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OSAP Instalments and Confirmation of Enrolment
Whether you are applying for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for the first time, or you have received OSAP before, it is important to understand when and how your funding is released.
This guide will help you understand how OSAP funding is released, including what is required of you. Click on each accordion below for more detailed information.
Once you have started your OSAP application on the OSAP website, external link, opens in new window and completed your OSAP profile, be sure to review and submit all required documents.
A list of what documents you will need to submit can be found in your OSAP account under “Required Documents” in the App Status tab. Make sure to upload these documents via your OSAP account, external link, opens in new window as soon as you can, as it can take up to six weeks to process. Deadlines to submit all required documents are outlined on the Ryerson Student Financial Assistance website.
If you are applying for OSAP for the very first time, you will need to submit a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA), external link, opens in new window. The MSFAA is a student loan agreement for students that only has to be completed once during your post-secondary studies. The agreement contains the terms and conditions that you need to accept in order to receive and repay your OSAP loan.
Notes about the MSFAA
- If you have both full-time OSAP and part-time OSAP student loans, there will be separate MSFAA documents for you to provide. Be sure to read your documents, as full-time and part-time MSFAA contracts have different student loan agreements.
- If you take a two-year break from school and/or permanently move to another province/territory, you will be required to re-submit a new MSFAA.
Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) is the process that confirms that a student is enrolled in a sufficient course load at Ryerson in order to release full-time or part-time OSAP funding. The COE process is completed by Ryerson’s Student Financial Assistance (SFA) department at the beginning of each term.
For a successful COE, students must ensure the following:
- All required documents on their OSAP Portal are submitted and approved within OSAP deadline dates,
- You are in an OSAP-eligible program
- The course load and program information indicated on their OSAP application matches their course load on RAMSS
If there are discrepancies or outstanding documents to provide, your COE will be delayed.
Once SFA confirms that the information on your OSAP application matches RAMSS, SFA confirms your enrollment. This notifies The Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), who governs the OSAP program, that your OSAP funding should be released.
Once the MCU receives confirmation that you are enrolled in studies at Ryerson, the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC), opens in new window is then notified. The NSLSC is the lender of the student loan funding in Canada, and is responsible for the disbursement and collection of student loans.
OSAP Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) Simplified
Ryerson's Student Financial Assistance department confirms your enrolment with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) once all your OSAP documentation has been approved and you are in a sufficient course load.
MCU notifies the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) of your enrolment.
NSLSC releases funding to your RAMSS balance (tuition fees only, not residence fees) and/or your authorized bank account.
Students receive one funding instalment per semester. The first instalment is typically released in September, with the amount going towards your outstanding fall fees indicated on RAMSS. If your OSAP assessment is larger than your fees owing, the remaining balance will be redirected towards your authorized bank account, as noted on your MSFAA.
To check how much OSAP funding is being released, log onto your OSAP account, external link and click “Check Status.” This will indicate whether Ryerson has confirmed your enrolment yet, the total payment amount (including how much will be redirected to your outstanding tuition fees, how much will be deposited to your bank account, if applicable), and the estimated release date of funds. You will notice that the OSAP portal provides an estimated date range to release funds, as processing times at the NSLSC may vary.
Depending on your application status, you may receive your total assessment as one installment, instead of split into two. These situations include:
- If you are studying for one term only, either full-time or part-time
- An adjustment made to your application resulted in an overpayment, exceeding your second instalment total
- Withdrawing from studies, or dropping your status from full-time to part-time
If you are a full-time student who received OSAP in the fall semester and are returning as a full-time student in the winter semester, you will receive a second OSAP instalment. Just like the first instalment, Ryerson will need to confirm your enrolment for the winter semester, so it is important to maintain your full-time course to not impact your second instalment. Your OSAP portal will show you information about your second instalment.
It is important to note that your first and/or second instalment may not cover all of your outstanding fees on RAMSS. Remember that OSAP is designed to help provide funding towards your education expenses; it is not designed to cover the total cost. If you have any outstanding fees after OSAP has been applied, it is your responsibility to pay for the remaining balance.
If you are in a part-time course load for your second term, regardless if you received full-time or part-time OSAP in your prior term in the same academic year, you will need to apply for a new part-time OSAP application each term you are in a part-time course load.
It is important to frequently check your OSAP message centre for any updates to your OSAP application.
In some cases, such as a successful appeal/review of your assessment, you will receive an additional instalment of funding. In your OSAP portal under Current Status, it will show as “Additional Payment.” If your RAMSS balance has already been paid in full, the total amount of your additional payment will go towards your bank account, as shown in the example below.
The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) is the lender of student loans in Canada. They are responsible for the release (disbursement) and collection of student loans.
The NSLSC releases funding to either your Ryerson student account (RAMSS), and/or your authorized bank account on your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA), external link, opens in new window.
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.
Students are responsible for maintaining their Ryerson tuition obligations, regardless of where their funding is coming from.
Please note: OSAP funding is always first directed (i.e. remitted) to the student’s Ryerson account (RAMSS) if there are outstanding tuition fees. Additional funds, if any, are directed to the student’s authorized bank account. If you do not have any outstanding tuition fees on RAMSS, OSAP funds will be deposited into your authorized bank account.
It is very important that you keep your bank information up to date with the NSLSC to avoid delay with the depositing of your student loan. Visit the NSLSC funding tracker web page for a detailed guide on tracking your funding via the NSLSC website.
Full-time Graduate Students
If you are a graduate student in a full-time graduate program, and are studying for the full academic year (September to August), your OSAP will be released in two instalments, not three. Students typically receive their first instalment in the fall term and their second instalment in the winter term.
Be sure to budget accordingly, as you will not receive additional funding in the spring/summer term!
If your OSAP application is assessing you from September to August, it is very important to notify our office if you will not be returning to your studies for the spring/summer term. Failure to do so will result in a significant overpayment on your file, which may impact future funding and loan repayments.
Part-time Graduate Students
If you are a graduate student in a part-time graduate program, please note that you must apply for part-time OSAP for every term you wish to be considered for funding.
For example, if you are studying in a part-time graduate program from September to August, you must submit three separate part-time OSAP applications:
- One for the fall term (September to December)
- One for the winter term (January to April)
- One for the spring/summer term (May to August)