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About Student Financial Assistance

Financing your education: Who's who?

When financing your education through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), there are a number of institutions that work collaboratively to assess eligibility, calculate funding, issue loans and grants, and manage loan repayment.

These institutions are:

  • The Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU)
  • Ryerson University’s Student Financial Assistance (SFA) department
  • The National Student Loan Services Centre (NSLSC)

Together, they administer and manage the OSAP program. It is important to understand who these institutions are, and the specific role they play in financing your education.

Who's who? MCU, NSLSC, OSAP, SFA

The ministry of the government of Ontario responsible for the administration of laws relating to post-secondary education is known as the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), external link, opens in new window. They are also responsible for providing financial assistance to post-secondary school students through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), external link, opens in new window. Think of the MCU as the “brain” in the OSAP process. The MCU also:

When should you contact the MCU?

Ryerson Student Financial Assistance (SFA) works with the MCU and uses their systems to process and manage OSAP applications. If you need to contact the MCU to discuss your OSAP application, we encourage you to reach out to a financial assistance advisor in the SFA office via the ServiceHub.

The advisors act as the liaison between students and the MCU. Any questions or concerns you might have about your OSAP application, SFA can provide guidance and information. If a representative from the MCU must get involved, SFA will reach out to them on your behalf and troubleshoot together.

The financial aid program administered by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) is known as the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), external link. OSAP can help students pay for college or university. It is not designed to cover all costs of attendance; attending higher education is a shared responsibility between yourself, the government, and your family.

OSAP offers two types of funding:

  • Grants: money you don’t have to pay back
  • Student loan: money you need to repay once you’re done school

OSAP has two types of programs:

It's important to note that the OSAP program is not a standardized process that releases the same funding each year. Funding assessments differ for every student, and are subject to change each year based on OSAP policy.

Students can apply for OSAP via the online OSAP portal, external link, opens in new window. OSAP funding is determined by several factors such as education expenses, course load, and your personal financial situation (which may include your parent(s) or spouse/common law partner, if applicable).

Questions about OSAP?

If you have questions about your OSAP application, we encourage you to reach out to Contact Ryerson Student Financial Assistance (SFA). They are responsible for managing the OSAP program for Ryerson students. SFA is there to assist you from the beginning to end of your OSAP journey - just reach out!

Student Financial Assistance (SFA) is a service that falls under Ryerson’s Office of the Registrar (RO). SFA is primarily responsible for administering the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) Program to nearly 30,000 Ryerson students. This includes: 

  • Providing OSAP consultation
  • Reviewing all Ryerson OSAP applications submitted to student OSAP portals 
  • Releasing funding to eligible OSAP applicants 

SFA is also responsible for:

When should you contact SFA?

If you need to make changes to your OSAP application details, have questions about your funding, are experiencing financial hardship, or are curious about other ways to finance your education, SFA is here to help! 

Although SFA helps to administer student loans, we do not manage the repayment of those student loans. That is the job of the National Student Loan Centre (NSLSC), external link, opens in new window. Any questions about repayment, concerns about interest charges, or discrepancies in the disbursement of funds should be directed to them.

As a government loan borrower in Canada (i.e. OSAP and out-of-province funding), it is very important for you to know about the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC), external link, opens in new window.

The NSLSC is an independent, third party agency responsible for the disbursement and collection of student loan funding in Canada. Think of the NSLSC as the “banker” of student loans. As the “banker” of student loans, this means the NSLSC manages the issuing and repayment of Ontario Student Assistance Program part-time and full-time loans. Once Ryerson University confirms your enrollment and releases funding, the official issuing of those funds is managed by the NSLSC. 

You can find detailed information related to your overall student loans through your personalized and secure NSLSC account, external link. We encourage students to familiarize themselves with the NSLSC website, as it is quite user friendly and the information provided on the website can help answer any questions or concerns you may have about your loans. You can use the NSLSC portal to:

  • Check your student loans status and balances
  • Track your student loan funding disbursement
  • Update your banking information  
  • Make a payment towards your student loan
  • Access loan statements for tax purposes
  • Update your contact information
  • Apply for repayment assistance 
  • Request a change to the terms of your repayment

It is important that you proactively monitor your NSLSC account for any changes to your profile information and enrolment (such as study period start and end dates, program information, etc). We recommend checking your NSLSC portal on a weekly basis so you don’t miss out on important updates. 

When and how to contact the NSLSC

Questions about your funding disbursement, repayment, or repayment assistance? The NSLSC is the lender of student loan funding, and can answer these questions, plus more!

There are many ways to connect with them:

If you still have questions, there are other ways you can contact the NSLSC.