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OSAP Changes

What has Changed with OSAP?

image of piggy bank on book shelfThe Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program that offers funding for post-secondary education through grants and loans. It is funded by both the Ontario government and the federal government.

As of August 2017 there have been changes to OSAP, making financial aid more accessible. These changes include the consolidation of several grants, free tuition for eligible students, and a net cost view for eligible* students outlining the financial information related to attending Sheridan College. These changes make the costs of post-secondary education more transparent so students can have a better understanding of the out-of-pocket expenses of going to college.

*Eligible students are those who have registered with the college, have a full-time course load (or 40-60 per cent course load with a disability), and who are receiving full-time OSAP aid.

I've seen in the news that OSAP is offering free tuition. What exactly does that mean?

The Free Tuition initiative aims to help eligible students from families with incomes of $50,000 or less to receive free average tuition**. This includes dependent students (those less than four years out of high school), married students and single-parent students. Single independent students (those who have been out of high school for four or more years and who are not married or have children) may be eligible for free average tuition if they earn $30,000 per year or less.

** Average cost of tuition for a regular college diploma program across the province.

What has changed with the Account Summary?

When you log into your Account Summary, you will have access to your net cost as soon as your OSAP application is complete. The net cost will outline your educational costs (tuition, compulsory fees, etc.) payable to the college, alongside OSAP funding (grants, loans), and other institutional aid you may receive (awards, scholarships, bursaries) that will be applied to your student account. It will clearly display the out-of-pocket expenses you will need to pay to attend Sheridan College.

 Where can I see how much I owe for tuition and fees?

You can review your fees and payments on the Account Summary screen in myStudent Centre. Follow the path:

  • myStudent Centre > Finances > Account Summary

The “Balance” row for each term shows how much you owe for each term after OSAP payments and Sheridan aid and award payments (scholarships and bursaries).

Will I see how much my OSAP funding is covering in my Account Summary?

Yes. Your OSAP entitlement will first show up in the “OSAP Grant to be released” and/or “OSAP Loan to be released” row. When an amount shows up in the Financial Aid Payments , it means the College  has received the payment from OSAP. The amount that shows up as a payment may be different than the to be released amount as some funding may be deposited directly into your personal account.

Why do I see ‘to be released’  on my Financial Aid  Summary?

Amounts to be released  on your Account Summary are based on assessed eligibility either by OSAP or, in the case of scholarships or bursaries, by Sheridan College. Items are ‘to be released” until they are validated and then moved to a payment.

Why don’t I see all my OSAP on my Financial Aid summary?

Sometimes the amount of your OSAP payment is not what you were expecting or what showed as pending on your Account Summary. There are a variety of reasons this may happen. The reasons we see most often are:

  1. The amount of OSAP can change depending on any changes you have made. Have you dropped a class? Did your family income get updated on the OSAP website? These are just a couple examples of things that will affect your OSAP payment. It’s best to visit the OSAP website to check your status.

  2. If you have additional money provided by OSAP for other things, such as living expenses, you will see a partial payment on your Account Summary and the excess funding will be deposited directly to your personal bank account.

What if my OSAP funding is MORE than the cost of my tuition and fees?

Any OSAP funding left over after paying the balance of your Sheridan student account will be deposited into your personal bank account.

Why do I have a balance on my account statement when I have sufficient OSAP to cover tuition?

Students who receive OSAP may still have an outstanding balance on their student account for the following reasons:

  1. OSAP funding is paid to Sheridan directly on the student’s behalf to assist with the costs of tuition and supplementary fees. Fees such as library fines and parking charges are not considered.

  2. If the cost of attendance changes after OSAP has been disbursed to students during the semester, it is the students’ responsibility to pay this balance owing to Sheridan.  Outstanding balances are subject to a late fee.

I received an invoice, how is this different from the Account Summary?

Invoices and Account Summaries are posted in your myStudent Centre account.

Your invoice is a statement that lists all fees (tuition and compulsory) that must be paid to Sheridan College. It's prepared by semester and outlines your fees and due dates.

Your Account Summary, displayed on a semester basis, will show:

  • the cost of your program including tuition and compulsory fees

Along side that will appear:

  • OSAP funding (grants, loans) and other institutional aid you may receive (awards, scholarships, bursaries) that will be applied to your student account to pay for the cost of your program

  • any out-of-pocket expenses you will need to pay to attend Sheridan College