One-third of students still waiting for OSAP

Long lines outside the Student Financial Assistance office have been common this month.

Long lines outside the Student Financial Assistance office have been common this month.

By Amal Ahmed Albaz

It’s hard to believe September is almost over. But it’s especially hard for the approximately 30 per cent of students still waiting for their OSAP payments.

“I have to pay for rent and, since I’m unable to, I’m borrowing money from my aunt until I get the money,” said third-year political science student, Alana Alonzo.

As October looms, so too does the Sept. 30 deadline for tuition payments, and for some students, another rent payment. For many students, OSAP cash pays for things like rent and groceries in addition to tuition.

“It’s really frustrating,” said Alonzo. “It’s such an unnecessary burden.”

Over 70 per cent, or just over 9,000 students, had received their OSAP funding by Sept. 15, according to Carol Scarse, manager of student financial assistance at Ryerson.

“Eight thousand students had OSAP funding in their bank accounts and fees payments deposited to their RAMSS accounts prior to the start of fall classes,” said Scarse.

“Last year on the payment deadline (first Friday in September) we had only received 1,696 (tuition) payments as a result of (delayed) OSAP funding,” said Scarse. This year it was 11,757 payments by the same deadline.

Scarse said that students who applied in June and have not received their funding, have likely not checked their OSAP status summary online and may not realize there are items listed under the “check list” that need to be completed before funding can be released.

This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on September 25, 2013.

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