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OSAP and Government Aid

Did you know that Student loans through OSAP are only one of several ways that students can fund their post-secondary education?

As you will discover on this page, there are many other types of government funding available to students at Algoma University. We, the Financial Aid Office, are dedicated to assisting students with finding and accessing funding sources that are available to them based on their educational financial need!

Nicole Muskaluk
Financial Aid & Awards Officer
705-949-2301, ext. 4219
Office: SH 312D
nicole.muskaluk@algomau.ca

Repaying Government Loans

Register for a Repayment Webinar that will give you information regarding the repayment of your student loans including the repayment process, hints and tips on how to save on interest and what to do in the event that you are having difficulty making the payments.

Loan Repayment Information

Visit the Government of Canada website to learn how and where to make payments, how to set up a repayment schedule, and how you can access help with repayment.

For more information specific to OSAP, please visit our Ontario Student Assistance Program section.

Register for a Repayment Webinar that will give you information regarding the repayment of your student loans including the repayment process, hints and tips on how to save on interest and what to do in the event that you are having difficulty making the payments.

Visit the Government of Canada website to learn how and where to make payments, how to set up a repayment schedule, and how you can access help with repayment.

For more information specific to OSAP, please visit our Ontario Student Assistance Program section.

Students are required to maintain continued satisfactory academic progress during the terms in which they receive OSAP funding. If a student frequently changes their program, drops courses, withdraws, or repeats programs that were funded by OSAP, the student may be showing a lack of academic progress and direction.

At Algoma University, Full-Time OSAP students must pass 60% of a full-time course load (9 credits averaged over each term of study) in order to satisfy academic progress requirements.

A student will be required to provide documentation outlining their academic goals and plans for successful progress in the future upon the first instance of unsatisfactory progress.

A student may be restricted from receiving OSAP funding for up to one year upon the second instance of unsatisfactory progress.

The following may affect your OSAP eligibility and aid:

  • Dropping courses
  • Dropping to part-time status during the year
  • Withdrawing from your program
  • Changes to your income, scholarships, awards or other resources
  • Failing courses
1. Online Application

Complete and submit the appropriate online OSAP application. Be sure to specify Algoma University as your institution. We recommend that students select to print their documents on their own instead of having paper documents mailed. This will allow instant access for students to their required documents and also enable the Message Centre to display important messages online rather than through paper mail.

2. Submit Documentation

You will need to print your signature pages as required, you can either scan them to PDF and upload them directly to your online OSAP application or submit paper copies to the Financial Aid Office (do not do both).

Supporting Documents: You may be asked to submit other important supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office based on your status.  Please be sure to read the directions carefully for acceptable documentation. You can also scan these documents to separate PDF files and upload them directly to your online OSAP application or submit paper copies to the Financial Aid Office (do not do both).

Paper documents can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office Drop Box located outside of SH 312 or mailed to:

Financial Aid Office
Algoma University
1520 Queen Street East
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
P6A 2G4

3. MSFAA – Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement

The lifetime student loan agreement is called a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement(MSFAA).This agreement is for full-time students only. If you haven’t already submitted this agreement you’ll need to print a copy, complete the form, sign and date it, then bring to a designated Canada Post outlet and show two pieces of valid identification:

  • A Social Insurance Number (SIN) card, or government document containing your SIN number; and
  • A government-issued photo ID.

You need to complete the MSFAA at the beginning of your full-time post-secondary studies. Your online application will tell you if you need to submit the agreement or not.

Note: Do not send your MSFAA to Algoma University.

4. Deferring Tuition Fees and Deadlines
  • Fall or Fall and Winter term: June 30
  • Winter only: November 30
  • Spring Term: April 6

The above deadlines are when students must have their OSAP application and all supporting documentation submitted for the corresponding study period.  The non-refundable deposit payments are not required at time of registration and fees are automatically deferred if students apply by the appropriate deadlines. However, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that fees are fully paid (regardless of funding amount) by the associated term deadlines for fee payment (see the Tuition Fee Payments for OSAP Students Policy [PDF]).

Please note: if the deadline date falls on a weekend/holiday, the deadline will be the last business day before the deadline.

5. Check your OSAP Application Status

Once you have submitted your OSAP application, you should regularly log into your online account with OSAP to check its status. You should also check the Message Centre for any important updates about your OSAP application.

6. Confirmation of Enrolment

After the FAO has received all necessary documentation and you are enrolled in the required course load for each term you applied for OSAP funding for, the Financial Aid Office will proceed with confirming your enrolment. The confirmation of enrolment will generate for processing 10 days before the study period start date at the earliest. The government requires Algoma U’s FAO to confirm your enrolment status, program, and course load. If there are no issues, it usually takes an average of 10 business days for funds to be released after the confirmation of enrolment has been completed. If any of the criteria do not match, then the FAO at Algoma U will send the actual program, study level and course load information to the ministry (this may cause a reassessment of OSAP entitlement based on new information).

