Understanding your financial support options

May 9, 2024

With the world changing rapidly around us, McMaster recognizes the uncertainty that many students are facing. In response, the university has taken steps to ensure students are safe and connected with all available support options. 

There are several resources and relief options offered through the provincial and federal governments, and the university.  Students can exhaust all resources such as OSAP, institutional aid, RESP etc. and contact Student Services if there is continuing financial need where rent, food, meds, internet and other essentials cannot be covered. Below are a few financial resources for students. 

OSAP – The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a government aid program that helps students pay for costs related to attending post-secondary school. Funding is offered through grants, which do not have to be paid back, and loans, which must be paid back once you are done school. For information on completing your application, check out our website or visit osap.gov.on.ca

McMaster Aid & Awards – McMaster has several aid & award programs to help support students, including scholarships, bursaries and the work program. Learn more about these options on our website.  

External Scholarships – Many organizations provide scholarships to students who meet certain criteria. Find these scholarships online, using a search tool like Scholarshipscanada.com or through local organizations. Indigenous Students can also explore aid and award opportunities through Indspire.

Canada Learning Bond – a $500 – $2,000 per person benefit that the Canadian Government adds directly into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to help pay for full-time or part-time education. Youth who meet the minimum age requirement to open an RESP in their province can open their own RESP and request the Canada Learning Bond for themselves. There is no requirement to make any desposits to receive the funding.  

Student Line of Credit A student line of credit allows you borrow money repeatedly up to a pre-set limit. You can borrow money, pay it back and then borrow again, up to your credit limit. You can speak with your bank about your eligibility or connect with the RBC on campus, located in DBAC. 

Emergency Financial Support – The university has a limited amount of funding available to students who are unexpectedly faced with short-term financial emergency that impacts their basic needs.  Learn more about these options on our emergency financial support page.

Flexible payment options

Typically, fees are due on the 25th of the first month of the term. With the current economic challenges, we have created some options to hopefully help reduce the financial stress. Students will have the option to enrol in a payment plan.

The university’s payment deadlines will remain; however, you can now choose to pay these fees in equal amounts over the four months of each term. No interest will be charged during the four months, but there will be a one-time deferral fee of $80 for students choosing this option each term. Find out more about your payment options. 

Are you entering your first year at McMaster this fall? Get the proactive and personalized support you need through the Archway Program.

For more on your financial support options, contact Student Services