The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program encourages excellence in graduate studies at the master’s and doctoral levels. It is a merit-based scholarship. Awards are available to students in all disciplines of academic study. An Ontario Graduate Scholarship is awarded for one academic year, which may consist of two or three consecutive terms.
The OGS program is jointly funded by the Province of Ontario and the postsecondary institution. The Province of Ontario contributes two-thirds of the value of the award and the university provides one-third. For 2011-2012, the Province of Ontario will provide about $30 million towards these scholarships and eligible institutions will provide $15 million.
Amount of Aid
An Ontario Graduate Scholarship is awarded for one academic year, which may consist of two or three consecutive terms. One-term awards are not granted. The value of the OGS is $5,000 per term. Thus, you may receive $10,000 for two consecutive terms or $15,000 for three consecutive terms.
Number of Scholarships Awarded
A total of 3,000 scholarships will be awarded annually. Of these, 90 scholarships will be awarded to visa students.
Who Can Get This Aid
You may be considered for an OGS if you meet the criteria in each of the following areas.
You must be enrolled in an eligible postsecondary institution in Ontario. Eligible institutions in Ontario are:
- Brock University
- Carleton University
- University of Guelph
- Lakehead University
- Laurentian University of Sudbury
- McMaster University
- Nipissing University
- OCAD University
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology
- University of Ottawa
- Queen’s University
- Ryerson University
- University of Toronto
- Trent University
- University of Waterloo
- The University of Western Ontario
- Wilfrid Laurier University
- University of Windsor
- York University
You must be taking an eligible program. An eligible program is defined as a full-time program of study of two or three terms at an eligible institution leading to a graduate degree. Each of the components that determine an eligible program is outlined below.
You must be enrolled as a full-time student, as defined by the institution. To be considered a full-time student, you must meet the following conditions:
- be pursuing studies as a full-time occupation;
- not be employed, for more than an average of 10 hours per week for any term during registration as a full-time graduate student. Note: If you are employed as a teaching fellow or demonstrator, the ten hours per week should represent the total time spent by you in connection with the appointment, including preparation and marking examinations, etc.
- who are unable to study full-time due to a permanent disability may still be considered for an award provided all other eligibility requirements are met.
Level of Study
You must be enrolled in a graduate level program. You may apply for an OGS prior to admission to a graduate program provided you will be enrolled in graduate studies for the duration of the award.
Study Period Start Date
For the 2011-2012 academic year, you must be starting your program on:
- May 2011 (spring term),
- September 2011 (fall term), or
- January 2012 (winter term).
Terms of Study
You must be taking two or three consecutive terms of study. You are not eligible if your program length is one term (this includes any change to the program length that results in a one term period of study for the current application).
Term of study is a period of study, including examinations, of approximately 15 to 17 weeks in duration (but not less than 12 weeks in duration). The terms are deemed to be:
- The period from May to August is the spring term.
- The period from September to December is the fall term.
- The period from January to April is the winter term.
Generally non-consecutive terms of study are not eligible. Contact your Graduate Studies Office to discuss your situation if you are in a co-op program are on maternity or paternity leave or have extenuating personal circumstances.
You must meet the following OGS academic requirements:
- If entering the first or second year of graduate studies at the time of application you must have an overall average of at least A-, or the equivalent, on the last 20 one-term/semester courses, or the equivalent, completed.
- If you are entering the third year of graduate studies at the time of application you must have an overall average of at least A-, or the equivalent, on all graduate courses completed.
If master’s or doctoral degree marks used for calculating an applicant’s GPA are not available (e.g., courses were graded on a pass-fail basis), then the ministry or universities Graduate Studies Office will use the most recently available undergraduate or graduate marks to calculate an student’s GPA.
You must be at least 16 years of age.
If you are a Canadian citizen you are eligible to be considered for an OGS award. If you are in any of the following citizenship categories, statuses, you must have obtained that status no later than the OGS application deadline date in order to be considered for an OGS award:
- Permanent Resident
- Protected Person [under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protections Act (Canada)]
- Temporary resident visa as a member of the student class under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada)
If you are restricted from receiving OSAP assistance, have defaulted on student loans or have an OGS overpayment you may not be eligible for an OGS. Contact your Financial Aid Office to discuss your personal situation.
Duration of Support
You must have not have exceeded the lifetime maximum of 4 years of government-funded student awards. Awards received under the following programs are counted toward this lifetime maximum:
- the Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS)
- the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
- the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
- the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
In addition, you must not have exceeded the maximum number of awards for your level of study. You may receive up to two OGS awards for a program at the master's level. The scholarship can be awarded for one or both of the first two academic years, but not after the second year. You may receive up to four OGS awards for a program at the doctoral level. The Scholarship can be awarded in any of the first five academic years but not after the fifth year.
Funding From Other Programs
Funding over $10,000
You are not eligible for OGS if you will be in receipt of any other awards in the same academic year as OGS where the total value of all awards (excluding OGS) is in excess of $10,000.
You cannot hold an OGS scholarship and any of the following scholarships in the same academic year:
- The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Program (SSHRC)
- The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Program (NSERC)
- The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
- Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEIIOGSST)
How to Apply
Complete an OGS Application Form
The 2011-2012 OGS application deadline is now passed.
The first step in applying for OGS is to fill out an OGS application form. The best way to do so is to fill out an online application. Simply click on Log In on the top navigation bar and follow the log in procedures to get to the secure application. You are strongly urged to apply online for the following reasons:
- The online application on the OSAP website is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- It is quick and easy to use.
- Your information is secure.
- It has built-in smarts to help you to avoid making entry errors.
