Sunday, my wife and I and my two daughters (who are still at University) sat at the kitchen table to tackle the odious task of applying for OSAP grants and paying for tuition for the coming school term.
This whole thing took about 1 and a half hours and at the end of it we had to:
- Reference the school(s) web site(s) to find the fees that need to be paid (and evidently library fines too). At the end of it, we actually had to check on 3 different University sites (one of my daughters is taking a course that includes courses from two different schools). This was just to get Tuition, if you have a child in residence you may have to check in different parts of the web site to find all the fees.
- Have copies of mine and my wife’s latest tax forms for the OSAP application.
- Know how much your children have made this year as income.
- Balances of any RESPs that you have set up for your kids
- Have all the printers for all 3 computers you are using because you are going to be printing out forms for the OSAP application (no kidding my kids didn’t have the house printer set up).
- A pen to sign all the forms for your kids.
- The OSAP forms then have to be dropped off at school in some fashion or another, and if this is the first time your child is applying, they will either need a cheque or something form the bank for where the Grant/Loan will be put (or you can say have the money go directly to the school which cuts out this part of the fun and games)
At the end of this I had to pay the tuition but even that isn’t as easy as you think because one school allows me to pay with my Credit Card (hey I get PC Points from that so I am happy), however two of the other schools only allow me to pay on line with my bank, and in that case I need to know when the Tuition is due, because I am only going to pay that on the day it is due.
All in all, an interesting way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Oh and we haven’t looked at books and such either.
Am I a bad parent because I have never looked at an OSAP form? I am a single, lower income parent with 2 sons in university and they have always taken care of the forms, registrations, applications and budgeting themselves. I just have to leave my tax return out and they get the numbers they need from it. Later I sign on the line that says sign here.
If they want to go to school and are bright enough for university they need to do the work and navigate the process themselves.
I must admit that my parents very much let me manage my education (i.e. here is the money, you fill the damn forms in), but I also didn’t fill in OSAP forms either. It is a worthwhile exercise to manage your own education.
Do parents really need to be involved in applying to OSAP these days? Back when I applied for student loans I think I did it without any parent involvement, but I also remember I didn’t qualify for the first two years (and the juicy remissions-which seem to be called grants these days) because my parents made too much money. This was in Alberta, different times, different system.
No OSAP so far for my kids, just hand over the RESP money and let them take care of everything. They get enough to pay for half a degree living way from home and the rest is up to them. It’s been good motivation to save from high school jobs and live frugally.
As for registering for your kids courses, bap bap bap bap, I think I hear a helicopter parent coming :).
Well the kids need my financial info as they are still my dependents, I believe they can self-identify as a Stand-Alone entity (i.e. I don’t get no money from my parents), however I am not sure if the parents need to send a corroborating letter or not. As for the Helicopter parent comment, I don’t choose my kids courses, I just tell them they need to do it.
I guess I need to get better with my @’s, it’s @LifeInsuranceCanada.com that I was poking fun about helicopter parenting.
Don’t forget you must sign with a BLACK pen!
Very true, yes, it actually says on the form you must use a BLACK PEN! That’s a bit anal, but I suppose it is for a good reason.
Fun times? I’m really surprised schools let people pay tuition via credit card. If the banks charge them the same fees as businesses, that’s quite a loss!
Well the school in question is Acadia University and evidently they used to receive large cash amounts in the mail, so they decided to allow Credit Card Payments. Trent University (the other university in question) allowed us to pay via Credit Card (last year), but have since changed their policy.
My spouse handles that huge task entirely, thankfully. She also handles registering for my kid’s courses and making sure they have a great schedule – which I understand is a monumental task.
The key is, do it early. We’ve got as many books as we can get already – first kick at used textbooks and no lineups at the bookstore!