Information for Parents and Students

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) need assessment process determines which category most closely fits a student’s living situation.

Parental income will be a consideration unless your son or daughter has been out of high school for four or more years.  If a student has been out of full-time secondary school studies for 12 consecutive months on at least two different occasions he/she can apply as an independent student without parental income.

Financial Planning for College or University

The primary responsibility for meeting the cost of post-secondary education rests with the student and family. It’s recommended that you and your child start discussing financial planning and how to save for educational goals before applying to a post-secondary program, the earlier you start, the better!

However, whether your son or daughter plans to attend college in one year or in ten, there are still many ways to help manage the costs. Here are a few ideas.

  1. Consider entering your child in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESPs) as early as possible.RESPs will earn you compound interest – tax free- until the student withdraws funds from the plan. In addition to your son/daughter’s own savings and parental/family contributions it may be necessary to access loan funding from either the government (OSAP) or a private financial institution (Bank). Other funding sources such as scholarships, bursaries and work-study opportunities should be considered.
  2. Make spending and budgeting a part of everyday conversation.Talk about money, credit cards and debt, the principles of spending and borrowing and the value of saving or investing.  Share these helpful budget tips with your child:
    • Eat sensibly and within budget.  Prioritize needs’; food comes first.
    • Teach the difference between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ and develop strategies to make the right choices to obtain both without relying on credit.
    • Show your child how to create a budget, and see where the money goes. Prioritize ‘needs’ so that they come first.
    • Explain how credit really works. Discourage your child from borrowing from friends.
    • Set a good example. Talk about how you’re saving for that special purchase, or how you put off buying something because you knew you couldn’t afford it.
    • Encourage your child to work part-time or in the summer, and to start saving as soon as possible for their education.
  3.  Aeroplan® Miles.  Algonquin College students can now fund their school fees by converting Aeroplan® Miles through, 35,000 Aeroplan® Miles can be converted into $250 worth of credits at Algonquin College.  Students can also convert the Aeroplan® Miles of family members and friends to help pay for school. For more information, please visit:
  4. Explore all the financial resources and information available

From scholarships, bursaries and work-study opportunities, to loans from the Ontario Students Assistance Program (OSAP) or a bank, there are all kinds of resources available to help you and your child budget for their education.