The University of Toronto’s Policy on Financial Support states that no student admitted to a program at the university should be unable to enrol or complete the program due to lack of financial means. Our commitment is based on the assumption that students will first access the government aid for which they are eligible. Financial need is assessed on the same basis as the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), because that provides a consistent and verifiable method. For a student who qualifies for the maximum OSAP assistance, and who has further assessed need not covered by OSAP, the university will provide the additional assistance in the form of a non-repayable grant for undergraduate students. The grant is delivered through a U of T program called University of Toronto Advance Planning for Students (UTAPS).
Comprehensive information on both government financial aid and the UTAPS program is available at through Enrolment Services.
Admissions and Awards also provides helpful resources about financial counselling for students.
What to do if you have a Registered Education Savings Plan
The Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)is a tax-sheltered education savings account that can help your family save for a child’s education after high school. Once the child is enrolled in university, the parent can normally withdraw a certain amount each year to pay all or a portion of the costs. In order to withdraw any amount, the RESP organization normally requires a confirmation that the student is enrolled.
The student can request verification of their enrolment from the Registrar’s Office of the student’s college or faculty. Staff there can provide a letter or complete the necessary form. Depending on the time of year, the verification may take a few days. There is a often a small administrative fee for this service.
OSAP and Provincial funding
Whether or not your finances will allow you to provide funds for your son or daughter at university, there are other ways in which families can offer support. Most importantly, you can co-operate in completing the OSAP application. You can also help by allowing the student to live at home during the summer so that summer earnings can be saved to meet university costs.
If your student lives at home while attending university (or comes home fairly often), you can provide such things as laundry facilities. Students who live away from home often find that the little things are hard on their budgets – shampoo, detergent, snacks. A “care package” never hurts!
Above all, you can help by speaking candidly to the student about what you can, and cannot, afford to provide. Students deserve to be able to plan realistically; it is important they know ahead of time if they should be expected to work part-time or to buy used textbooks.
Scholarships, Grants & Awards
The University of Toronto offers new and current students many financial awards that do not need to be paid back to the university.
The University of Toronto, its colleges and faculties award approximately 2,000 admission scholarships and over 4,000 in-course scholarships each year. For more information, refer to U of T’s Enrolment Services website.
In addition to scholarships offered by the University of Toronto, there are many outside awards. One important and often overlooked source is scholarships offered by employers to children of employees. Many Canadian companies offer such scholarships. If you are uncertain whether your employer offers this benefit, check with your human resources office.
Grants, which are also sometimes called bursaries, are non-repayable sums of money provided by colleges and faculties of the University to assist students who encounter financial difficulties. These grants are of modest value in comparison to the funding available through OSAP and UTAPS. They are awarded on the basis of financial need, often in situations where a student experiences a temporary financial setback during the course of their academic program.