Net Tuition FAQs

I keep hearing about ‘free tuition’. What is that? 

Free tuition starts with applying for OSAP. This application must happen in order to be considered for OSAP grants that may cover the cost of a year’s tuition. The new OSAP will make average tuition free for students whose families make less than $50,000 a year. Students from families that earn more will also benefit from more generous grants and loans. About 80 per cent of all OSAP recipients will graduate with less provincial debt.

Even with free tuition, there are other charges and fees that will need to be paid by the student. Check your Account Summary on the Mosaic Student Center regularly no matter how much OSAP funding you receive.

What is Net Tuition?

Net Tuition = Your Tuition Fees (excluding other charges) minus your non-repayable aid and awards

Net Tuition is the amount a student would pay out-of-pocket for tuition after all aid and awards are deducted. All other fees are excluded from this calculation.

McMaster University will continue to charge students tuition and fees. Starting in the fall of 2018, all OSAP funding will automatically be redirected to McMaster to pay tuition and other student fees. Students are always encouraged to check their student account regularly to avoid unnecessary interest charges.

What aid and awards are included in the total amount of non-repayable funding? 

  • OSAP Grants (not including the Living & Learning Grant)
  • McMaster President’s and Honour Awards
  • Graduate Scholarships
  • McMaster General and Donor-Funded Bursaries
  • Faculty Awards
  • Academic Grants
  • Athletic Scholarships
  • Travel, In-Course and Graduand Awards
  • Exchange Grants

What isn’t included in the Account Summary and/or Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary? 

  • McMaster employment income
    • Such as Work Program income, Teaching Assistance Income, RA in lieu, Sessional Faculty, Temporary/Casual income. These payments are administered through the Human Resources Mosaic module
  • Graduate Research Scholarship Payments. These are administered through the Human Resources Mosaic module
  • External Scholarships

When is the information updated on the Account Summary and Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary? 

As information becomes available, the Account Summary and Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary will be updated. Processing times vary. We recommend you check your Account Summary and Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary pages regularly because of this.

Account Summary

Why do I see ‘pending’ on my Account Summary? What does that mean?

Pending items on your Account Summary are based on assessed eligibility either by OSAP or, in the case of scholarships or bursaries, by McMaster University. Items are pending until they are validated and then moved to a payment.

Why don’t I see all my pending OSAP on my Account Summary as a payment? – There are a variety of reasons this may happen.

The reasons we see most often are: 

  1. Sometimes the amount of your OSAP payment is not what you were expecting or what showed as pending on your Account Summary. 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.
  1. 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.

Why doesn’t my Account Summary match my Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary? 

The Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary is based on OSAP assessed tuition. The Account Summary is based on actual tuition, other charges and shows the amount of confirmed OSAP payments.

Also, since processing times vary by transaction, there are sometimes delays for items to show in Mosaic.

What are ‘Other Charges’?

Other Charges are fees that McMaster University collects on behalf of student organizations or for University-administered programs. Other miscellaneous fees include but are not limited to food plans, parking fees, library fees, and student services fees.

How can I see more details? 

When you are logged into Mosaic and looking at your Account Summary you can see more detail by clicking on the View detail/Print button. This will take you to the detailed by-term account information for that Academic year.

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 McMaster directly and the amount of tuition, supplementary fees, residence and meal plan are taken into consideration. Fees such as library fees, parking fees or Campus Store charges are not considered
  2. After the disbursement of OSAP, the tuition for the term increased resulting in an outstanding balance

Students are responsible to pay the balance on their student account. Outstanding balances are subject to interest charges. Please visit the Student Accounts and Cashiers website for more information about payment dates and the accepted ways to pay.

Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary

Why does my OSAP information on the Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary screen differ from what is displayed on the OSAP website? 

The OSAP website is always the most up-to-date source of information regarding your OSAP assessment. The Tuition, Aid and Awards screen is updated weekly and may not be as up-to-date as the OSAP website. Please return to the Tuition, Aid and Awards screen regularly to view your updated net tuition.

