OSAP benefits for Pan Am/Parapan Am Games volunteers

Information on the new benefits available to students receiving OSAP if they volunteer for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games being held in 2015.

How it works

Some requirements of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) are changing to support college and university students who volunteer for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

Two new benefits are available in 2015-2016:

  • a waiver that exempts you from the pre-study period contribution (a contribution from the money you earn up to 16 weeks prior to the start of your studies), and
  • a longer grace period before you need to repay your OSAP loan or interest charged on that loan if you complete your studies on or after March 1, 2015.

To be eligible for one of the benefits, volunteers must work a minimum of:

  • 12 shifts over the 18 days during the Pan Am Games (between July 10 and 26, 2015), and/or
  • 6 shifts over the 8 days during the Parapan Am Games (between August 7 and 15, 2015).

Shifts can range from 8-10 hours. Volunteers performing in the opening and closing ceremonies are also eligible for the benefits.

Pre-study contribution period waiver

Students are expected to work for up to 16 weeks prior to the start of their studies.  A contribution is calculated based on the money you make and is included in calculating how much OSAP you receive.

If you complete your volunteer assignments at the Games, you could be eligible for a waiver of your pre-study contribution — which means that your earnings during the summer will not be factored into your overall OSAP financial need assessment.

Your OSAP funding won’t be reduced because you worked as a volunteer at the Games rather than working during that time.

To be eligible to receive this benefit, you must:

  • be a full-time student at a postsecondary school approved for OSAP
  • be enrolled full-time in studies anytime between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016
  • complete your volunteer assignments for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games

1-year grace period

You are not required to make payments on your OSAP loans for the first 6 months after you complete your full-time postsecondary studies. After this grace period, you need to repay the loan.

You can apply to extend this grace period for another 6 months if you:

  • finish full-time postsecondary studies on or after March 1, 2015 (and not returning to postsecondary studies), and
  • complete your volunteer assignments for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games

During this grace period extension, Ontario will pay the interest on both your Ontario and Canada Student Loans.

This means that you do not need to make any payments on your full-time OSAP loan for 1 year after leaving postsecondary studies.

This benefit does not apply to government student loans issued through other provinces/territories.

How to apply

Indicate on your Pan Am/Parapan Am Games volunteer application if you would like to be considered for either of the above benefits. You’ll be asked to provide additional personal information as part of the application process so you can be considered for one of these benefits.

Volunteer opportunities

Looking for more information on how to be a part of the TORONTO 2015 volunteer program?

Go to the TORONTO 2015 website for more information.

More information

If you have any questions about these benefits, you can contact your postsecondary institution’s financial aid office.

Updated: April 1, 2015