COLLEGE INFORMATION GUIDE

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1 COLLEGE INFORMATION GUIDE

2 Table of Contents Title Page Introduction and Information on Applying to College Page 3 Ontario Colleges.ca Page 4 How to Apply To College: Step By Step Page 5 Introduction and Information on Funding for College Page 7 College tuition and Fee Breakdown-Budget Page 8 Bursaries, Scholarships, Grants and, Loans Page 9 Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) General Information Page 10 Grants Available Through Canada Student Grants Program Page 11 Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) Aid Page 13 OSAP Application Process Page 15 Work Study Information Page 20 Bursaries in Ontario Page 21 Applying for Awards at Conestoga College Page 25 Specific Support for Students with Crown Ward Status Pages P a g e

3 Introduction and Information on Applying to College Congratulations, choosing to go to college is an exciting event in your life! Whether you are coming straight from high school or if you have been out of school for many years and have decided to return, applying to college and planning for how to pay for your education can be a challenging and, sometimes an overwhelming process. This handbook is designed to guide you through all of the steps you need to take in order to apply to an Ontario College, as well as, help you understand the different ways to receive funding for your education. Each year, Ontario Colleges.ca receives college applications from a broad, diverse group of people from Ontario and beyond. Approximately 160,000 individuals apply to Ontario colleges on an annual basis, with the intention of gaining the knowledge they need to thrive in the career of their choice. Once you have made the decision of what courses you want to take at the Ontario College of your choice it is important to apply as soon as possible. On the following pages you will find an application checklist, taken right from the Ontario Colleges.ca website. This will give you an overview of the requirements needed in order to begin the process of applying to college. Also, there is a step by step tutorial on how to navigate your way through the Ontario Colleges.ca website and apply for the courses you are hoping to take. 3 P a g e

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5 How to Apply to College in Ontario: Step by Step In Ontario, students apply to colleges through the provincial college website Things you will need to apply include: access to a computer credit card or bank information high school transcripts Steps to Apply Step 1-Log on to the Ontario Colleges website: and create a user account. You will need to create a password and username, and you will be given an account number. Write these down and store them in a safe place. You should receive an from the website to confirm this information within 20 minutes. Step 2-The website has a Find a Program tool that lets you explore college programs by using keywords from the box in the left column. You can also choose to view all programs offered by each of Ontario's 28 public colleges. In addition, you can also refine your search by Program Category, Program Start Date, Credentials and more. Steps 3- complete the online application by selecting the colleges and programs you are interested in applying to. You will also be asked for basic personal and academic information, such as the high school you attended or are attending, address, etc. 5 P a g e

6 Steps to apply continued How to Apply to College in Ontario: Step By Step Step 4-A non-refundable application fee must be paid to process your order online. The fee is $ If you have an online account set up with your banking institution, forward the funds directly from your bank account or you can pay online with a credit card. If you are not comfortable paying online, you can mail a cheque to Ontariocolleges.ca at 60 Corporate Court Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 5J3 or make a payment over the phone by calling the Customer Contact Center at Step 5-The Ontario Colleges website will send you an with your application number and payment confirmation. This process is automatic; you should receive an within 10 seconds. Step 6-Ask your high school guidance counsellor to forward your transcript to the Ontario Colleges. If you are no longer attending high school, you will need to contact your last high school to make arrangements to have your transcripts sent. Step 7- Once you receive an offer of admission from a college you can choose to accept or reject the offer through your Ontario Colleges online account. When you have been accepted by a college, you will receive an or a letter from the college. Follow the links on the Ontariocolleges.ca website to accept or reject the offer. GOOD LUCK!!! 6 P a g e

