Students who must travel long distances to reach a university or college face unique challenges. A Statistics Canada study showed that people who live far from a postsecondary institution are less likely to attend college or university.
In response to this, the Ontario government offers Distance Grants to assist students from remote and rural areas with their travel costs. Eligible students will begin receiving the grants at the start of their first semester, along with the first instalment of the Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan, if applicable.
Amount of Aid
The value of this grant is $500 per term.
Who Can Get This Aid
To be considered for this grant, you must meet the eligibility requirements for the Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan. In addition, you must also meet the following requirements:
- Attend a public Ontario college or university.
- Be one of the following student statuses: dependent student living at home with his/her parents during the period of study; independent student living at home with his/her parents during the period of study; married student, common-law student or sole-support parent student; and
- Have a home address that is 80 kilometres or more from the closest public Ontario postsecondary institution of the type attended (i.e., 80 kilometres from a college if a college student, 80 kilometres from a university if a university student).
A married student is living in Trenton and commuting to Trent University. There is a college of applied arts and technology within 15 kilometres of her home address, but no university within 80 kilometres of her home. Because the student continues to live at home while attending Trent, rather than moving closer to campus, she is eligible for the Commuting Grant of $500 per term.
An independent student is living in Kitchener. He is registered in a Master’s program at the University of Toronto. He doesn’t want to move to Toronto, so decides to commute regularly from Kitchener (a trip of over 100 kilometres one-way) for his classes.
This student is not eligible for the commuting grant, because there are other postsecondary institutions of the same type as the one he is attending within 80 kilometres of his home address (Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Waterloo, University of Guelph and McMaster University). Distance grants are not awarded on the basis of program choice.
How to Apply
You do not have to fill out a separate application form for this grant, because your eligibility is based on the information supplied on your OSAP Application for Full Time Students. Use the 2012-2013 OSAP Application for Full-Time Students. This application is available online or in paper format. Applications are now available. For complete details go to Filling Out Your Application.
- One- term program (12 to 20 weeks in duration) – Your documents must be received by your financial aid office within the first 30 days of your study period.
- Two- and three-term program (21 to 52 weeks in duration) – Your documents must be received by your financial aid office no later than 90 days before the end of your study period.
Documents You Need to Provide
There are no specific documentation requirements for this grant.
What Happens After You Apply
Your OSAP Application for Full-Time Students is processed at which time your eligibility for this program is determined.
How to Check the Status of Your Application and Amount of Aid
Information about the status of your application is available on this website. Just log in to find the latest information. Remember to provide us with your e-mail address and we will send you a reminder whenever there is a change to your OSAP file. OSAP will also send you a paper notification if you request it on your online application.
For complete details on checking the status of your application, go to Review Your Application.
How and When You Get Your Aid
The grant will be paid in two instalments, in the fall and in the spring. If you attend summer classes full-time, you will receive the grant for the summer semester in the second instalment of your funding. If your program is two or more terms, you must still be a full-time student as defined by OSAP at the start of your second term to be eligible to receive this grant. Your funding will be issued to you in one of two ways. Grant funds will either be directly deposited to your bank account or a cheque will be forwarded to your mailing address. Please check your OSAP funding status on the OSAP website at www.ontario.ca/osap, to see if your grant has been issued, and if so, how and when you should expect to receive it.