Government Loans

Government loans are a great way to help finance your university education. The Federal Government’s website, offers an overview of education planning for students within and outside of Ontario.


    Ontario students seeking provincial aid should consult Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).

    OSAP is a program run by the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Development, and funded by the provincial and federal governments. OSAP is a needs-based program. This means that it provides loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries based on a formula that compares your educational costs to expected contributions from your parents or your spouse (if applicable) and your own income and assets. OSAP provides eligible Ontario students with financial assistance to help pay for their tuition, books, mandatory fees, living costs and transportation.

    Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents or Protected Persons who meet Ontario’s residency requirement and are planning to enroll in an approved undergraduate, Divinity College, graduate, MBA or School of Medicine program in at least 60% of a full course load (per term) at McMaster are eligible to apply for OSAP. Students with permanent disabilities who meet the above criteria are eligible to apply if they are planning to enroll in an approved program in at least 40% of a full course load (per term).

    We strongly recommend that you apply for OSAP, even if you think that you will not receive funding! You should apply for OSAP at as soon as the application becomes available. It generally takes 4-6 weeks for OSAP applications to be processed.

    All students should apply by their application by June 30 if they wish to use OSAP towards their tuition and would like to receive the funding by McMaster’s fee payment deadline in September.

    When you complete the OSAP application, you are applying for the one academic year. Entitlement is the amount of your OSAP loan as calculated by the Ministry using the information you provided on your application. Please remember that your application will be reassessed and the amount of your loan may change if your circumstances change. In addition, the income information that you and your family provided will be verified with information reported to the Canada Revenue Agency.

    It is important to remember that if your situation changes on your application or you made an error, you must keep your OSAP application up-to-date!

    Repaying OSAP Overview


    Students who do not reside in Ontario should refer to the CanLearn website for further instructions on applying for financial aid within your home province. Information is also available on McMaster’s Financial Aid & Scholarships website.

    It is expected that international students have enough funding to support themselves for the first two years of University; therefore, there is little funding available to new international students.

    International students who do not attend high school physically in Canada are not eligible for our Entrance Awards. We do have a few awards for international students (as noted in the University Calendar); no application is required. These International Awards are dispersed in the fall (October) to the International Students with the highest admission averages.