The costs of post-secondary education have been exploding in Canada since the early 1990s, when the average undergraduate degree cost less than half of what one does today. People who do not have sufficient financial aid as students may fall into deep debt, which can have a long-term effect on their lives and the lives of their families. As tuition continues to rise – three times faster than inflation – finding sources of financial aid is more important than ever. The resources given below are all available to student parents. They can all be used concurrently – they are not exclusive of each other – but some may only be used for specific expenses, such as childcare or tuition. To get the most aid that you can, apply to every program for which you are eligible.
OSAP gives education-related subsidies and loans to Ontario residents. An immediate discount of 30% off tuition is available to all applicants whose family income is less than $160, 000 gross per year. OSAP also provides many different kinds of student loans, of different amounts and with different interest rates, some of which take into consideration whether the applicant has children. People who are on OSAP are immediately qualified for certain discount services at the University as well, such as accessibility accreditation.
UTAPS is designed to work in tandem with OSAP to assist students who are already on OSAP, but whose current loans are still not enough to cover their expenses. UTAPS uses the information given to OSAP to determine how much funding to give to each applicant. It is only available to full-time students.
The University of Toronto Students Union gives grants to cover some daycare expenses of student parents. To apply, you must fill out your financial information, as well as your history with OSAP/UTAPS and a personal statement.
The Child Care Fee Subsidy program is a government-sponsored bursary to help child care costs. Parents of children 9 years of age or younger can apply. You are encouraged to apply as far in advance as possible as there is typically a waitlist to receive subsidy.
Teaching assistants, markers, sessional instructors, and post-doctoral fellows are eligible for up to $1,200 in childcare subsidies from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). To apply, you must be in good standing with the Union.
Student parents who attend extra- or co-curricular events can apply for a subsidy of up to $100 for child care costs incurred during an event from the Family Care Office as well as other pre-approved local events. Students must apply at least one day before the event and must afterwards submit a child care receipt and proof of attending the event.
If the need arises, students can register for the UofT Food and Clothing Bank, which is located at the Multi-Faith Centre. Other emergency resources include the Salvation Army, the 519 Church Street Community Centre, the Scott Mission, St. Stephen’s Community House, and the Daily Bread Food Bank.
To learn more about working towards financial stability, you can attend the upcoming workshop, Financial Survival: Money Management and Debt Reduction Strategies for Families on February 12 at noon. The workshop, which is facilitated by a Certified Financial Planner, will cover topics such as coming to terms with spending habits and confronting debt.
If you are an international graduate student, you may also be interested in our workshop on Grants & Funding for International Grad Students on February 6th at 4:00PM. To RSVP, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org