Student debt can be a weight
on your shoulders.
OSAP stands for the Ontario Student Assistance Program, which is run by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and is funded by both the provincial and federal governments. OSAP is a needs-based program; this means that it provides loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries based on a formula that compares your educational costs to expected contributions from your parents or your spouse (if applicable) and your own income and assets. OSAP provides eligible Ontario students with financial assistance to help pay for tuition, books, mandatory fees, living costs, and transportation.

If you apply for a student loan through OSAP, you will have to repay this loan over a period of time once you have finished your studies. The average tuition fees for Ontario students are approximately $5,000 per academic calendar year, equating to $20,000 for a four year undergraduate degree. Keep in mind that your loan debt may be double this or more as OSAP and other student loans take into consideration living expenses. The usual repayment period for an OSAP loan is 10 years; review OSAP's Estimated Debt Calculator so that you fully understand the loan repayment process.

Students may also opt to take out a student loan from a financial institution, often referred to as a student line of credit. Many banks provide this service to students, including Scotia Student Link and TD Canada Trust Student Services. If you choose to apply for student loans through either the government, a financial institution, or some combination of both, it is essential that you speak to a qualified financial advisor so that you can be informed about how to manage and repay your loans.