7 Introduction and Information on Funding for College When it comes to funding your education there are many options to assist you. First, it is important for you to plan and understand your budget for a school year in order to determine an estimate of the amount of expenses you will have during your academic year. Breaking down the costs of a college education and researching college tuition fees is an important part of planning for college. Typically, college tuition costs are lower than university costs, but you will still want to be aware of the variations from college to college and from program to program. Tuition for some specialized programs may be higher. For example, programs that involve training on equipment (such as heavy equipment operator or aviation) require college investment in this equipment, as well as in facilities and ongoing maintenance. These costs are often factored into tuition costs. Other programs, such as photography or fine arts programs, may require you to buy extra equipment or supplies on top of the cost of tuition fees, which can increase your expenses. Creating a budget that can help you make your money last throughout your year in college is an extremely smart idea. Take some time to work on your own budget, as well as, look over the budget breakdown on the following page. 7 P a g e

8 College Tuition and Fee Breakdown Below is a summary of the average cost of tuition for one academic year (34 weeks September April) in an Ontario college program. Items Tuition and compulsory fees Books and equipment Local transportation - varies Sample Budget $3,069 $1,150 Your Budget Rent (including utilities - $500 x 8 months) Keeping your rent and utility costs lower leaves more resources for other things. For example, can you afford residence, or living alone? $4,000 Food ($250 x 8 months) Entertainment ($100 x 8 months) Internet ($35 x 8 months) Cable ($60 x 8 months) $2,000 $800 $280 $480 Telephone (including cell phone - $50 x 8 months) $400 Clothing ($25 x 8 months) Personal care ($25 x 8 months) Miscellaneous (trips home, medical) Total $200 $200 $12,579 8 P a g e

9 Bursaries, Scholarships, Grants and Loans Bursaries, scholarships and, grants are all wonderful resources to help you finance your post-secondary education because they provide MONEY THAT DOES NOT NEED TO BE PAID BACK. Grants, bursaries and scholarships can be provided by governments, schools or private organizations. Definitions Grant or Bursary: is an award that is given based on financial need. When you are applying for a bursary you must supply a financial disclosure form. Bursaries may also request that applicants meet certain geographical or demographic requirements. The Government of Canada offers the largest grant program, The Canada Student Grants Program. Remember grants do NOT need to be paid back. Scholarship: can be based on a variety of criteria such as academics, volunteer work, extracurricular activities or sports. You can also qualify for a scholarship because of where you live, what religious or social organization that you or your family belong to or cultural background. Award: is a loosely defined term referring to awards that are neither scholarships nor bursaries. In certain cases awards may be plaques or recognition certificates, while in other cases awards may be professional memberships coupled with cash prizes Loan: is borrowed money for temporary use. The borrower pays the loan back with interest. Government student loans are due for full repayment (amount borrowed plus interest) upon completion of your studies. Reduced payments (example interest only) may be required to be re-paid while attending college. The Government of Canada and Province of Ontario offer student loans. Some banks also lend money for post-secondary. These are regular consumer loans aimed at students. Interest rates may be high since the rates are not set by the government and repayment terms may be more aggressive than with government-sponsored loans. Interest builds up on bank loans while you are in school, unlike most government student loans. Some financial institutions also offer lines of credit. These are preset amounts of money from which you can withdraw sums as needed similar to a loan in that it needs to be repaid. You pay interest only on the money you withdraw 9 P a g e

10 Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) The Government of Ontario offers financial aid for students through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). This program assists students with demonstrated financial need in obtaining the necessary funds to meet the cost of postsecondary education. OSAP provides eligible Ontario students with financial assistance to help pay for their tuition, books, mandatory fees, living costs and transportation. OSAP offers financial aid through grants, bursaries, scholarships, workstudy, loans and repayment assistance. Ontario Grants and Bursaries provide money that you do not have to repay. You can only receive aid if you demonstrate financial need. If you are taking from 20% to 59% of a full course load then you will be considered a part-time student. You will not be eligible for a Canada- Ontario Integrated Student Loan, but can apply for a part-time loan through OSAP for part-time studies Federal and Provincial Grants and Loans for students in Ontario are administered through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). As a student you can apply for a number of Canadian and Ontario grants and loans with a SINGLE APPLICATION through OSAP. You must apply for OSAP every year you attend college to receive funding. You are encouraged to apply online to speed up the assessment process. The following pages outline the grants available through the Canada Student Grants Program. 10 P a g e

