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Appealing OSAP


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I was wondering if any U of T med students have ever tried to appeal on OSAP loan decision, and if so, how accomodating the U of T financial aid office was.

 

My initial assessment by OSAP was that I would receive nothing for this year (as an incoming first year student), and I'm guessing the final assessment won't change that. I'm not sure OSAP properly takes into account my situation (or anyone in a similar situation), which is that I'm married and have a 1-year old, losing out on the grad student funding I'd been receiving during my PhD and about to start paying $1500 a month in day care. Thought I'd see if anyone has had any luck appealing an assessment before.

 

Also, if I can rant for a second, I can't believe OSAP considers someone who is leasing a car that is currently worth around 8K an "asset", considering it costs around $500 in lease & insurance costs a month and you don't have an option to not have a car when you have a child.

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Let me know what happens- I'm not even bothering to apply for OSAP because I will be turned down, since I have some savings from graduate school. It's really frustrating because those who are eligible for OSAP get so much money in grants and scholarships, and even the loans they get are interest free until graduation. A line of credit might cover expenses, but it's definitely a worse option. Also, it's only 150k and my guess is that a family will use it up much faster than a single person.

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I'm going to send you a pm...

 

I was wondering if any U of T med students have ever tried to appeal on OSAP loan decision, and if so, how accomodating the U of T financial aid office was.

 

My initial assessment by OSAP was that I would receive nothing for this year (as an incoming first year student), and I'm guessing the final assessment won't change that. I'm not sure OSAP properly takes into account my situation (or anyone in a similar situation), which is that I'm married and have a 1-year old, losing out on the grad student funding I'd been receiving during my PhD and about to start paying $1500 a month in day care. Thought I'd see if anyone has had any luck appealing an assessment before.

 

Also, if I can rant for a second, I can't believe OSAP considers someone who is leasing a car that is currently worth around 8K an "asset", considering it costs around $500 in lease & insurance costs a month and you don't have an option to not have a car when you have a child.

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One other thing I forgot to post originally:

 

Another reason I feel I need to appeal is that U of T says it uses OSAP information when considering bursaries and some financial-based scholarships, and I'm not sure if I will be considered for them if OSAP determines I don't deserve any money (does anyone know for sure about this??? i.e. could I get $0 from OSAP but 6K in bursaries?).

 

So potentially 5K in free money in grants from OSAP + 6K (avg for first year med student) in free money from U of T in bursaries...I've already arranged my 150K LOC but it would be nice if I could avoid maxing it out before end of third year.

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Sorry but many, many people have no car with one or more children. I see them on public transportation all the time.

 

Yes, a car is an asset. I wish I could afford one. if you got rid of the car you should get some OSAP.

 

Surely, you can find good quality child care for less than $1500 a month.

 

If bursaries or scholarships mention financial need you would have had to qualify for OSAP.

 

If you manage your money you can survive on 150K over four years. Does your partner work?

 

As you can see I have little sympathy. I intend to live like a pauper for the next four years and yes I have a child. My child will not suffer though.

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I still think she should qualify for full OSAP - actually I think we all should. Any program that requires you to pay 15-20 thousand in tutition, and force you to take a huge line of credit should automatically qualify you for OSAP in my books :)

 

The trouble with OSAP is that it looks at assets, but not liabilities. You can be in debt to your eyeballs but if you have a fraction of that amount in assets you get nothing.

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Seriously. I'm in a similar boat (minus the child). I've just finished my PhD, and I am married as well. I now can no longer contribute to our mortgage back in Ottawa, and my wife can't move, so i'll be commuting, plus i still have to rent a place. You need a car in order to attend clerkships, and how the heck is a leased car an asset? You can't sell it to get money back...eesh...let me know if you have any luck with appealing. I'm going to see if i can as well.

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Wow. What a nice bit of "judgeyness" to perk up the afternoon. You have no idea how this person chooses to allocate his/her resources. It may have been more economical to rent/buy away from the downtown core & lease a car than the converse. I would bet that this car was not leased in the last 6 months or so and leases are difficult and expensive to break. Regardless, the point is that you just don't know. I'm sure sharing your plan for your family was meant to be helpful but it definitely could have come without the holier than thou tone...

 

Sorry but many, many people have no car with one or more children. I see them on public transportation all the time.

 

Yes, a car is an asset. I wish I could afford one. if you got rid of the car you should get some OSAP.

 

Surely, you can find good quality child care for less than $1500 a month.