Students whose registration was confirmed by Algoma U’s FAO should be able to view the data sent to the government by logging into their online account with OSAP.

7. Receive your OSAP Funds

After you have completed your online OSAP application, it will be reviewed and a “Notice of Assessment” will be sent to you with the amount of your actual OSAP entitlement.  It is advisable that students use this information in order to begin planning their budget for the academic year.

Please note: there are maximums for weekly aid set by the Ministry.

Release of OSAP Funds

In the fall/winter study period, OSAP funding will be released in two separate installments: one in September (60% of loans) and one in January (40% of loans).  If students have applied only for one term of funding, that funding will be released in one installment at the start of the term.

Redirection of Funds

When students apply for OSAP, the default set is that funds will be directed to Algoma University to help cover owing fees. If students leave this option as default, then part or all of their funding installment will be applied directly to the outstanding balance on their student account. The total amount and the date that the direct payments will be made to Algoma U are available on the student’s online account with OSAP; any remaining balance of aid will be forwarded directly to the student. If a student decides to change the default to allow their funds to be redirected, it is the full responsibility of the student to make payments to Algoma U by the appropriate fee deadlines to avoid consequences. Click to read the Tuition Fee Payments for OSAP Students Policy (PDF).

8. Making Changes to OSAP Application

After an online OSAP application is submitted, a student can no longer edit it. Any changes must be reported to the Financial Aid Office.  These can include changes to income, family size, marital status, access to transportation, living arrangements, etc.

Information given at the time of the OSAP application will be used to determine the student’s eligibility and funding entitlement. Any changes to this information must be reported so that updates can be made. These changes can potentially increase or decrease the funding entitlement, or they can have no affect at all.

Students should visit the “Find a Form” section of the OSAP website to locate the necessary forms for updates.

9. Repay your Loan or Continue Interest-Free Status

Upon finishing their studies, students must arrange to make payments on OSAP loans. More information on this can be found at the Government of Ontario website. There is a Repayment Calculator available as well.

Grace Period

Students who receive OSAP loans are not required to make repayments for the first 6 months after leaving their post-secondary studies. This is known as the grace period, and when it ends the OSAP loans become repayable.

Continuation of Interest-Free Status (CIFS)

Students who have previous loans can keep them interest-free while continuing full-time studies if they choose not to apply for OSAP for their current term.

Students have two ways to apply for CIFS consideration:

Students are encouraged to apply online. It’s faster!

The FAO at Algoma U will check your registration status periodically to update your OSAP account. This information will be forwarded to the National Student Loans Service Centre.

Dates and Deadlines

Students can submit a CIFS application up to 15 days before their study period start date. The deadline to submit a CIFS application is 21 days before the end of the study period.

Students who are enrolled in 20-59% of a full-time course load in each term may be eligible for Part-Time OSAP.  At Algoma U, this equates to 3 or 6 credits in each term. It is important to note that students who are applying for Part-Time OSAP must have the same course load on their application for a two-term study period.  For example, a student must have either 6 credits in both fall and winter terms, or 3 credits in both fall and winter terms; it cannot be different course loads on the same application. If a student wishes to have different course loads in each term, the student must submit separate Part-Time OSAP applications for each term.

If you are from another province or territory and are attending Algoma University full-time, you must apply for financial assistance through your home province. If you are attending part-time, your part-time OSAP application may be submitted online or by paper to Algoma University’s Financial Aid Office. The amount and type of funding varies for each province and territory. Most provinces have applications available online.

Out-of-Province Fee Payment Deadlines

Students receiving provincial loans through a province in Canada other than Ontario that would like a deferral of their tuition fees must complete an Out of Province Fee Deferral Request (PDF) form.

Crown Ward Support at Algoma U

Are you a Crown ward and interested in studying at Algoma University? This is what you need to know:

Crown Ward Education Championship Team (CWECT)

The CWECT is a provincial initiative developed to support students with Crown wards status in successful high school completion and post-secondary education.

Algoma CWECT has representatives from Children’s Aid Society of Algoma, Algoma University, Algoma District School Board, Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, and Nog Da Win Da Min Family and Children Services.

The Living and Learning Grant

The Living and Learning Grant provides financial aid (up to $500 per month of your full-time study period) to post secondary students between the ages of 18 to 24 who left the care of an Ontario children’s aid society at age 18 or were an Ontario Crown ward adopted on or after August 1, 2013.

The grant provides additional funds above the regular full-time OSAP aid limits. Students are automatically considered when applying for full-time study with OSAP and must submit any supporting documents as indicated on the OSAP application. Contact fao@algomau.ca for specific details.

Refund Application Fees

If you have Crown Ward status, you can apply for a refund for the fees you pay to apply at Algoma University. For more information and to apply, visit www.ontario.ca.