Some students are able to fund their post-secondary studies by working part-time, borrowing money from relatives, using money from their savings, and enrolling in a post-secondary cooperative education program. Many students, however, need financial aid from outside sources. It is the responsibility of the student and his/her family to become familiar with the sources of financial aid available for post-secondary studies. Students may keep up to date on available financial aid options by attending workshops offered by their guidance counsellor, visiting web sites, speaking to representatives from post-secondary institutions, and researching opportunities outside of the school. A comprehensive list of programs and financial aid can be found at the following:
College - http://www.ontariocolleges.ca
University - http://www.electronicinfo.ca
Types of Financial Aid
Bursaries are sums of money awarded to students based on their financial need and other predetermined criteria, such as community involvement. Students applying for bursaries must provide information about their own and their family's financial situation.
Scholarships are sums of money awarded to students based on predetermined criteria. Some scholarships are given automatically to students who achieve a specific post-secondary entrance average. Other scholarships require an application and ask students to comment on their extracurricular involvement, community service, culture, faith, and career plans. Since each scholarship has different criteria and since some scholarships require much time and effort, students need to be careful to apply only to those scholarships for which they are eligible. Supplementary information about applying for scholarships may be found in the guidance centre.
Most community colleges and universities have scholarships and bursaries available for their students. In order to be eligible for these scholarships, students must apply, be accepted by, and accept an offer at these institutions. Information about scholarships specific to post-secondary institutions are found on their web sites, in their promotional literature, and from their representatives.
Some places of employment, particularly if they are well known corporations, offer their student employees and/or their employees' children scholarships. Students and parents should ask their employers about scholarship programs and application procedures.
Information about scholarships and bursaries can be found on-line. Many organizations, institutions, and companies choose to advertise scholarship opportunities through on-line scholarship databases. Be sure to explore the following sites:
OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) is the most common form of government aid. OSAP is a student loan program offered by the Ontario government. Students who apply for OSAP must provide detailed information about their own and their family's financial situation, and ultimately pay back the money they are loaned. All students are encouraged to apply for OSAP as there are many bursaries and awards that a student can only be considered for if an application for OSAP has been submitted. For more information about OSAP, visit http://osap.gov.on.ca.