Ontario residents/students

If my parents make a certain amount, will I qualify for OSAP?

It is not possible to predict OSAP eligibility based solely on parents’ income. There are many questions asked on the OSAP application. Similarly, many answers (# of dependents in family, living at home/away, etc.) are factored into the OSAP assessment of eligibility. It is important to remember that there is an expected contribution from parental income. The basic formula used in the calculation of the parents’ expected contribution is as follows...

  • Gross income (less EI deduction) (less CPP deduction) (less Income Tax deduction) = Net income
  • Net income (less provincial Moderate Standard of Living according to family size) = Discretionary income
  • Discretionary income divided by # of dependent students in family attending post secondary = Parent/guardian expected contribution per student

Does OSAP cover all expenses associated with my education?

It doesn't. OSAP is an ‘assistance program’ designed to supplement the expected contributions of student and parents. The decision to pursue post-secondary studies comes with financial obligations and a responsibility to contribute to it. Education is a valuable investment in reaching future aspirations.

What if my situation changes?

Changes in programs and course loads may significantly affect your OSAP entitlement. Be sure to speak with the Student Awards & Financial Aid office if you are considering course changes.

Is every student entitled to Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) funding?

No, eligibility through the Ontario Student Assistance Program is based on financial need. The Ontario government determines the level of individual financial need through various formulas based on the information included in your OSAP application. Therefore, every application must be submitted with complete and accurate information for a proper assessment to take place.

How do I get my OSAP funding? How do I pay my fees?

The amount of your OSAP funding will be posted as “Anticipated Aid” in your Quest account each term. You must complete a Promissory Note if you want to use your OSAP funding to pay your fees. For full details and deadlines, visit the Student Financial Services website.

Your OSAP funding will be sent directly to Waterloo to pay your fees. Any remaining balance will be deposited in your bank account.


International students

What type of fees do I pay - domestic or international?

You will pay domestic tuition fees if you are

  • a Canadian citizen, living in or outside of Canada, or
  • a Permanent Resident of Canada

You will pay international tuition fees if you will be studying in Canada on a study permit. There are a few categories in which international students on study permits are eligible to pay domestic fees.

All students pay the same fees for all other expenses – living expenses, books, and supplies. Depending on the program and residence options that you choose, the costs will vary.

Be sure to keep in mind additional costs such as applying for your study permit, cost of flights, and updating your passport.

Is there financial aid for international students?

Bursaries and government loans are typically available only to students who are Canadian citizens and eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program.

You should check with your high school, alumni association, national and local governments, and the Canadian Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission in your home country to see what other scholarships, loans, and grants are available for students studying abroad.

Canadian scholarship sites:

What should I do if I applied on a study permit but will soon become a Permanent Resident?

Bring your original documents, either your Record of Landing or your Permanent Resident card, to The Centre on the ground floor of Needles Hall so that we can make a copy to update your status on our system.

Any changes to tuition fees, scholarships, and/or grants will be adjusted accordingly, after this change is processed.

Deadlines for changes to be made:

  • Fall term - October 30
  • Winter term - January 29
  • Spring term - June 30

Are there scholarships for international students?

Waterloo offers a number of scholarships, which range from $500 CAD for one year to $20,000 CAD or more over 4 years.

Most scholarships are open to all students, while some are specifically for international students. In most cases, these scholarships are based on academic performance and do not require a separate application. There are exceptions for some scholarships for Mathematics, Computer Science, and Accounting and Financial Management, which do require an application.

The University of Waterloo International Student Scholarship is open to international students admitted to first year of full-time, undergraduate degree programs.

Several are available, valued at $10,000 CAD each, and are awarded based on grades (minimum of 90%), the Admission Information Form, and in some cases additional admission requirements (i.e., Euclid Math contest, Accounting and Financial Management Admission Assessment, etc).

What else can I do to help pay for my education?