The decision to pursue higher education is a big one. It’s a choice to invest in yourself and study something you’re truly passionate about. It can also boost your career prospects greatly and open doors in a number of potential industries for you.
Being fortunate enough to be able to fund this adventure independently isn’t always the case. Most students who are looking to further their education will need financial support.
You may be wondering “How do I apply for government funding for higher education in Ontario?”. In this article, we will explain how to apply for educational funding and what needs to be considered when applying for a government-funded post-secondary education.
What Is Government Funding for Higher Education?
Canadian universities and colleges receive funding from two primary sources: tuition fees paid by students and government grants. Similar to this, students can fund their higher education through loans and grants from the government via their territory or province.
When it comes to financial aid in Ontario, there may be a number of options available to you depending on your own personal situation.
These include options like the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and the Better Jobs Ontario initiative. OSAP is designed to assist students with tuition fees, living expenses, and other educational costs. On the other hand, Better Jobs Ontario aims to make education more accessible and affordable for individuals looking to upgrade their skills or pursue new career paths.
Each will differ depending on several factors, including whether you have dependents, you’re course type, and whether you have disabilities. If government funding is something that you need, it’s important that you research what’s available for you.
Available Types of Government Funding for Higher Education in Ontario
There are many different government funding options for you. These primarily come in the form of a loan or a grant. Here’s a quick explanation of the two:
A government higher education loan (or student loan), like the OSAP, is similar to any other kind of loan where you’re given a sum of money under the agreement that you’ll pay this back after a specific amount of time. For student loans, this time period is six months from your graduation.
Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean you have to pay back every cent borrowed immediately. Typically, you can pay back your loan via a payment agreement in monthly installments until you’ve paid the full sum. The six-month period begins from when you graduate, leave your course, downgrade from full to part-time or take a leave of absence.
Government Grant For Higher Education
A government grant differs significantly, and instead refers to handing over a sum of money for your higher education studies without the expectation of paying this back. Student grants might not cover all of your education expenses, but it’ll provide a set amount designed to alleviate some of the pressure.
For some, this can be up to $6000, but this will depend on several factors. In Ontario, students may qualify for specific grants based on their income, family size, course type, or if they have dependents or disabilities.
For example, if you’re from a family of five and your income is below the government’s estimation for suitable annual income, you may be entitled to a large grant to cover a portion of your expenses.
How To Apply For Government Funding for Higher Education Courses in Ontario
Here’s a guide on how to apply for government funding for higher education courses:
Choose a Plan
First, you’ll need to choose a plan that fits your criteria. Primarily, you’ll need to assess whether a loan with a grant is more suitable for your family and economic circumstances. If you believe that you meet the criteria for a government grant, then you can select from:
- grants for full-time students
- part-time students
- full-time with dependents
- part-time with dependents
- grant for students with disabilities
- grant for services and equipment for disabilities
When you apply for a student loan, you’ll automatically be assessed for grant eligibility, but we recommend doing some research on these types before applying.
Find Out How Much You’re Eligible For
Before sending an application form, you’ll need to use the federal student aid estimator to find out how much you’re entitled to. This estimator takes family income, province or territory, dependent status, living expenses and disabilities into consideration when making an estimation. It’s important to use this estimator before you send an application, as this will help you manage any discrepancies in payment agreements after the application process.
Apply With Your Province Or Territory
Federal funding is split provincially or territorially, meaning you’ll need to contact your local student aid offices to apply for funding. Each website will offer a step-by-step application process for both first-time and returning users. It’s important to find the student aid office for your exact location, as they will manage your payments and student aid accounts directly.
For Ontario students, you’ll need to apply through the OSAP or the Better Jobs Ontario initiative. Remember, you’ll need to complete this application for each academic year.
Confirm Your Enrolment
The final stage to applying and receiving federal support for grants or loans is to confirm your enrollment at Citi College. You won’t be able to start receiving any payments before you secure your place. To confirm your enrollment, you’ll log into the National Student Loans Service Centre as soon as possible!
Discuss Your Financial Aid Options with Citi College in Ontario
Citi College is an approved and accredited college by the Ministry of Education Ontario, making many of our programs eligible for government funding.
We understand that navigating finding the right funding can be quite confusing, but Citi College’s dedicated service can help you demystify the higher education financial aid process. Our department can help you understand everything from student lines of credit to payment plans, lifelong learning plans and much more!
Our team of expert financial advisors based in Ontario can help guide you through OSAP applications and maximize your funding opportunities. For those not eligible for government funding, we offer flexible self-funding options allowing you to pay for your education at your own pace. We also provide information on payment plans and financing options tailored to your needs.
Get The Right Diploma For You With Citi College
Citi College offers diploma programs in different industries such as business, information technology and healthcare. All courses are taught by industry professionals who use their working knowledge to give you the qualifications you need to become a successful, job-ready candidate.
A Citi College diploma can truly make a difference in terms of the types of jobs you can apply for and how you stand out compared to your competitors. With campuses in both Toronto and Mississauga, you have the choice of two incredible locations.
If you are interested in one of our diploma programs and need financial support, visit our student financial aid page for more information or contact us directly to find the best option available to you.