Ontario Student Assistance Program for Students Studying Full-Time (OSAP)

The OSAP Team

We are dedicated to professional student services and helping students complete a post-secondary education.
OSAP Student Access Guarantee

  • SCHOOL – McMaster University Student Financial Aid & Scholarships (SFAS)
  • OSAP – Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Development (MAESD)
  • BANK – National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC)

McMaster University ~ Quality & Distinction

The Basics

What is OSAP?

The Ontario Student Assistance Program is a government student loan and grant program that helps students pay for university.  At McMaster University, students demonstrate financial need for other financial aid programs (i.e. work program, bursaries) by applying for OSAP.

What is Net Tuition?

Net Tuition and Net Billing are initiatives spearheaded by the provincial government to educate students about University finances and provide students and parents the necessary tools to make sound financial decisions. More information about Net Tuition

In 2018/19, first-year students will apply for OSAP via OUAC when applying for university and later receive a letter from OSAP displaying the out-of-pocket expense for each program/university where an OSAP application was submitted.  The letter will include conditional offers of grant, bursaries, and awards.

How and when do I apply for OSAP?

Who is eligible for OSAP?

Visit the Ontario OSAP website for eligibility requirements.

When will I receive my OSAP?

Funding is typically released in two installments:  at the beginning of the study period and halfway through (usually September and January). Starting in Fall 2018, OSAP grant funding will be redirected to the University to cover any outstanding fees.

Where do I go for assistance?

Visit Student Financial Aid & Scholarships for questions and concerns regarding your OSAP application and assessment.  SFAS ID Requirements:  Valid government photo ID (e.g. driver’s licence) and Student ID card

Contact National Student Loans Service Centre for information about the disbursement and repayment of your funding.

Full-Time OSAP FAQ

Student’s Commitment

  • You need to successfully complete at least a 60% course load (40% for students with permanent disabilities).  Learn to calculate course load below
  • OSAP funding is used for educational expenses. Pay McMaster fees by published deadlines
  • Promptly submit all changes in status, income, course load or program to SFAS
  • Maintain an interest-free status on previous loans when not receiving OSAP
  • Register for the NSLSC Repayment Assistance Program seminar
  • Repay your OSAP loan according to NSLSC terms when no longer studying full-time

Required Course Load Calculation

(Total # of units for the full-time course load for the fall & winter terms) / 2 x .6 = # of units per term

Example 1: Humanities, Year 1 (full course load – 30 units, calculate 60%)
30 units / 2 x .6 = 9 units per term

Example 2: Chemical Engineering, Year 2 (full course load – 36 units, calculate 80%)
36 units / 2 x .8 = 14.4; therefore, 15 units per term

Enrollment in Mosaic as per OSAP application is required for your funding to be released.

McMaster OSAP Ineligible Programs

  • Continuing Education courses
  • Graduate Post-Degree Diplomas and Certificates
  • Master, Finance
  • Master, Communication Management
  • Master, Executive MBA
  • Master, Health Management
  • PhD, Divinity (OSAP is offered through Divinity College)
  • Courses taken with a continuing, transitional or non-degree status


What’s New!

Indigenous Entrance Awards: McMaster offers generous awards for Indigenous students entering first year. Find out more about entrance scholarships for Indigenous students. Apply by July 15!

Spring/Summer CIFS: Students enrolled full-time for the spring and/or summer sessions can now submit a Continuation of Interest-Free Status application. Apply online via the OSAP website. Learn more about Interest-Free Status.

18/19 OSAP Application: Students can now apply for OSAP for the 2018/19 academic year. Apply via the OSAP website by June 30th, McMaster’s recommended deadline, if you require your funding in September.

Survey for Spring/Summer Part-Time Students: We want your input! Complete a three-minute survey to help us consider bursary options for funding part-time studies.

External Scholarships Page: Check out our new External Scholarships page for updated information on scholarships available through various companies/organizations.

Rhodes Scholarship Info Webinar: Missed the webinar? Lots of great information about the Rhodes application and experience is available in the webinar presentation (PDF)!


Quick Links

Apply for OSAP

Register with NSLSC

Apply for McMaster AID



Important Dates

Contact Us

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