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Student Access Guarantee (SAG)

Ontarians, you are in luck! If you’re planning to pursue a post-secondary degree, you can not only make use of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) but also Student Access Guarantee (SAG) to fund your education. 

By applying for SAG, you can receive additional funding on top of the OSAP amount to help you get closer to fulfilling your educational dreams. 

What is the Student Access Guarantee?

The Student Access Guarantee is a joint program between the ministry of Ontario and its public universities and colleges. This program aims to ensure that lack of finances doesn’t get in the way of your education. It’s a great initiative on the part of the provincial government in ensuring that students get access to quality education. 

Let’s talk details so you get a fair idea of what this program is all about! 

Eligibility Criteria 

Wondering if you qualify for the Student Access Guarantee? Check the details of the eligibility criteria below – 

  • You must be a citizen of Canada, a permanent resident or a protected person who resides in Ontario 
  • You must be pursuing a full-time course in a public college or university of Ontario that is supported by the program 
  • You must have a financial need beyond what OSAP has already helped you cover in terms of educational expenses 

Note – If you plan to attend college straight after high school, you would be considered eligible for this program. Although your eligibility will be determined by your full-time OSAP application. On the other hand, if you’re starting a graduate program or a vocational course such as medicine, business, law etc., you can apply via the financial aid office of the school you’re studying in.

Bear in mind that to apply for the Student Access Guarantee, you must apply to and accept OSAP first. 

How to apply 

When it comes to the rules of application for this program, they are very uncomplicated. You just need to stick to the guidelines –

  • If you’re an undergraduate student, fresh out of high school, your application is automatically submitted when you apply for OSAP. You can find how to apply for OSAP here. It’s simple. You just need to create your OSAP account with your Social Insurance Number and follow the necessary steps.
  • For graduate students, as we’ve been mentioned above, you will have to apply for the SAG through the financial aid of the college or university you are studying in.

Please note, schools and universities might have their own application rules, so it’s best to get in touch with the financial aid counsellor of the school you’re studying in. Also, be sure to check the application dates so you can submit yours in time. 

How much can you get 

The Student Access Guarantee helps you pay for tuition fees, books, mandatory fees and other related student expenses beyond what OSAP can provide. In most cases, the OSAP will cover your costs. However, in the off chance it doesn’t, you have the SAG to fall back on provided your application passes through.

As for how much you can get, there is no fixed amount. The financial aid you get will be decided after reviewing your application to see how much extra funding you need to cover your education expenses. The Student Access Guarantee will be rolled out to you in the form of bursaries, scholarships, summer employment or work-study programs as well as a referral to another line of credit that can help you meet all your expenses.

Other Ontario Student Aid Options 

It can be daunting to pursue higher education due to the fear of the financial burden it can put on you and your family. However, there is nothing to worry about as there are plenty of student aid options available in Ontario. In case you don’t qualify for the SAG, you can try other funding options such as Ontario Bursaries, Scholarships and Other Grants for Students in Special Circumstances.

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Provincial Funding

Looking for student aid options offered by your local province? Choose your province of residence below to check out provincial funding options such as grants, loans, scholarships, and bursaries.
*All student funding, whether made available privately or through various government branches, is only approved to those who qualify, by the original source of funding. There are many criteria that each candidate must meet to be approved. Schools can only inform you of what may be available.