 

If bursaries or scholarships mention financial need you would have had to qualify for OSAP.

 

If you manage your money you can survive on 150K over four years. Does your partner work?

 

As you can see I have little sympathy. I intend to live like a pauper for the next four years and yes I have a child. My child will not suffer though.

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We as first years do not do clerkships so we don't need a car yet.

 

A leased car is an asset as you can buy the thing at the end of the lease for a pretty good price.

 

I didn't mean to sound holier than thou but I feel we all should be careful or we are going to end up in serious financial trouble when we are doctors.

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"We as first years..." is assuming that all first years are essentially the average of their parts. It may be more likely than not that in the first year class you do not require a car, but to say, unequivocally that "We as first years" do not need a car neglects all the millions of little differences between the 200 some odd students in the class. Some will and some won't need/want/have a car.

 

For one, I can think of a number of situations in which one would require a car in first year medical school. I personally am not so lucky as to have got in to UT meds, but if I had, it would make very good financial sense for me to continue to live at home in King City and commute each day from Downsview or Yorkdale. In order to get there I require a car. If I had a child, I would certainly require a car to take her to daycare (not to mention I would be even more disinclined to move to a shabby apt in Chinatown to save money). I can't possibly grocery shop without a car. I even require a car to get my mail.

 

Secondly, with 8000 as the value of a car that is leased, and assume its nearing the end of its lease, lets just say three months left at some 500 a month, the effective assets he has committed to the car are only 1500, but OSAP is considering this a 8000 dollar asset. That is one of the ridiculous parts of this. Secondly, if he were to decide to buy the car afterwards, he would have to pay for it still, he doesnt currently control an 8000$ asset; the car probably represents considerably less.

 

Aside: The last silly point about OSAP is that they dont consider your primary residence an asset. So if you own a million dollar home and no car, youre more likely, all else equal of course, to get funded than if you have no home and a 10000 dollar car.

 

It angers me when people presume to have the facts necessary to make a judgment when in truth they have effectively none. Your tone continues in fact to be holier than thou and I think the OP is probably being very careful indeed to ensure he does not end up in serious financial trouble when he gets out.

 

 

 

We as first years do not do clerkships so we don't need a car yet.

 

A leased car is an asset as you can buy the thing at the end of the lease for a pretty good price.

 

I didn't mean to sound holier than thou but I feel we all should be careful or we are going to end up in serious financial trouble when we are doctors.

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I appreciate the understanding of whoami & others...

 

And in response to Hopeful_Med:

 

I won't bother getting into an argument over whether I or anyone *needs* a car. I could probably make do (though painfully) without one but it makes life a lot easier when you don't live near a grocery store & other amenities.

 

But no, a leased car is, or shouldn't be, considered an asset. You do not build any equity when leasing a car, i.e. I don't actually own anything. The ownership papers for the car show GM as the owner. I am 2.5 years into a 5 year lease on pretty much the cheapest car you can lease ($270 a month), the buyback on the car at the end of 5 years is around $5K, which will probably be more than the car is actually worth at that point. I'm not saying I should get more OSAP because I pay $500 (incl insurance) a month for a car, but counting a leased car as an asset is beyond dumb. Plus, if you own a car worth $5K or less OSAP doesn't count it at all, but if you own a car worth $5,001 suddenly it becomes an asset? Where does this magical $5K cut-off come from? Oh ya, you also can't simply sell a leased car.

 

I would bet a lot of money, Hopeful_Med, that you're not from Toronto, and therefore you assume the daycare situation of whereever you're from holds true for Toronto. In Toronto, there does not exist any form of daycare, even unlicensed home daycares in the most ghetto area of Jane & Finch, for less than $1300 a month.

 

Finally, yes, my wife works, and her salary just barely covers daycare and our car payments. Therefore we need to find/borrow enough money to cover $20K in tuition plus monthly OSAP payments for my wife's outstanding $10K in debt from her student loans, plus rent, groceries and all other living expenses. I didn't intend to make the original post to complain; I only wanted to get feedback about whether I I had any chance of appealing the decision by OSAP because I think it sucks that I'll lose out on $10-$12K in free money and another $7K in a completely interest free loan this year.

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I don't think OSAP counts the car if it's worth less than $5000, so that might be worth considering. Also, a lot of people drive a car that's in someone else's name. Try talking to the financial advisor who works with med students at the university - they often have useful tips.

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I don't think OSAP counts the car if it's worth less than $5000, so that might be worth considering. Also, a lot of people drive a car that's in someone else's name. Try talking to the financial advisor who works with med students at the university - they often have useful tips.