11 Grants Available Through Canada Student Grants Program Canada Student Grants Eligibility Amount Grant for Persons from Low-Income Families From a low income family Grants for Persons from Middle Income Families Qualify for a Canada Student Loan Enrolled in a fulltime, min. 60 weeks program From middle income family Qualify for a Canada Student Loan Max $250 per month of study up to $3000 per academic year (available for all years of undergraduate study) $100 per month of study Up to $1200 per academic year Grant for Persons with Dependents Canada Student Grants for Part time studies Enrolled in a fulltime at min. 60 weeks program From low income family Have dependent under 12 years old Qualify for a Canada Student Loan Enrolled in degree, diploma or certificate program for min.12 weeks in duration within 15 week period From low income family Qualify for a Canada Student Loan Enrolled in a part- time program min. 12 weeks in duration during a 15 week period Available for all years of undergraduate study $200 per month of study per dependent child Available for all years of undergraduate and post graduate studies Up to $1200 per academic year Available for all years of undergraduate and post graduate studies 11 P a g e

12 Canada Student Grants Eligibility Amount Grant for Part time students with dependents Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities Grant for Service and Equipment for Persons with a Permanent Disability Have dependent under 12 years of age Qualify for a Canada Student Loan Enrolled in a part- time program at least 12 weeks in duration during a 15 week period Have assessed need exceeding grant for part-time studies and borrowed at least $4000 in Canada Student Loans Qualify for a Canada Student Loan Enrolled in a full or part-time program at least 32 weeks in duration Provide proof of permanent disability Qualify for a Canada Student Loan Enrolled in a full or part-time program at least 32 weeks in duration Provide proof of permanent disability Provide written confirmation of exceptional need Up to $40 per week if one or two dependents Up to $60 per week if three or more dependents Available for all years of undergraduate and post graduate studies $2000 per academic year Available for all years of undergraduate and post graduate studies Up to $8000 per academic year Available for all years of undergraduate and post graduate studies 12 P a g e

13 Students in Special Circumstances Applying for OSAP There are other grants and bursaries for which you are NOT automatically considered when you submit an OSAP application. Some of these are for First Generation Students, Students of Aboriginal Descent, Students with Disabilities, and Students with Crown Ward Students status receiving Social Assistance. These bursaries for Students in Special Circumstances are listed on the following pages. OSAP Aid Programs Program Person Eligibility Amount Ontario Access Grant) Ontario Parttime Grant Available to 1 st and 2 nd year students, from low and moderate-income families enrolled in undergraduate programs lasting longer than two years. Students taking between 20 and 59 percent of a full course load at a university, college or trade school The amount of the grant is dependent on your parents' incomes, and you must be eligible for a regular Ontario Student Loan to apply Qualify for a federal part-time student loan May be eligible for a grant covering 25 to 50 percent of tuition costs, up to a maximum of $3,000 per year. May be eligible to receive up to $500 per year 30% off Ontario Tuition Grant Full-time students at Ontario public colleges and universities You must qualify for an Ontario Student Loan $800 per term if you are in a degree program $365 for diploma or certificate programs 13 P a g e

14 Program Person Eligibility Amount Ontario Full-time dependent Distance Grant students Ontario Distance Grant Commuting Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan Ontario Student Opportunity Grant Ontario Access Grant to Crown Wards Full-time students Full time students taking 60% or more of a course load and students with disabilities taking 40 or more Fulltime students who have received the Canada Ontario Integrated Loan Current or former crown wards Living away from their parents whose permanent home address is 80 kilometres or more from the closest university or college Having a home address that is 80 kilometres or more from the closest college or university You must qualify for an Ontario Student Loan Dependent on the length of your study period and the amount of your student loan Based on information supplied for OSAP loan $300 per academic year $500 per term Maximum of $150 week for single students $350 per week for married student or single parent To help students reduce their student loan payment to no more than $7300 per two term academic year 50% of your tuition cost up to a maximum of $3000 per academic year 14 P a g e

