Do your higher education aspirations align with your lofty career ambitions? While pursuing a degree or diploma course can be beneficial to propel your career in the right direction, it may or may not be the most optimal route to professional success. Sometimes, knowing what skills to add to your repertoire might lead to a quick ascent up the corporate ladder. If you wish to learn only a skill or two that are essential for career growth, you might as well consider registering for a micro-credential course over full-time or part-time programs.
Any short-time certificate course of a few weeks that focuses solely on one particular area of a subject is known as a micro-credential program.If you are planning to study a post-secondary micro-credential course, then OSAP offers monetary help to pay for the tuition fee, equipment and education services.
Ready to make the most of your career through micro-credential programs but are curious to know more about OSAP? Read on to learn all about OSAP for Students Enrolled in Micro-Credential Programs.
To be considered for OSAP for Students Enrolled in Micro-Credential Programs, you must fulfill the following fundamental requirements:
- You must be either a Canadian citizen/Permanent resident or a protected person.
- You must reside in Ontario.
- You must be registered for a micro-credential course at one of the participating schools approved by OSAP.
Next Steps: Clarify all your doubts about your university and program’s affiliation with OSAP by talking to your college’s guidance counsellor.
- Your financial status must warrant help in the form of student aid from the government of Ontario.
How to apply
The application process for OSAP for micro-credential programs is the same as the ones for full-time and part-time programs. Here are the steps to guide you through applying for OSAP:
- Sign up for an OSAP account using your Social Insurance Number. Upon successful registration, an OSAP access number will be generated that is necessary for checking your account in the future.
- Gather the following information to complete your application:
- Details of your school and your post-secondary program to verify your enrollment.
- Parents’ or spouse’s SIN number.
- Your income tax return information along with your parents’/spouse’s income tax return to determine your family’s annual income
- Ensure that your OSAP application is submitted on or before the last day of your micro-credentials study program. Any application received after this deadline will not be considered for OSAP.
Things to do after applying
Here are a few steps that you need to take after submitting your OSAP application:
- Check for updates on your OSAP account: Sign in to your OSAP account from time to time to check for the status of your application, an estimate of funds offered, how the money would be allocated between grants and loans, etc. You will be notified about requirements for any additional documents like declaration forms and signatures from school authorities on your OSAP account.
- Complete your Micro-credential Student Loan Agreement: If you qualify for OSAP loans, you will receive a notification on your OSAP account to sign the one-time loan agreement with OSAP. This agreement is called a Micro-credential Student Loan Agreement and it needs to be signed and submitted on or before five days after the end of your study period.
- Keep an eye out for changes to your OSAP amount: There are chances of your OSAP application reassessed if you make major updates to your OSAP application such as changing your family income. Once the application has been reassessed, it could affect the OSAP amount that you were supposed to receive initially. Also, if you drop out of the micro-credential study program, your OSAP grant amount could be converted into loans.
You need to check your OSAP account from time to time to be aware of the changes that might apply to your OSAP funding.
How much can you get?
OSAP for Micro-credential students allocates funds based on the following factors:
- Size of the family
- The annual income of the family
- Tuition Fee
- Other equipment and education services expenses
For the academic year of 2021-2022, the maximum amount for OSAP for Micro-credential students is $5000 per study period towards tuition fees and other education-related costs. You can also get an additional study allowance of $5 for every study hour included in your course.
Micro-credential students can receive their OSAP amount within 15 days after the end of the study period.
It is understandable to be worried about repaying your student loans. However, you don’t have to fret over it as it is extremely convenient to make payments towards your OSAP loan. Here are some important things to understand about the OSAP loan repayment process:
- The loan is interest-free till the end of the study period.
- There is a 6-month non-repayment grace period after the study period to make the first payment.
- You start accruing interest on your loan immediately after your study period. This means that interest will be applied to the loan amount even during the 6-month non-repayment grace period.
- The interest rate is calculated by adding 1% to the current prime interest rate.
- Your first payment will be calculated based on the loan amount and the interest accrued on the loan during the 6-month non-repayment grace period.
- Payment needs to be made towards NSLSC and not OSAP.
- National Student Loans Service Centre will send you a loan repayment package after the end of your study period. The package includes the number of payments, date of first payment, and the amount of the first payment.
Other Ontario Student Aid Programs
Not sure if micro-credentials are the right way to zoom ahead in your career? Check out Ontario Student Scholarships, Bursaries, and Other Grants for Students in Special Circumstances.