Why do I not see my grant, aid or award as part of the Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary? 

OSAP: Please allow 2 – 4 weeks for OSAP change requests to be processed through Student Financial Aid and Awards. 

McMaster Aid and Awards: As aid (i.e. bursaries, grants) and awards, for graduate and undergraduate students, becomes available to you, the Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary will be updated. Please see the Important Dates webpage on the SFAS website. 

What does ‘Assessed Tuition’ mean? 

Every year tuition costs are sent to OSAP for the purposes of calculating your OSAP entitlement. The amount of tuition is calculated according to OSAP allowable costs and how you complete your OSAP application. You may see a variance between the tuition charged on your Account Summary and what is displayed on your Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary for the following reasons:

  • You are enrolled in a co-op work term and tuition is displayed at $1
  • You have dropped a course and received a full or partial refund from McMaster
  • You have not enrolled via Mosaic in the course load you indicated on your OSAP application.
  • Your OSAP change request is pending. 

Where can I view a breakdown of my non-repayable aid and awards from OSAP and McMaster? 

On the Tuition, Aid and Awards screen, click on ‘Non-Repayable Funding’ to expand and view a list of OSAP grants and McMaster aid and awards. 

Does having my OSAP sent directly to McMaster impact this summary? 

Funding that is paid directly to McMaster is included in the calculation for net tuition. You may be required to make additional payments to McMaster to ensure any outstanding balance on your student account is paid in full. Please review your Account Summary in the Mosaic Student Center. 

Should I make a payment to McMaster for the amount of my net tuition? 

When making a payment, always refer to the balance on your Account Summary in the Mosaic Student Center. The Tuition, Aid and Awards Summary displays your out-of-pocket expense for tuition only (no other charges are included) after non-repayable funding assistance from the Ontario Government and McMaster University has been deducted. 

Some or all of my OSAP funding was directed to my personal bank account. How does this impact my net cost of tuition? 

Where your funding is directed (e.g. student account or personal bank account) does not impact your net cost of tuition, but it may impact the balance owing on your McMaster student account. Review actual charges and any balance owing on your Account Summary in the Mosaic Student Center. It is your responsibility to ensure that your tuition and fees are paid in full.

As a graduate student my aid and awards are disbursed through my student account and immediately refunded to my personal bank account. How does this impact my total net tuition? 

Your net cost is the difference between the cost of tuition (not including supplementary fees) and non-repayable funding from OSAP and McMaster University. Where your funding is directed does not impact your net cost of tuition, but it does impact the balance owing on your McMaster student account.

Pending McMaster Aid and Awards, disbursed by the School of Graduate Studies, will appear as a McMaster Aid and Awards payment and then the ‘AP Refund’ will show under ‘Other Charges’ once the award is paid out to the student. Review actual charges and any balance owing on your Account Summary in the Mosaic Student Center. Click on View detail/Print to see the breakdown of ‘Other Charges’ by term.

Why am I not entitled to the Living and Learning Grant? 

Former Crown Wards or those adopted on or after Aug. 1, 2013 and are between the ages of 21 – 24 years of age, may be eligible to the Living and Learning Grant. The assessment of this grant is reviewed upon completion of the OSAP application.  


What’s New!

Travel & Exchange Scholarships: Going on exchange or studying abroad this summer or next year? Apply for Travel & Exchange Scholarships! Deadline: March 29. More info on scholarships.

Summer Undergraduate Bursary: Applications are open in Mosaic. Apply by clicking “apply for financial aid” and completing the application found under the “aid by application tab”. Deadline: April 12. Learn more about this new summer bursary.

Course load calculator: Not sure about your course load percentage for OSAP? Check out our new guide on how to calculate it! Course load guide (non-Engineering). Engineering course load guide.

Scholarship applications are OPEN: Don’t miss out on this easy money! There are awards for all faculties and programs, all undergrad years and both academic AND community work. Apply in Mosaic by clicking the “Apply for Aid and Awards” tile. Find scholarships under the “Aid By Application” tab. More info on scholarships.  


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