15 OSAP Application Process There are two ways to apply for OSAP: online application and paper application. Most students choose the online application because it is much quicker and there is no application fee. You can get an immediate estimate of the amount of funding that you may receive, and you can check the status of your application online. It is best to apply early. If you are not yet sure which college you will be attending, then you can wait until you have received a notice of acceptance, or you can apply multiple times. It is recommended that you apply at least 10 weeks before your program begins to allow time for verification and processing. The deadline for OSAP application is 40 days prior to the end of your academic year. For first time applicants starting school in September, we recommend that you apply by June. 15 P a g e

16 OSAP Application Process Step by Step Step 1: register You need to register to get your OSAP Access Number (OAN) and to create a password. To do this click on the REGISTER key This will take you to a page with a form to fill out 16 P a g e

17 OSAP Application Process Step by Step Step2: applying Once you have registered you can use your OAN to login and apply To do this click on the APPLY key Next click the box that applies to you Next you 17 P a g e

18 OSAP Application Process Step by Step Step 2: applying Next you will be asked to read over the terms and conditions *THIS IS IMPORTANT TO READ* so you understand what is required of you when applying OSAP Application Process Step by Step 18 P a g e

19 Step 2: applying After you agree to all of the terms and conditions you hit SAVE & NEXT key and follow along answering all of the questions asked of you Remember to hit SAVE & NEXT key after each page Step 3: sending in your forms You will need to sign and submit your Master Loan Agreement to a local post office (post office locations that accept this form can be found on the OSAP website) All other supporting documents are to be submitted to your college s Financial Aid Office Step 4: getting your money 60% of your funding will be released to you at the start of your classes (once the college confirms your enrollment) and the remaining 40% will be released to you at start of the next semester Step 4: repayment Repayment of the student loan will begin after you graduate, stop attending school, or reach your lifetime assistance maximum. The National Student Loans Service Centre will send you a Consolidation Agreement stating the amount outstanding, minimum monthly payment and interest rate. Make sure that you understand this document before signing it. If you have any questions about paying back your OSAP loan call or contact your college s Financial Aid Office 19 P a g e

20 Work Study Work Study is designed to provide on-campus work experience for full-time students who require assistance in covering their education-related costs. Who Is It For: Who is eligible Type of Aid: When to Apply: Deadlines: How to Apply: You should also know. Work Study Program Full-time students attending Ontario Public colleges or universities and are interested in working part-time during their school year. Canadian citizen and Ontario resident. Must be registered in at least 60% of a full course Income through employment. The college that you are attending determines the application process; in general application deadlines are approximately eight weeks before the end of your study period. Contact the financial aid office at your college for complete details. Work Study jobs may start at various times during the school year. It is best to apply as early as possible to increase the number of jobs that you can be considered for under this plan. The college that you are attending determines the application process. Contact your financial aid office for complete details and check their website. In general, you do not have to either apply for or qualify for full-time OSAP funding to participate in Work Study. However, due to the high demand for Work Study jobs, your school can specify that being an OSAP applicant is a pre-requisite to applying for this plan. 20 P a g e

21 Bursaries in Ontario Bursaries are based primarily on an individual s financial need. Bursaries provide money that DOES NOT NEED TO BE PAID BACK. Most bursary programs have a formal application process. Applications may include other selection criteria such as extracurricular activities, community involvement, and leadership. Bursaries are intended to supplement a student s primary source of postsecondary education funding. Bursaries are offered: Within the college system, check your college of choice s website Example: Conestoga College Through non-profit organizations, corporations, and service clubs. At certain places of employment or social clubs. Ask your parents to check with their employer or service clubs. Through the Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities. These bursaries are outlined on the following pages 21 P a g e

