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Scholarship resources

  • Scholarship databases

    Below are some databases that provide information about scholarships and awards in Canada and beyond:

  • Searching for funding

    Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) administers several student financial aid programs, including the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), a variety of in-house bursaries and scholarships, and provides information on external forms of student financial assistance.

    The primary place to look for sources of funding are both at your current and/or host post-secondary institution. Universities Canada provides links to all recognized post-secondary institutions in the country.

    We also encourage you to contact public and private organizations in your particular discipline/field of study to see if they offer funding opportunities. This includes associations, agencies, professional journals and the Ministry of Education in the province/state and country in which you wish to pursue your studies.

    You should research as many funding sources as you can, learn the ones for which you may qualify and apply promptly each new school year. To be successful, you must be prepared to commit time and effort to searching for scholarships, requesting information, transcripts and letters of support, and preparing application forms and supporting documentation.

  • Applying for funding

    To be eligible for external scholarships, students are expected to have strong academic records. A grade average of A- in the most recent two years of study (undergraduate and/or graduate coursework) is usually necessary. Applications will be strengthened by evidence of research capability, research experience and previous research awards. Evidence of community involvement and leadership skills are often taken into consideration as well.

    Applications for external scholarships may be submitted directly to the organization providing the award, or applications may need to be submitted through the graduate studies office of your home university. In the latter instance, applicants may have to be ranked by a program and/or university committee. Internal application deadlines will be earlier than those posted by the granting agency in order to provide the university with sufficient time to complete the ranking process.

    Holding an award is always conditional upon being registered in a program. Successful applicants always have the right to refuse an award. Therefore, even if you are only thinking of pursuing graduate studies, you should apply for all scholarships for which you are eligible.

    All scholarship applications should be prepared with care. They must be typed and complete. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the application package, including all supporting documentation and signatures, arrives on time to meet posted deadlines. Applicants should check to see whether an award is renewable, or if a new application is required for subsequent years/terms.

  • Tips for preparing external scholarship applications

    The following resources contain helpful tips for the preparation of scholarship applications:

    If you have specific questions about format, structure or grammar when preparing your application, book an appointment with a Writing Specialist in the Student Learning Centre.

  • Winning research proposals

    Some of our past award winners have provided copies of their research proposals so that you can review sample winning proposals. You can access these proposals in your MyCampus account under the OT Graduate Studies tab, Scholarships and Awards heading.

Funding resources

Financial aid

  • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

    Graduate students interested in applying for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) should be aware that your full- or part-time status is not based on course load or credit hours. A full-time graduate student is full-time unless you formally change your status.

    Notify the Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) office in writing if you are intending to study full-time over the summer semester and wish to extend your OSAP funding.

    If you are a current OSAP recipient, you may be eligible for the Ontario Student Access Guarantee. 

    Visit the OSAP website for more information on the program and to apply for OSAP online.

    Important note: some graduate programs may not be eligible under this program.

  • Ontario Student Access Guarantee

    Through Multi-Year Accountability Agreements (MYAAs) signed with the Ministry, all provincially assisted colleges and universities agree to participate in the student access guarantee. The MYAA process is used for annual updates to institutions’ strategies and programs, and for reports back to the Ministry.

    Under the student access guarantee, it is the responsibility of institutions to ensure that graduate students are able to get enough aid to cover their costs for tuition, books, compulsory fees, equipment and supplies, when these are above the usual range of costs covered by OSAP. These are critical costs for students and they need assurance that the government and institutions will be able to provide the required level of assistance for those with established need.

    The university is required to meet the tuition/book shortfalls of full-time graduate students who have applied for OSAP, and submit a Student Financial Profile application identifying their need and requesting institutional financial aid. The Student Financial Profile can be found under the Awards and Financial Aid tab in MyCampus.

    In addressing tuition/book shortfalls of students in graduate programs, aid can be provided through bursaries, scholarships, employment support, referral to a line of credit from a lending institution, or a combination of these forms of aid.

    Please note: the Student Access Guarantee is valid for OSAP-eligible students, which may include Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and protected persons enrolled in an eligible program.

    For details on the Student Access Guarantee, visit the OSAP website.


  • Financial planning

    Financial planning is vital to being a successful student. The Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) team is available to help you prepare budgets for the school year and help you if you are experiencing a financial crisis. This process encourages you to review your income and expenses with a Financial Aid Officer to identify potential problems and explore possible solutions. Through budget counselling, you can learn skills to keep your finances in good order.

    Contact the SAFA office to book an appointment with a Financial Aid or Student Awards Officer.

  • Bursaries and awards

    Most financial need-based bursaries and donor awards are administered through the Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) office. Please visit the OT Awards and Financial Aid tab in MyCampus for various award opportunities. There are some faculty-specific awards, so please review the criteria closely before submitting your application. Instructions on applying for bursaries are available in the How to Apply for an Award document

    Bursary recipients normally receive a cheque or direct deposit to their personal bank account.