaranteed outcome. Fanshawe does not determine how much funding someone receives, but we can help you plan.


The federal and provincial governments provide OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) to full- or part-time students. When you apply for OSAP, you may be eligible for assistance from the Ontario government as well as the federal government. OSAP is interest-free during your full-time studies, but interest will start accumulating after you finish your full-time studies. OSAP funding can be made up of grants and loans. Grant funding is money you get to keep if certain conditions of academic progress are met and does not have to be repaid. You can also choose to only take grant funding and decline any loan funding. Note: You must ensure you are applying before the OSAP deadline for your program and period of study. Check out our OSAP & Student Loans page to find the OSAP deadline for this academic year. These dates are subject to change.

Also, be sure to view how to apply for OSAP for more information on deadlines to ensure you know your deadline to apply.

Six months after leaving full-time studies, you will have to start paying your loan back. If you don’t make your loan payments, you will be in default. This can impact your credit now and in the future. You may not be able to get a car loan, a mortgage, or a credit card. Student loans do not get cleared through bankruptcy-related events. Review your repayment terms for your loan prior to repayment and if needed, look into repayment assistance.

Who is Eligible for OSAP?

  • Those who meet specific financial needs criteria
  • Must be Ontario residents who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons, including First Nations, Métis, Inuit 
  • For Federal student loans, most provinces in Canada work with the federal government to provide loans to students in their province - in Ontario this is OSAP
  • International students are not eligible but should check if student financial assistance is provided through their federal or local government

How Much Money is Available through OSAP?

2. Student Line of Credit

A line of credit is a credit product that is offered by a bank or credit union. It must be paid back, but the added benefit is that you only take out the money that you need, up to a pre-set limit. This means you only pay interest on what you use, whereas, with a traditional loan, you would pay interest on the full amount since you take the full amount out at the start of the loan. Remember, with a line of credit, you will also need to make minimum monthly payments on the amount borrowed. Learn more about student lines of credit.

Depending on the student line of credit you are approved for, you may have to, at minimum, make monthly interest payments on your line of credit while you’re studying. Interest is the cost of borrowing money. After you finish your studies, there is usually a grace period where you will continue to pay only the interest. Thereafter, you will start paying back the principal. The principal is the original sum of money borrowed on which interest is charged. 

What happens if you don’t pay back your line of credit? If you do not make payments your line of credit will go into default. If you stop paying interest during your studies, you will not be able to access the remainder of your line of credit. If you do not pay the line of credit back after your studies, this will affect your credit score and your ability to get a car loan, a mortgage, or a credit card and the loan will go to a collection agency.

Who is Eligible for a Student Line of Credit?

  • Both domestic (Canadian) and international students
  • You may need someone to co-sign to be eligible, such as a parent, or in the case of international students, a Canadian citizen

How Much Money Can You Borrow Through a Student Line of Credit?

  • Varies depending on your program, the number of years you’ll be in school, and how much money you’ll need
  • Some banks offer between $5,000 and $60,000 for four-year full-time programs

3. Scholarships and Awards

two people walk into Fanshawe's Office of the Registrar

You can receive scholarships and awards for a variety of reasons. Scholarships are typically related to academic achievement, but many also include other criteria. Awards consist of funding provided by donors that are promoted by the college. Awards can either be available to all students or offered to students in specific programs. Fanshawe College offers over 130 scholarships and awards each term for new and existing students, but it is also important to consider external scholarships and awards. While many scholarships and awards require an application, others also might require you to be nominated for an award. Review scholarships related to your school, field of study, and any special considerations you may have to find scholarships that you qualify for.

Who is Eligible for Scholarships and Awards?

  • This varies by scholarship or award

How Much Money is Available Through Scholarships and Awards?

  • Approximately $250 to $2,000

4. Bursaries

If you haven’t considered it, check out what your school has to offer when it comes to bursaries. For students who demonstrate financial need, Fanshawe offers different bursaries depending on your situation. Make sure to submit applications for Fanshawe Assistance Bursaries each term to be considered for multiple bursaries. Additionally, take the time to explore other available bursaries and apply for those that you qualify for.

Explore Fanshawe's Entrance Bursaries

Who is Eligible for Bursaries?

  • Domestic (Canadian) students only, who demonstrate financial need
  • Different bursaries have different requirements

How Much Money is Available Through Bursaries?

  • This varies for each bursary, but some offer between $250 and $2,000

5. Work Study Bursary Programs 

student stands at desk talking to Registrar staff

You could be eligible for a work study bursary to make some extra money to support your study and living expenses and gain valuable employment experience. Fanshawe College offers a Work Study Bursary for those students who can demonstrate financial need. Work study allows you to work part-time at the college and make money while you’re in school to supplement your finances. If you’re interested, you’ll need to apply for the Work Study Bursary before the work term starts. If approved, you are eligible to apply for approved Work Study positions which will be advertised on our job board accessible through Career Services. Your career consultant can help you with resume writing and interview skills via workshops or one-on-one support. You’ll also have access to Fanshawe’s job board where students and alumni can explore job opportunities.

Who is Eligible for Work Study Bursary Programs?

  • Full-time post-secondary students who demonstrate financial need
  • Domestic (Canadian) students
  • International students who meet Canada’s requirements for working in Canada while on a study permit

How Much Money is Available Through Work Study Bursary Programs?

  • This depends on the job and the number of available hours
  • Most jobs will pay minimum wage which is $16.55 per hour as of October 1, 2023

Beyond Financial Aid: Part-time Work

Yes, it’s true. You can also work part-time in roles external to the college—think restaurants, retail and so much more. Many students opt to work while in school to help support their education costs. If you’re an international student, be sure to determine if you will meet Canada’s requirements for working in Canada while on a study permit. You will also have access to our career consultants for help with resume writing and interview skills via workshops or one-on-one support. You can check out Fanshawe’s job board where our employer partners advertise a variety of job opportunities.

Who is Eligible to Work Part-Time?

  • Domestic (Canadian) students
  • International students who meet Canada’s requirements for working in Canada while on a study permit

How Much Money is Available through Part-Time Work?

  • This depends on the job and the number of available hours
  • Most jobs will pay minimum wage which is $16.55 per hour as of October 1, 2023

Remember that these funding options are only a piece of the puzzle. There is often still an expectation that the student and/or family will make a contribution toward their education. These programs are available to contribute to your financial resources, not replace them. Make sure to acquaint yourself with financial literacy and save money where you can. Review your options and determine what will work best for you.

Explore Fanshawe's Entrance Opportunities

Get help understanding your options and ensure you have the most up-to-date information by contacting Financial Aid and Student Awards at Fanshawe

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