OSAP basics before getting started

Here are a few things to know before you begin your OSAP application, including OSAP eligibility, special considerations, important documents and application deadlines.


What is OSAP?

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program that can make it easier for students to attend college. OSAP is open to Ontario residents of any age who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons.

Funding is available for both full and part-time postsecondary students, and is based on a number of factors, including your family income. Some students may get their tuition covered by OSAP. It may also help pay for books, equipment, supplies, mandatory student fees, living expenses for full-time students and child care for students with children.

Review this page, then apply today to find out if you are eligible and how much OSAP funding might be available to you!

Two kinds of money

Financial aid for school is available through a combination of grants and student loans.

A grant: money you usually don't have to pay back

A loan: money you need to repay

Remember, OSAP is a supplement, not a replacement. It's meant to complement other student and family resources that should be available to meet the costs of post-secondary education. The amount of money you will receive is based off of the cost of your program, your living expenses and your current financial situation. The need for OSAP assistance, and the amount you receive, are established in accordance with the current OSAP regulations and financial data provided in your application.

(Need help planning your finances? Visit www.fanshawec.ca/paying-college/financial-aid-and-awards/financial-literacy and find out ways to get the most out of your money!)

OSAP Eligibility

To be eligible for OSAP, you must be:

  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person*
  • A resident of Ontario**
  • Enrolled in an approved post-secondary school taking an approved program
  • Taking at least 60 percent of a full course load, or 40 percent if you have a permanent disability***
  • Taking a program that will continue for 12 or more weeks

*If you are studying in Canada using a study permit (if you are an international student), you are not eligible for OSAP. However, you might be eligible for other financial aid. Check out www.fanshawec.ca/paying-college/financial-aid-student-awards/scholarship-help to learn more.

**You must meet certain requirements to be considered a resident of Ontario for OSAP purposes. You may also be eligible if your spouse or parent(s) meet certain residency requirements.

***Based on full-time studies. Averaging of course loads is not permitted. Part-time students must be taking between 20 and 59 percent of a full course load, or 20-39 percent if you have a permanent disability.


You could qualify for more money if you are

  • an Indigenous student
  • a student with a permanent disability
  • a current or former individual in extended society care
  • the first in your family to go to college or university

Click here to learn more about special considerations when applying for OSAP.

Getting ready: What you need to start your online OSAP application

Before you apply for OSAP, there is some information you will need to have handy:

  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If this is your first time applying, you’ll use this to create your online account and register for your OSAP Access Number (OAN). If you're a returning user, use your OAN to log in.
    • NOTE: If you do not have your Social Insurance Number, you will need to obtain a Confirmation of SIN letter from Service Canada
    • TIP: Keep your OAN recorded somewhere safe and don’t lose it. This number is unique to you. You need it every time you access your OSAP account.
  • Your income for the previous year, if applicable. You can get this information from the previous tax year’s Notice of Assessment from CRA.
  • Your parent(s)’ or spouse's Social Insurance Number(s), birthdates and income tax information from the previous year’s Notice of Assessment.
    • TIP: It also helps if you have information about your family's investments (real estate, market funds, stocks, etc.)
  • Your program code (you can find it at www.fanshawec.ca/programs-and-courses)


Apply for OSAP as early as possible to allow enough time for your application to be processed. You must submit an OSAP application for every school year that you want to receive funding.

Deadlines for Full-time students:

No later than 60 days before the end of your study period:

OSAP application (submit online)

No later than 40 days before the end of your study period:

Supporting documents (submit online)

Request for review, if applicable (submit to Financial Aid Office)

Deadlines for Part-time students:

The deadlines for part time OSAP applications and supporting documentation will depend on the length of your study period.

  • OSAP application (submit online):
    • 12 to 20 week long study period - No later than 6 weeks before the end of your study period
    • 21 weeks or longer - No later than 60 days before the end of your study period
  • Supporting documents: If your study period is
    • 12 to 20 week long study period - No later than 6 weeks before the end of your study period
    • 21 weeks or longer - No later than 40 days before the end of your study period

Make sure you complete the application!

It's possible to pause the application process if you need extra time to complete it after starting. You don’t have to do it all at once. You can save your application, take a break and login again to go back to it as many times as you need. Just remember to submit it by the deadline!

From the time you submit your application and the time OSAP receives all your required documents, it usually takes about 3 to 6 weeks to hear back. The government will send you a "Notice of Assessment" that indicates the amount of your entitlement to loan/grant funding.


FAQ: New students (first time applying)

How to Apply for OSAP

Questions? Contact us!

Financial Aid and Student Awards Office

London Campus, Room E2020