- Award Category: Financial Assistance
- Level of Study : Doctoral, Master’s
- Required Legal Status : Domestic
OSOTF awards refer to a class of endowed awards first established in 1996 from Ontario government’s matching program called “Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund”. Under the program, every dollar of donation received was matched by the government as well as the University on a dollar-for-dollar basis, to set up permanent endowment funds to assist Ontario students with financial need. In other words, the donor provided 1/3 of the funding, matched by 1/3 from the Province, and the University provided a 1/3 to boost the overall endowed amounts.
The Provincial government held two matching program periods for OSOTF awards (the first in 1996, second in 2003), resulting in establishing OSOTF and OSOTF II awards.
In 2005, the Ontario government launched the Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS) program, which replaced the OSOTF program, and provided $50 million per year to match private and corporate cash donations. Smaller universities and colleges that received endowments averaging less than $1,000 a student had their donation amounts tripled by the government if they exceeded the historical level of fundraising attained by the school. The OTSS program was discontinued in 2012 when the Ontario government started providing a 30 per cent tuition rebate for eligible students under OSAP.
Although the matching programs have ended, the University continues to offer awards each year from the income generated from these endowments to domestic students who are residents of Ontario and demonstrate financial need.
References: OSOTF, OSOTF II, OTSS, OTSS discontinued.
Awards categorized as “OSOTF” (Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund) or “OTSS” (Ontario Trust for Student Support) are open to eligible applicants who meet the following criteria, in addition to the criteria specified by the individual award:
At the time of application students must:
- Demonstrate financial need;
- Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person; and
- Be a resident of Ontario.
- Demonstrate financial need through one of the following financial need assessment processes:
- Need Navigator: A new tool that houses a financial need application which will be used to assess students’ eligibility for UTAPS and divisional grants; divisions can access information to match students with their local needs-based funding opportunities.
- OSAP: Students approved for OSAP are considered OSOTF eligible in the same academic year; or
- SGS Financial Need Assessment Form (FNA): Available for students who cannot submit an application to OSAP or Need Navigator.
- Are Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada or protected persons under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) at the time of the application; and
- Are residents of Ontario* at the time of the application, as defined by one of the following criteria:
- Student has always lived in Ontario (i.e. Ontario is the only Canadian province/territory that the student has lived in); or
- Ontario is the last province in which student has lived for 12 months in a row without being a full-time postsecondary student; or
- Student lives in Ontario now and has lived in Canada for less than 12 months in a row.
If student is married/common-law, student can be considered an Ontario resident if: Spouse has always lived in Ontario; or Ontario is the last province in which spouse has lived for 12 months in a row without being a full-time postsecondary student; or Both of these statements are true: a) Student lives in Ontario now; and b) Student and spouse have lived in Canada for less than 12 months in a row.
If student qualifies as a dependent student, student is considered an Ontario resident if: Ontario is the last province in which parent(s) have lived for at least 12 months in a row; or Both of these statements are true: a) Student lives in Ontario now; and b) Student and parent(s) have lived in Canada for less than 12 months in a row.
*The above requirements are established by OSAP to determine Ontario residency for OSAP purposes.
Application process and deadlines vary across divisions depending on the awarding faculty/graduate unit/department.