- You can print your personalized application, Reports from professors, and Summary Sheet to submit with your supporting documentation.
A paper application is also available for you to print and fill out. You will have to use the paper application form if you do not have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
You must have two Academic Assessment Reports completed by professors familiar with your academic studies. The completed reports must be included in your OGS Application Package.
Submit Your OGS Application Package
Once you have completed your OGS application (either paper or online) you must follow the applicable procedures for assembling your OGS Application Package by the application deadline date. Check here for a complete list of items in the OGS Application Package.
The procedures for submitting your OGS application Package differ depending on whether or not you are currently enrolled at an Ontario University. It is extremely important that you follow the appropriate procedures; otherwise your application will be delayed and/or not included in the competition.
Students who are enrolled at an Ontario university must submit their application to their current university, regardless of where they plan to take their graduate studies.
Students who are not currently enrolled at an Ontario university but who graduated from one between November 18, 2009 and November 17, 2010 must submit their application to the Ontario university they most recently attended regardless of where they plan to attend graduate school.
Students who are not currently enrolled in an Ontario university and did not graduate from one between November 18, 2009 and November 17, 2010 must submit their OGS Application Package directly to the ministry.
The application deadline date is November 17, 2010. Application packages not received at the ministry by this date will not be accepted. The address for submissions is:
Ontario Graduate Scholarships
Student Financial Assistance Branch
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
PO Box 4500
189 Red River Road, 4th Floor,
Thunder Bay ON P7B 6G9
University Submissions – Check with your school for their deadline date.
Each university sets is own internal deadline date, which is generally a month before the ministry’s deadline. Students are strongly advised to contact their graduate studies office/department to determine the OGS deadline for their institution.
Direct Submissions – November 17, 2010.
The application deadline date is November 17, 2010 if you are submitting your OGS application package directly to the ministry. Application packages not received at the ministry by this date will not be accepted.
Documents You Need to Provide
For OGS, you must assemble and submit an OGS Application Package that contains the following:
- Application form (4 pages)
- Student Checklist
- Summary Sheet
- Two Academic Assessment Reports
- Statement of Interest or Plan of Study
- List of Significant Academic Accomplishments
- List of Scholarships or Awards
- Official/original University transcripts for undergraduate studies
- Official/original University transcripts graduate studies (if applicable)
- Temporary Resident Visa Student Class documentation (if applicable)
What Happens After You Apply
All OGS Application Packages are reviewed to ensure that they are complete. If they are complete and they have been received by the application deadline date and meet all the eligibility requirements, they are entered into the competition. Each OGS Application Package is adjudicated by three OGS Panel Members. The results of the adjudication process are assembled to determine which students are successful, unsuccessful or on the waiting list. If you are successful, you will be sent a Confirmation of Acceptance form and asked to indicate your acceptance or refusal of the award.
Changes to Your Submitted OGS Application Package
Once your OGS Application Package has been submitted, you may make a limited number of changes to your basic information. Change requests can be made in writing to whom you originally submitted your package.
The following is a list of authorized changes:
- Student number
- Name, address, and phone number
- Date of birth
- Citizenship status
- Discipline code and level of study for proposed and current studies
- Number of OGS awards previously received
How to Check the Status of Your Application
The best way to check the status of your application is to use this website.
After you log in, select Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS) and you will be presented with your OGS Main Page. On this page your OGS application will be listed along with all the functions that are available. For example, you will be able to view a copy of the data that you provided on your online application, print a copy so that you can put it in your OGS Application Package, and get a complete list of all the documents you have to provide.
How to Find Out if You Were Successful in the Competition
Early May 2011 notifications about the results of the competition will be released. Check this website to find out if you are successful, on the waiting list or unsuccessful. This information will also be provided in a letter that the ministry will mail to you.
What Needs To Be Done Before You Can Get Your Aid
If you are successful, you will receive a letter of notification and be asked to indicate your acceptance or refusal of the award by completing a Confirmation of Acceptance.
Confirmation of Acceptance
The deadline for submitting this form is no later than 5:00 pm on June 30, 2011. If not received by this date the award could be withdrawn by the ministry. The ministry is not obligated to follow up with a student if the Confirmation of Acceptance form is incomplete.
Students who apply for an OGS scholarship are strongly advised to discuss the start date of an award with the graduate department for which they apply and reach a consensus on this matter BEFORE submitting their proposal. Departments often prefer the start of the award to coincide with the academic year for administrative and other purposes. If students want to have a different option, they need to make sure this is acceptable to the department.
An OGS award may be deferred for medical reasons, maternity/paternity leave or on compassionate grounds. A deferral based on compassionate grounds would be considered exceptional and at the discretion of the OGS Selection Board. The maximum length of time an OGS may be deferred will be 16 months and any requests for an extension will be brought to the Board with appropriate documentation and decided upon by the Board on an individual basis. For example, an OGS received for the program year 2011-2012 could potentially begin in May 2011, and the starting date could be deferred to September 2012. If you plan to defer an OGS please contact the Ontario Graduate Studies Officer at 1-800-465-3957.
How and When You Get Your Aid
The scholarship will be paid out by the university at which the award is tenable. The payments will be made according to the university’s standard procedures for paying graduate awards. Contact your graduate studies office for information on payment procedures.
How a Change To Your Situation Affects Your Aid
It is important to remember that during your studies you must remain eligible for OGS. You should review the complete list of all eligibility requirements. If your personal or study status changes it may affect your aid and you may be required to repay the OGS.
After Your Current Study Period Ends
OGS awards are not automatically renewed. You must submit a new application each academic year.