With many students having recently received confirmation or rejection from OSAP loans and grants, it’s an important time to consider your financial options. This is why Student Accounts & Financial Aid are holding financial aid sessions on September 6 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Thistle 147, each week tacking a different issue commonly faced by students with regards to financial aid.
SAFA is responsible for administering student accounts, which includes assessing fees, preparing receipts and tax documents and processing payments.
SAFA encourages all students to utilize these sessions as an opportunity to drop in and chat about part time employment, affordable housing or living options, re working their budget, external scholarships, The Brock OneApp, OSAP and managing student debt.
Students are encouraged to bring all finance-related queries and documents to these drop-in sessions to discuss a myriad of issues. While each case is different and treated individually, many students struggle with OSAP loans, which is looked at in detail by SAFA. From applying, to issues after the loans or grants have been confirmed. Many students having received their confirmations may have questions regarding the next steps.
Regarding OSAP grants, it can typically take four to six weeks to receive the money owed to the student, which is why financial aid aims to help with the process. If the student is a full-time student, they typically receive their money in two installments. The first installment is typically in September when the first study period begins. The second installment is granted halfway through the study period in January when the second semester typically would start for a student. However, it is stressed that this money is only released after the application is fully completed and any additional documents are received and approved. Once your information has been verified and the university has verified your enrollment, the money will be released.
However, the payment schedule will change if you are a part time student which is an area where many Brock Students struggle. As a part time student, you have to additionally complete your part time funding certificate and your part time loan agreement form These are tasks with which SAFA can provide information and guidance to students.
Additionally, it was recently announced that beginning July 1, you can post both fully completed documents and copies of your government ID and Social Insurance Number. Students can mail this information from any Canada Post Outlet by asking them for the Canada Post Return Number PR150936.
An area where many Brock students have issues and seek help from SAFA is when their application is either rejected or they need to alter the amount.
If students need to alter their amount, they can seek assistance by requesting a funding review. This is only granted due to special circumstances such as unexpected financial issues, academic issues such as failing to meet course requirements based on surrounding circumstances outside of your control or you are unable to make your expected contributions.
Once the student has gotten in touch with SAFA, they can review the case and indicate if a funding review is feasible. SAFA will detail the forms required and assist with the process. It is heavily stressed that a review request must be submitted to SAFA by no later than 40 days before the final day of the study period.
The third main issue Brock Students can face is how to keep their loans interest free. OSAP loans typically are interest free for the study period once Brock confirms the student’s enrollment. If the student isn’t receiving full or part time OSAP but is enrolled as full time or part time student they can apply to have any previous loans interest whilst in their studies.
If throughout the year a student alters their course load or their information changed then their application will be reassessed and they may not be eligible for the same level of OSAP funding. In this case, contact the Student Accounts Financial Aid office and inform them and they will help you take the necessary steps.
For those who cannot attend the FinTip$ Thur$days or need a more detailed meeting SAFA is located at Brock Central, on the third floor of the Schmon Tower and is open to students from Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.