Financial Support Information
There are many different ways for you to fund your university studies.
Scholarships can help to fund your education and are available through most universities. Unlike a loan, a scholarship does not require repayment. Scholarships may be awarded based on academic merit, financial need, extracurricular activities or other distinctions. You may have to apply for certain scholarships, and you may be automatically considered for others.
Check out the eINFO Scholarships search to find university scholarships available to you.
Renewable Versus Non-Renewable Scholarships
A renewable scholarship is awarded for more than one year. Each year, the recipient must meet the university's stated criteria to continue receiving the scholarship.
A non-renewable scholarship is awarded for one year only. In some cases, you can re-apply for subsequent years; in other cases, you may not be permitted to re-apply. Contact the university directly for further information.
Total Value Versus Per-Year Value
On eINFO, scholarships are categorized according to how much money they provide per year. To calculate the total value of a scholarship, multiply the per-year value by the number of years the scholarship can be renewed.
A scholarship that appears in the "Under $1,500" category may look small; however, if it is renewable for four years, it could have a total, four-year value of up to $6,000. In comparison, a scholarship that appears in the "$3,000-$4,999" category looks larger, but if it is non-renewable (available for only one year), it could have a lower total value than the first scholarship.
There are many organizations and companies that offer scholarships, awards and prizes, often based on competition. You must actively seek out and apply for these awards. The internet is a great source of information - do your research and remember to apply early.
It's also worthwhile to look into scholarships offered by organizations or community groups that you or your family belong to, as these groups often have special scholarships available only to members and their families. Likewise, ask your parents and family about any financial support programs that may be offered through their workplace. Many companies provide scholarships to employees and their families.
Ontario Student Assistance Plan (OSAP)
OSAP provides loans to students pursuing postsecondary studies, based on financial need. OSAP loans are interest-free until you have graduated from university, and you start repaying the loans six months after you have graduated.
There is currently a “30% off Ontario Tuition” program to help reduce tuition for students and their families. For more information, visit the OSAP website.
If your parents' household income is too high, OSAP may not cover all the costs of university. In this case, you may want to look into personal bank loans or lines of credit. Unlike OSAP, bank loans do charge interest immediately. Most banks provide specialized student loans - contact a few local banks to compare their products.