Student Loans: The OSAP Process
It is a question that student advisors are intimately familiar with and search engines encounter all the time. What is OSAP? If you are financially unable to attend post-secondary schooling, OSAP can help you with that. OSAP is run by the Ontario Ministry of Training and is funded by the province. Their services entail an individualized program specific to your needs. Potential applicants must prove their financial need to attain registered status.
The criteria is particularly focused on demographics, income and loan history, according to campusaccess.com.
“You must have either resided in Ontario all of your life or Ontario is the last province where you resided for 12 consecutive months without attending a post-secondary institution,” the site advises.
There are two ways to apply for OSAP: The online application and the written application. Living in a digital age, online applications seem to be the more popular medium. The majority of applicants choose this because it is quicker, requires no fees, and the system provides online estimates of the funding you may receive. With this option, there is no waiting around and you are able to track the status of your application online.
University graduate Sabrina Sagl is attending college and still using OSAP to fund her education.
“I first got OSAP five years ago and was incredibly grateful , because of OSAP, I was able to afford to go to university,” said Sagl. Despite her ability to attend her school of choice, she was met with harrowing realizations about the negative sides of the service. “You get a certain amount of money per year, in two large lump sums, and it is incredibly easy to spend the money negligently.”
The harsh realities are instilled after a few years of accumulated debt. Once students have completed their educational studies, they are given a six-month grace period to repay their student loans interest free. Some students are forced into trying to maintain a balancing act.
“It was very difficult having to work, especially shift-work during the school year,” said Sagl. “I had to decrease my course load and take summer courses in order to obtain my degree.”
If you are applying for OSAP, you need submit your application as early as you can. While OSAP provides a helping hand to students struggling with educational fees, it is far from a one-stop solution. The service often leaves students in a difficult spot financially. Students are advised to focus on their own fiscal prudence in addition to relying on the program for support.