OSAP/Government Aid

OSAP/government aid FAQs

Do I have to re-direct my OSAP funding to McMaster?

All OSAP funding will automatically be deposited into your McMaster student account to pay tuition and supplementary fees. Any funding left over will be deposited to your personal bank account. We recommend applying for OSAP by June 30 to ensure you meet the McMaster fall fee deadline. If OSAP funding does not cover the full cost of your tuition and fees, you are responsible for any outstanding balance on your student account.

What if I didn’t receive enough OSAP?

A Student Services Professional is available to review your submitted OSAP application with you. No appointment is required. Please bring two pieces of government photo ID and your student ID card to discuss personal information.

Can I get OSAP funding for taking more than a 100% course load?

You must be enrolled in all courses by the add/drop date for that term for the ‘overload’ to be considered as part of the course load on your OSAP application. If you’re intending to complete an overload of courses and require extra funding, you can indicate a course load over 100% on your OSAP application. If you register in an overload after submitting your OSAP, please upload a Change Request form. Course load is calculated per term. Dropping courses after receiving funding can lead to academic progress restrictions and overpayments. If in doubt, drop in to speak with a Student Services Professional for advice.

Why isn’t my OSAP confirmation of enrolment completed?

It may be too early – confirmations of enrolment can be completed within 15 days prior to the study period start date. It may be too late – confirmations of enrolment cannot be completed with less than five days remaining in the study period. Your OSAP application may be incomplete. Your enrolment in Mosaic may not equal the course load percentage you indicated on your OSAP application. You may not be enrolled for all terms indicated on your OSAP application.

I’m a med student. Do I have to report my OMA stipend to OSAP?

To update OSAP of any stipend, please upload a completed Change Request Form directly to your OSAP application.

How do I apply for OSAP while on exchange?

Apply for OSAP as you normally would, using McMaster University (not your exchange university) as your institution. Then, complete and submit an Exchange Program Information Sheet to MacDrive. Along with this form, you will need to submit proof of your study dates, as far in advance of your travel as possible.

How can I submit documents to my OSAP portal for processing?

We are continuing to process supporting documentation for OSAP applications uploaded directly to your OSAP portal. Please do not place anything in the drop box outside Gilmour Hall, 108 or mail/fax any documentation to our office.

To upload documents to OSAP portal:
1. Log in to your OSAP account and go to “My Apps”.
2. Under “Submitted Applications”, go to “View Documents and Print/Upload”.
3. Go to each of the document’s names for a description of what you’re required to upload.
4. Complete, date and sign your document(s) in blue or black ink and take a clear scan or photo of the page(s).
5. Upload each document as a PDF that is less than 2MB in size.

How can I get my government aid and out of province forms completed?

Please submit a Service Request with your student aid form attached.

Allow three business days for student aid forms to be completed by McMaster Aid & Awards. Completed forms will be emailed directly to your home province if possible. If not, the completed form will be returned to you via your Service Request.

Before uploading the form, please make sure that you have filled out all of the required parts, dated and signed it.

My full-time OSAP application is for the Fall term only, but I will be continuing full-time in the Winter term (either in study or on co-op).  How do I notify the Aid & Awards office?

You will need to:

– Complete, sign and date an OSAP Extension Form, available here.

– Scan or save your complete form as a PDF file that is no larger than 2MB using the naming format Last Name, First Name-Student Number.

– Upload your form to the OSAP Extension form MacDrive link.

Important notes

– Any forms not in the correct naming format and/or larger than 2MB will be deleted without being processed.

– Our approx. processing time is 4-6 weeks.  Please monitor your OSAP application for updates. Avoid uploading the same form multiple times to avoid processing delays.

– If  the study period end date on your FT OSAP application is April or August, do not upload any forms to MacDrive.  Please upload your forms directly to your online OSAP application under “Print/Upload.”


Will the credit balance on my McMaster student account be returned to the National Student Loans Service Centre to pay down my OSAP loan, since I withdrew from my winter term courses?

You may have received a credit on your McMaster student account from tuition/fees, housing, parking or the athletic & recreation activity fee. Any credit balance exceeding $100 is returned to NSLSC to pay down your OSAP loan overpayment when you withdraw from winter term courses and go into an OSAP overpayment status.

I’m an MBA student. How do I apply for OSAP?

MBA students are required to apply for OSAP on a term-by-term basis. You will need to apply for September to December online, then you can fill out an OSAP Extension Form to extend your application from January to April and May to August.

Am I eligible to receive OSAP funding for Letter of Permission (LOP) courses taken through another educational institution while I am also taking courses at McMaster University at the same time?

LOP courses may possibly be eligible for OSAP funding in certain circumstances, as long as the following criteria are met:

  1. You have a fully completed OSAP application with McMaster University.
  2. The 2nd institution is approved for OSAP purposes.
  3. You provide the Aid & Awards Office with proof of enrollment and course fees at the 2nd institution prior to OAP funding being released.
  4. The start and end dates of the LOP courses are concurrent with McMaster’s term dates; i.e., September – December, January – April, May – August. *Online LOP courses through Athabasca University, University of New Brunswick, and Thompson River University (and possibly courses through other institutions) are NOT eligible for OSAP funding.


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