22 Bursaries in Ontario Bursary Who For Application Aboriginal Postsecondary Education and Training Bursary Aboriginal students studying full-time or part-time with demonstrated financial need Application available at college s financial office Bursary for Students with Disabilities Childcare Bursary Full-time and part-time students with either permanent or temporary disabilities Students who have disability-related educational costs for services or equipment that are not covered by another agency or service and are required for postsecondary participation Students who have three or more children in the following categories, with each child having child care costs: 11 years of age or younger, and/or 12 years of age or older and in need of child care because they have a disability, illness, or injury Must apply and be eligible for one of the following aid programs: OSAP for Full-Time Students The Ontario Special Bursary for Part-time students. When you submit the Application for Bursary for Students with Disabilities, your eligibility for aid through the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE) will also be determined Apply using the OSAP Child Care Bursary Application Form (paper application only). Your child care provider(s) must complete OSAP Child- Care Bursary and submit receipts confirming your actual child care costs 22 P a g e

23 Bursary Who For Application First Generation Bursary First generation postsecondary students with demonstrated financial need. A first generation student is defined as a student whose parents have not participated in postsecondary studies. Fill out an application available from your college s Financial Aid Office Ontario Crown Ward Postsecondary Application fee Reimbursement Program Reimbursements available to current Ontario Crown wards or persons who were an Ontario Crown ward (Regardless of age, income or adoption status) prior to their eighteenth birthday Who, at the time of their application to a postsecondary institution, have not already been granted a postsecondary degree, diploma or certificate? Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC): All application fees charged for up to five first entry university/program choices. Ontario Colleges Application Service (OCAS): All application fees charged for up to five college/program choices. OSAP approved programs offered by Ontario private postsecondary institutions: Up to $100 in application fees. Application to be filled out and sent to MTCU Remember to also check out This website will assist you in finding information about bursaries, scholarships, grants, and cash awards. 23 P a g e

24 Apply for Awards at Conestoga College To ease the application process, Conestoga College has introduced a general application. This general application replaces many individual award-specific applications and only needs to be submitted once per semester. This application is for internal awards only (awards offered only to Conestoga College students). Some awards are offered through outside agencies and those must be applied for separately. Step 1 Option A: Complete the General Application form (pdf) electronically then print the form (Forms cannot be saved or ed from their online version). Option B: Print a copy of General Application form (pdf) and write your answers. Step 2 Option A: Attach an electronic copy (saved or scanned) to an and send to Option B: Mail/drop off a paper copy at Financial Aid, SCSB, 299 Doon Valley Drive, Kitchener, Ontario N2G 4M4 Note: Ensure all attachments are ed or mailed with the general application as incomplete or unsigned applications will not be considered. Please print and keep a copy of your application for your records. Please review those listed with separate applications or external awards to ensure submission guidelines are followed. For further information or questions you can contact the Conestoga College Financial Aid Office , ext P a g e

25 Specific Support for Students With Crown Ward Status 25 P a g e

26 Specific Support for Students with Crown Ward Status In January 2013 the Ontario Government raised the age of financial and emotional support for former youth with Crown ward status to age 25 from age 21. Former youth with Crown ward status, ages 21 to 25, will receive $500 a month as long as they attend a post-secondary education or a training program, starting in or after September Also, the government will be raising the monthly maximum of support for youth with Crown ward status, aged 18 to 21, to $850. This is an increase of $187. Ontario Crown Ward Postsecondary Application Fee Reimbursement Program This program covers the cost of college and university application fees for students who have or formerly had Crown ward status applying for their first college or university program. 26 P a g e

