Click here to go to the Course Selection Process and see the required courses.

OSAP stands for the Ontario Student Assistance Program. It is a loan program that helps students from lower-income families access funding that will allow them to attend post-secondary education. For many students, this is a crucial part of their financial plan. It is important for students applying for OSAP to know that it is a loan, and will require repayment upon completion of their post-secondary program. OSAP differs from a bank loan in that the program does not charge interest on the loan while you are enrolled in school. It is only after graduation that your loan begins to accumulate interest.




If you are interested in getting an estimate of how much you might be eligible to receive from OSAP, try out the OSAP Aid Estimator.



Repaying your OSAP

When you complete your academic program, you will need to begin repaying your student loan. Interest will start accruing after six months. To get an overview of the process of repaying your student loans when you complete school, watch this video from the Government of Ontario on "Repaying your OSAP":

Other sources

Thomson students are highly encouraged to apply for as many scholarships and bursaries as they can, as these represent "free" money that does not need to be repaid. There are a number of scholarships and awards programs listed on our scholarships page.

The best source of information on awards and bursaries is the Financial Aid Office at your chosen post-secondary institution. For your convenience, the websites for these offices at some of the universities and colleges who frequently visit Thomson are listed below:




University of Toronto


York University


Ryerson University


University of Ontario Institute of Technology


Trent University


George Brown College

416-415-5000 ext. 2476

Centennial College

416-289-5000 ext. 2457

Seneca College

416-491-5050 ext. 22480

Humber Financial Aid


Durham College Financial Aid

905-721-2000 ext. 4010


It is important to note that your high school guidance counsellor is not properly trained to assist you with the process of applying for OSAP. Each university and college financial aid office is staffed with someone who is specifically trained to guide you through the application process.  Getting the right help, from the right people, is essential to ensuring that you get the maximum level of OSAP you are entitled to.


For more detailed information on applying for OSAP, please visit the Government of Ontario's Website.

Finding Scholarships and Awards

Information on scholarships for universities and colleges can be found in a number of places:

- The Scholarship & Awards Wall in Student Services

- The 2021/2022 Scholarships and Bursaries Spreadsheet (please note that there may be some changes to the spreadsheet that need to be updated)

- Accessing student scholarship and awards information online at yconic and ScholarshipsCanada.


yconic scanada

These websites require you to create a profile that will help match you with scholarships that you qualify for. Each has their own database containing thousands of scholarships and awards, with instructions and links to applications and registration websites.

Types of Scholarships and Awards

When it comes to paying for your education, the most commonly mentioned source of funds is OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program). OSAP is a loan, provided by the government, that will need to be repaid when you graduate from your post-secondary program. Like other student loans available through banks, the interest rates are generally low, but they do exist, even though with OSAP they will only accrue after you have left full-time education.  

Scholarships are free money, never needing repayment, and are often awarded on the basis of some criteria (ex. high marks, extensive community service, leadership, athletics, etc.). The two key types of scholarships are as follows:


Competition scholarships often involve submitting essays or other products that demonstrate your suitability for the award. It's important to keep in mind what organization is offering the award and for what purpose. A number of memorial awards will look to find candidates that match the qualities of the individual being honoured, so do your homework!

Some of these will also require recommendations from teachers, coaches, community organizations, or others that you have touched during your high school life. Don't be shy about telling these people what the award is about, and what qualities you need them to emphasize in your recommendation letter / phone reference. They will be relieved to have a "roadmap" and you'll get the recommendation you deserve.


Contest awards usually don't require a complicated selection process or a significant application package. They are generally quicker and less involved, and reflect smaller awards (but they can add up!). Generally, these awards are draws based on participation in some program (like attending an event, or signing up for a service like and you should enter as many as you qualify for.

In addition to these types of scholarships that you apply for, many colleges and universities have "entrance" or "admissions" scholarships based on academic achievement. If your admissions average is within a certain range (varies by post-secondary institution and program), then you will be automatically be offered the scholarship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean when a scholarship is "renewable"?

Renewable scholarships are awards that you can continue to collect in future years of your post-secondary program. You should take care to note the conditions for renewal. Most scholarships that list renewal options require that you maintain a certain average, continue in a certain program, or maintain a relationship with the foundation or institution that originally issued your scholarship.  If you fail to meet the conditions, you will lose the chance to renew your scholarship in future years.

What's a "bursary"?

Bursaries are another often mentioned source of financial aid, and reflect a grant that will allow a person to pay for their education.  Like scholarships, you need to apply for most bursaries. The line between bursaries and scholarships is a little blurred, but most bursaries require a certain condition be met (be from a certain community, be entering a certain program, have a demonstrated financial need, etc.). If you meet the conditions, you qualify and should apply for the bursary.


Check out this handy set of "Scholarship Tips and Tricks": Scholarship Tips and Tricks.pdf