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 Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU)
  • 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.

How and when do I apply for OSAP?

Who is eligible for OSAP?

Visit the Government of Ontario’s OSAP website for full eligibility requirements.

Students must be enrolled in at least 60% of a full-time course load (40% for students with a disability) to be eligible for OSAP for full-time students.

How to calculate your minimum required course load:

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

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

Example 2: Chemical Engineering, Level II (full course load – 36 units, calculate 60%)
36 units / 2 x .6 = 10.8; therefore, 11 units per term


The total number of units for a full course load can be found by visiting your program’s page in Undergraduate Calendar.

Enrolment in Mosaic must match your OSAP application for your funding to be released.

When will I receive my OSAP?

  • Funding is typically released in two installments, usually September and January for both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Starting in Fall 2018, OSAP funding will be redirected to the University to cover tuition and supplemental fees (textbook and other purchases from the Campus Store are NOT covered by OSAP).
  • Students applying one term at a time receive all their OSAP funding at once.

Where do I go for assistance?

Visit Student Financial Aid & Scholarships (SFAS) 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 the 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 above
  • OSAP funding is used for educational expenses. McMaster fees must be paid by published deadlines
  • OSAP is automatically paid to McMaster on your behalf. Be prepared to pay tuition/student fees/other costs that exceed your OSAP funding
  • Promptly submit all changes in status, income, course load or program to SFAS
  • Maintain 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

McMaster OSAP Ineligible Programs

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


What’s New!


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.  


Quick Links

Apply for OSAP

Register with NSLSC

Apply for McMaster AID



Important Dates

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