27 Specific Support for Students with Crown Ward Status Tuition Aid for Youth Leaving Care This support is offered in partnership between the Ontario government and 29 postsecondary institutions including all universities and one third of the colleges (Boreal, Cambrian, Canadore, Humber, La Cité Collégiale, Northern, Sault and Sheridan). Ontario covers 50 per cent of tuition costs for 850 students through the Access Grant for Crown Wards and the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant for eligible students. The participating institutions now cover the remaining cost of tuition for up to four years of postsecondary study for a combined maximum of $6,000 per year. 100% Tuition Aid for Youth Leaving Care Academic Year: Who It s For: Students attending a participating school who are either current or former Crown wards and/or who are receiving or were previously eligible to receive an allowance from a Children s Aid Society (Extended Care and Maintenance or Continued Care and Support for Youth) Type of Aid: Grant Amount of Aid: Up to $6,000 in combined funding from OSAP and your school How to Apply: Use the OSAP Application for Full-time Students When to Apply: The OSAP Application for Full-Time Students is now available Deadline to Apply: 60 days before the end of your study period 27 P a g e

28 Specific Support for Students with Crown Ward Status Ontario Access Grant for Crown Wards This grant helps to cover tuition costs for up to four years of study for current and former students with Crown ward status. The government has extended eligibility for these grants to youth receiving Continued Care and Support for Youth allowances that are enrolled in their first college or undergraduate program. About 850 students qualified for the grant last year. Ontario Access Grant for Crown Wards (OAG-CW) Academic Year: Who It s For: Current or former Crown wards Type of Aid: Grant Amount of Aid: 50% to 100% of your tuition up to a maximum of $3,000 per academic year for a maximum of four years When to Apply: Applications are available in February Deadlines: See application deadline below How to Apply: Use the OSAP Application for Full Time Students 28 P a g e

29 Specific Support for Students with Crown Ward Status Students in programs of two or more years are eligible for access grants covering 50 per cent of their tuition costs to a maximum of $3,000 for each year of their program, up to four years. Students in one-year programs are eligible for a onetime grant covering 100 per cent of their tuition, up to $3,000. Students apply for these grants through OSAP. The Living and Learning Grant This grant provides $500 per month to youth leaving care aged 21 to 24 enrolled in postsecondary education and training programs that are approved for the purposes of the Ontario portion of OSAP funding. Students who apply for OSAP, and identify that they are a Crown ward WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS GRANT. A separate application for eligible students who do not apply for OSAP is available. 29 P a g e

30 Specific Support for Students with Crown Ward Status Living and Learning Grant (LLG) Academic Year: Who It s For: Students enrolled in full-time postsecondary studies aged 21 to 24 who were previously eligible for the Continued Care and Support for Youth allowance (or Extended Care and Maintenance allowance) from their Children s Aid Society Type of Aid: Grant Amount of Aid: $500 per month of study How to Apply: Apply using the OSAP Application for Full-time Students (online or paper versions) If you are not applying for OSAP funding, use the Living and Learning Grant Application (paper version only) When to Apply: The OSAP Application for Full-Time Students is now available. The Application for Living and Learning Grant is now available. Deadlines: Application deadline is 60 days before the end of your study period Document deadline is 40 days before the end of your study period 30 P a g e

31 Specific Support for Students with Crown Ward Status Crown Ward Education Championship Team These teams of educators, children's aid workers and mentors are available in 21 communities covering all regions of Ontario and have helped more than 1,200 young people. They support students who have or formerly had Crown ward status through partnerships with Children's Aid Societies, school boards, colleges, universities, and employment services. The teams also provide services such as mentoring programs and workshops to help youth in and leaving care to transition into postsecondary education. Crown Ward Mentorship Program at Conestoga College Located within the Learning Commons is The First Generation Student Initiative office. In The First Generation Initiative office there are Crown ward mentors, under the supervision of Shannon Glachan-Project Manager First Generation Student Initiative. The role of the Crown Ward Mentors is to encouraged and support Conestoga College students with Crown ward status through their postsecondary education. 31 P a g e

32 Specific Support for Students with Crown Ward Status RONA Scholarship In partnership with RONA and the Children s Aid Foundation, this fund is for former and current youth with Crown ward status attending postsecondary education. PHD Canada Scholarship This scholarship supports youth with Crown ward status with $3000 towards the cost of postsecondary education. Clark Award and Grant The Clark award is for former and current youth with Crown ward status pursuing postsecondary education. 32 P a g e

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