 

Yeah exactly, transfering ownership to your parents etc is quite common. Also someone mentioned there was a way to appeal specifically the car amount and it is often raised to 10,000, which is a lot more reasonable I would say.

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Hi Toronto PhD,

 

I am in the same boat, starting at Ottawa this fall. I am 32 with a wife on mat leave and 3 kids. We own a minivan, which we bought last fall, probably worth $18 000 now.

 

I haven't applied for OSAP yet, but will be shortly. I was surprised (read: terrified) to see your posting. Regardless of whether a car is "necessary" or not, I would imagine that even living cheaply you would have be spending between 50-70K per year, including school fees, just to live. So whether you have a 10K or 20K car, you are still massively short and should qualify for OSAP (in my humble opinion).

 

Are there other details that are missing here?

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Torontophd,

 

To answer your original question you can appeal and you might win but your wife's salary might also be a problem. You might end up with some OSAP but I would not count on it. There are thousands like you all over Ontario.

 

The only good thing about us future medical students is that we have access to that wonderful 150K LOC which most students can never get even though their tuition is high.

 

JTG, your minivan is going to be a problem if you apply for OSAP. Hopefully your wife will be returning to the workforce soon.

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Hi,

 

I just inputed my data in the OSAP estimator calculator, I put in an asset value of $18 000 for the van. The estimator calculated $50 000 worth of expenses for one year (tuition included), and said I would be eligible for OSAP of $18 000 per year.

 

TorontoPhD, when you use this calculator what does it tell you? Is there disagreement between the calculator and the final decision?

 

As far as my wife re-entering the workforce, work out full or part daycare x 3(kids are 4, 2.5, newborn) and then how much money she would have to make to pay for that......

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I fully understand Toronto_PhD’s situation. My wife and I (with our little kid) came to Canada 15 years ago to do our graduate studies. Although we lived very cheaply without any aids other than our stipends, we used all our saving to buy a used car. Looking back I would say the car was a must.

Now our kid becomes an incoming 1T3. Since parent’s salaries may be taken into consideration our kid may not qualify for OSAP. We will have to either increase our mortgage or to free up some money by switching to a smaller house. Although it is not easy but I am glad that we have been this far.

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Hi,

 

I just inputed my data in the OSAP estimator calculator, I put in an asset value of $18 000 for the van. The estimator calculated $50 000 worth of expenses for one year (tuition included), and said I would be eligible for OSAP of $18 000 per year.

 

TorontoPhD, when you use this calculator what does it tell you? Is there disagreement between the calculator and the final decision?

 

from my understanding, the most you can receive from OSAP in one year is just over 13000....your 18000 seems inaccuarate

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I fully understand Toronto_PhD’s situation. My wife and I (with our little kid) came to Canada 15 years ago to do our graduate studies. Although we lived very cheaply without any aids other than our stipends, we used all our saving to buy a used car. Looking back I would say the car was a must.

Now our kid becomes an incoming 1T3. Since parent’s salaries may be taken into consideration our kid may not qualify for OSAP. We will have to either increase our mortgage or to free up some money by switching to a smaller house. Although it is not easy but I am glad that we have been this far.

 

I hope you don't have to move to help your child pay for his or her tuition! Your child should meet with the financial aid people in the admissions office before you make any decisions. A child becomes an independent after being out of high school for 4 years, so even if s/he doesn't qualify now, that will likely change. Also, your child will be eligible for a $150,000 student line of credit. Almost all med students have significant loans and LOCs to pay back, but I'd say everyone manages. I hope you aren't impacted in the process!

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from my understanding, the most you can receive from OSAP in one year is just over 13000....your 18000 seems inaccuarate

 

You can get more if you have children and your S.O. is not bringing in any income. For 4 children, no income from anyone it is over 20,000 for instance. Found this out about a month ago myself, when helping someone prepare for school this fall.

 

Wonder how that works with their loan forgiveness plan :)

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I think the limit increases with the number of dependents you have, so 3 young children and an unemployed wife might lead to an increase in OSAP (for good reason).

 

You can get more if you have children and your S.O. is not bringing in any income. For 4 children, no income from anyone it is over 20,000 for instance. Found this out about a month ago myself, when helping someone prepare for school this fall.

 

Wonder how that works with their loan forgiveness plan :)

 

yeah, that makes sense...the maximum I was told must have been for students who ARE dependent, lol

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