OACAS Education Tips and Supports
If you are a youth who is in care or who was in care, there are many resources available for you that can help you succeed in college or university. These programs can help with finances and improving your grades. One of these programs is the Ontario Education Championship Teams. If you have applied for OSAP, you may also qualify for benefits from several other programs.
List of Current Youth Post-Secondary Supports in Ontario
OSAP is available from the Ontario Ministry of Education and offers financial help for both full-time and part-time students in college or university. Financial help can be offered through scholarships, bursaries or grants. Students qualify based on achievements or special circumstances, which include being a First Nation or Métis student, a current or former youth in Extended Society Care, or a student with a disability. Most students applying for OSAP must report what they have saved for their education, but current or former youth in Society Care never have to report money from:
• Any savings provided by CAS from the Ontario Child Benefit Equivalent program;
• Any savings provided by CAS from the Extended Care and Maintenance allowance;
• Any bursaries or scholarships given by a CAS or CAS foundation (up to $3500).
It is easy for a student to apply for OSAP online by using their Ontario Education Number (found on any report card) to create a login.
If you are living independently or in a residential placement and your care from a CAS was ended at age 16 or17, you can now apply to Children’s Aid Services for financial help and support. Funding and support is available even if you were not able to get services from CAS before.
• Clark Awards Program
The Clark Bursary Award is available for students in college or university who are or were in care. University students who are nominated for this award will receive $4500 a year for up to four years. College students who are nominated will receive $3000 a year for up to three years. The Clark Bursary program also offers a one-time grant of $1000 for students in a skills development program. You can ask your CAS worker to fill in a form that nominates you for the award.
If you are a high school student or a mature student who needs information about college or university, take a look at schoolfinder.com. They offer all types of information about college and university programs, tuition, facilities, what you need to apply and deadlines. The website can also give you information on scholarships, other financial help, events and careers.
If you are applying to an Ontario university, then your application has to go through the OUAC. This centre processes applications for all university programs in Ontario. Make sure you have your Ontario Education Number (OEN). You can find this on your report card or you can call your high school. You will need it to apply. It costs $150 to apply to three universities/programs and $50 more for each extra school or program you apply to.
If you are applying to an Ontario college, your application has to go through the Ontariocolleges.ca website. This centre processes applications for all college programs in Ontario. They can help you find an educational program at one of Ontario’s 28 colleges that fits your interests and skills. You can apply online to five colleges and you can also accept any offers from schools on the website. Make sure you have your Ontario Education Number (OEN). You can find this on your report card or you can call your high school. You will need it to apply. It will cost $90 to apply.
If you are a full-time student in grade 11 or 12 in an Ontario high school, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program can help you make career choices by arranging work placements so you can explore careers you think you might like. You will also earn co-op credits towards your Ontario Secondary School Diploma. To learn more about OYAP, talk to your guidance counselor, your co-op teacher. or the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Coordinator for your school board.
If you are interested in college or university but cannot attend a school, there are many online and distance education options. Contact North can help you find distance education and online programs offered through Ontario school boards, colleges and universities. They can even help you find other education options so you can earn credentials, such as high school equivalency, college certificates, diplomas, applied degrees and university degrees. Contact North specializes in helping people from rural, francophone and Aboriginal communities.
If you lived in a low income community and left school early, Pathways to Education can help you get your Ontario Secondary School Diploma. They offer financial help, academic help and social support to help you succeed.
If you are an eligible Status Indian or Inuit student planning to complete college or university studies full-time or part-time, you can apply for financial help through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program.
If you have a special need when it comes to learning and need accommodation, speak up! That means being vocal about what would help you and finding out what your chosen school can offer you to help you do your very best at school.
This Resource Guide from the LDAO can help you to identify your needs and available resources at the school of your choice. It can also help you to plan and prepare what you need for your application and admissions process. Work through this document with your worker or your guidance counselor to ensure that you will have an easy transition to college or university.
The Ontario Universities’ Fair starts in Toronto and travels across Ontario each fall so that you can learn about different universities throughout the province. This fair can help you decide which programs and services at each of the 21 Ontario universities meet your unique interests and needs.
The Youth in Care Bursary offers a minimum $5,000 bursary to students coming from the child welfare system for up to four years through McGill University.
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