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OSAP Mini Dictionary

Confused about a word on your OSAP application? Check out our Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) mini dictionary for some commonly used words through OSAP.

Issued following the failure to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements. If issued an academic warning, students will be placed on an academic probationary period, generally lasting one academic year, during which time they are still eligible for OSAP funding, but are required to read and sign an attestation through their OSAP portal.

Failure to meet OSAP’s minimum academic progress requirements while on academic probation will result in your probation being upgraded to a restriction. A restriction may last 1-5 academic years, during which a student is ineligible to receive OSAP funding.

The OSAP academic year runs from September 1 to August 31 of the following year. 

An affidavit is a document where the contents have been sworn or affirmed to be true.

It is sworn by you and/or a family member and signed before:

  • A lawyer
  • A person who is not a lawyer but who is commissioner of oaths or
  • A notary public

A bursary is financial aid that you typically don’t have to pay back. A bursary is usually awarded based on financial need and other factors.

  • Before your OSAP funding can be released each term, the Student Financial Assistance (SFA) office must confirm each student’s enrolment at TMU with OSAP.
  • As long as the student’s file is complete (e.g. all supporting documents have been received and processed, the student is in a full-time course load), SFA will confirm their enrolment in order to have their OSAP funding released.
  • If the student has not submitted all required documents or is not registered in the course load indicated on their application, the OSAP funding will be placed on hold and enrolment will not be confirmed.
  • Your course load is the number of courses or credits you’re taking. For OSAP, your course load is expressed as a percentage of a full course load.
  • At TMU, each course is equivalent to a 20% course load for OSAP purposes. For example, if you are in three courses, your course load for OSAP purposes is 60%.
  • To be considered as a full-time student, you must be taking 60% or more of a full course load (three or more courses per term). For students with a permanent disability, full-time is defined as taking 40% or more of a full course load (two or more courses per term).
  • Students completing an approved work-term are considered full-time for OSAP purposes (100% course load).

Note: OSAP definition of full-time studies is different from how TMU defines full-time studies.

The six-month period immediately following the end of your study period. During this time, no interest will accrue on the federal portion of your student loan, nor will you be obligated to make payments.

  • A grant is a type of financial aid that you typically do not have to pay back. 
  • A grant is usually awarded based on financial need and/or other factors.
  • A loan is money you borrow that must be paid back. With OSAP, you're borrowing the money from the governments of Canada and/or Ontario. When you pay back the loan, you will also be paying any interest on the debt.
  • With student loans, you don’t have to pay the interest that adds up while you're in school. It is paid by the federal and provincial governments. When you finish attending school, you are responsible for paying the interest on both your Ontario (provincial) and Canada (federal) student loans.

Note: You agree to the terms and conditions of the loan when you complete your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) with the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC (external link, opens in new window) ).


This document outlines all of the terms and conditions of accepting and repaying provincial and federal funding.

MSFAA terms and conditions for Ontario residents are listed on the Government of Canada website (external link, opens in new window) .

The National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC)  (external link, opens in new window) is one of three partners who are responsible for the disbursement of OSAP, in conjunction with the Canada/Ontario Integrated Student Loan Program and TMU. The NSLSC is under agreement with the federal government to administer the student financial assistance programs offered through the Government of Canada and/or the Province of Ontario.

The NSLSC is responsible for:

  • The disbursement of OSAP funds to TMU to pay a portion of your tuition fees, and the depositing of loan/grant funding into your personal bank account.
  • Processing payments, responding to inquiries and offering assistance programs in regards to repaying government student loans.
  • OSAP is run by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), and is funded by the federal and provincial governments. OSAP is not designed to cover all of a student’s educational costs. Rather, it is meant to supplement other financial contributions (Ex: family/spousal contribution; scholarships) to help students pay for their post-secondary education.

Through OSAP you can apply for assistance as a full-time student or as a part-time student. These applications automatically consider you for funding from several grants, bursaries, and loans.

There are two types of overpayment:

  • A loan overpayment occurs when you receive more loan funding than you should have. This may happen if information changes, such as enrolment or financial information, from when you first completed your OSAP application.
  • A grant/bursary overpayment exists when you receive more grant or bursary funding than you should have. You may be required to repay the overpayment to be eligible for further student aid. Some grant overpayments are converted to a loan to repay.

A student who is enrolled in a post secondary institution and is taking two or fewer courses per term (one course per term for students with a permanent disability).

Note: OSAP definition of part-time studies is different from how TMU defines part-time studies.

For the purposes of OSAP, this refers to a functional limitation that is caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts one’s ability to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a post-secondary level. This limitation and/or impairment is permanent and ongoing. At TMU, students with a permanent disability are encouraged to register with the Academic Accommodation Centre.

The period during which you are making monthly payments on your student loan(s). This may be the time after your grace period has ended and you are not, or have not notified the National Student Loan Service Centre that you are continuing studies, or after being notified of mandatory repayment (e.g. failed to meet satisfactory academic progress more than once).

A scholarship is a type of aid you typically don't have to pay back. A scholarship is usually awarded based on academic merit and other factors.

  • For OSAP, the study period is the time period used to determine the amount of OSAP funding you’re eligible to receive for the OSAP academic year. It also determines your deadline dates.
  • Usually, your OSAP study period is the prescribed school year for your program as outlined on the TMU Academic Calendar. It may include one or more terms. Ask your school if you’re unsure about your study period.