Indigenous students

Funding  may be available to you through various sources including your band and OSAP.

Other funding programs

Indigenous Student Bursary

This bursary is available to full-time and part-time postsecondary students attending publicly-assisted colleges and universities in Ontario or an approved Indigenous Institute in Ontario.

Learn more: Indigenous Student Bursary

Ontario Indigenous Travel Grant

This grant assists with the cost of travelling between your remote First Nations community and the postsecondary school that you attend.

Learn more: Ontario Indigenous Travel Grant

Indigenous Bursaries Search Tool

A searchable list of bursaries, scholarships and incentives for Indigenous students.

Post-Secondary Student Support Program

Federal government funding for First Nation and eligible Inuit students enrolled in eligible postsecondary programs. Contact your local band office or Inuit designated organization for information.

Métis Student Bursary Program

Funding from the Métis Nation of Ontario for Métis students who are enrolled in postsecondary education. Apply for this funding through the Financial Aid Office, Indigenous student liaison centre or student support services at your college or university.

Current and former individuals in Extended Society Care (previously known as Crown wards)

Individuals who were in Extended Society Care, and other youth 21-24 years old who left the care of a Children’s Aid Society may be eligible for a Living and Learning Grant. This grant provides additional funds above the regular full-time OSAP aid limits.

You’re automatically considered for this grant when you submit an OSAP Application for Full-Time Students. Supporting documents may be required to confirm your eligibility. The required documents are outlined when you submit your application.

Individuals 18 to 24 years old as of the start of their study period who were in Extended Society Care with an Ontario Children’s Aid Society and were adopted on or after August 1, 2013 may also be eligible. Contact the financial aid office at your postsecondary institution for details on the review process to be considered for this grant.

Refund application fees

If you are or were in Extended Society Care in Ontario  — regardless of age, income or adoption status — you can get a refund for the fees you pay when you apply to:

  • an approved program at a college, university or Indigenous Institute
  • a first postsecondary degree, diploma or certificate

You can apply for a refund for your current academic year as well as for application fees you paid for the two previous academic years.

How to apply

You need to apply for a refund. To apply:

  • print an Application Reimbursement Program form
  • complete and sign the form (it includes information about your status and education)
  • mail the form to the address in the application

The refund amount depends on the school(s) you applied to.

Learn more: Ontario Postsecondary Application Fee Reimbursement Program

First-generation students

If your parents didn’t attend postsecondary studies, you could be eligible for the Ontario First Generation Bursary 

Students with disabilities

If you have a permanent disability, you could be eligible for full-time OSAP funding if you’re studying at 40% or more of a full course load. To be considered for this benefit, you must self-identify as having a permanent disability when applying for OSAP.

Definition: “permanent disability” for OSAP purposes

You can get additional aid to help pay for disability-related educational services and equipment. Through one application, you can be considered for the:

You can also get specialized help if you are having trouble repaying a student loan.

Learn more: Severe Permanent Disability Benefit

Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing

If you’re Deaf or hard of hearing and want to study at a school where American Sign Language or Quebec Sign Language is the primary language of instruction, you could be eligible for a special bursary that can help you cover the extra cost of studying outside of Canada.

Learn more: Ontario Out-of-Country Bursary for Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing

Ontario Disability Support Program 

If you get financial support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you can also apply for OSAP.

OSAP is meant to help cover your educational costs:

  • tuition fees
  • compulsory fees
  • books
  • supplies and equipment
  • local transportation
  • child care (if applicable)

You can continue to get ODSP funding to help with living costs while receiving OSAP.

ODSP provides a 100% exemption on any income earned while you are enrolled in full-time postsecondary studies.

Contact your caseworker for more information.

Ontario Works 

If you receive financial support through the Ontario Works (OW) program, you need to apply for OSAP to help cover both your education and living costs.

Single, full-time student getting OSAP: you are not eligible for OW support.

Married or a sole-support parent: you could be eligible for an OW top-up if the amount of money you get from OSAP (for living costs) is less than you would get through the OW program.

OW provides a 100% exemption on any income earned while you’re enrolled in full-time postsecondary studies.

Contact your caseworker for more information.

Updated: October 22, 2021
Published: September 04, 2012