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By Eva Tam

Life can be tough as a poor student. While the lucky ones make withdrawals from the bank of mom and dad, for everyone else, OSAP loans are in, and bursaries are a few days away.

Just over 6,500 students applied for OSAP loans this year. Students can finalize their loans with on-site representatives this week in KHW 372. “We have people from the National Student Loan Centre on site with us, so the student doesn’t have to leave the university to do that,” said Carole Scrase, manager of student financial assistance.

Both new and returning Ryerson students can pick up their winter loans this week, but Ryerson bursaries, offerend in both fall and winter, are another method of receiving financial support. There were more than 2,500 applications for this year’s winter bursaries, which range from $500 to $4,000.

All but 386 of applicants received grants. Only students with a grade point average below 2.0, or who were in poor academic standing, were denied bursaries; all other applicants were considered eligible. “I don’t think there was any student (who applied) that I recall that did not demonstrate financial need,” Scrase said.

Bursary awards are not renewable and non transferable from one academic year to another. Students can apply again in the fall for bursaries, but Scrase said this semester’s awards decisions are complete. “All of the decisions are made. Emails and the funding will be going to students the week of January 16, which is next week,” she said.

Both bursaries and loans are initially directed at the student’s outstanding balance. Any remaining funds are issued via cheque or direct deposit to the student’s account. “Anything that makes it easier for students to get money, without putting serious restrictions on it or making it a loan, is a great thing,” said Nora Loreto, the Ryerson Student Union’s Vice President Education.

For more information on Ryerson’s scholarships and bursaries, visit the financial aid website.

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