2016-17 Ontario Bridging Participant Assistance Program

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Ontario Bridging Participant Assistance Program (OBPAP)?
  2. The Ontario Bridging Participant Assistance Program (OBPAP) provides bursaries of up to $5,000 to cover direct education costs (tuition, books and equipment) for internationally trained professionals attending bridge training programs offered by Ontario colleges of applied arts and technology, publicly-assisted universities and the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences (postsecondary institutions) that have been approved by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) and are not approved for purposes of OSAP.

    OBPAP bursary assistance is also available to students with financial need attending approved bridge training programs offered by postsecondary institutions that are indirectly funded by MCI through Employment Ontario Service Providers.

  3. Who is eligible?
  4. Internationally trained professionals with financial need are eligible to apply for an OBPAP bursary if they are enrolled in MCI-approved bridge training programs that are:

    • non-OSAP approved
    • currently or formerly MCI-funded (directly or indirectly1)  
    • starting between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.
    • offered at the postsecondary institutions set out in the response to question 1.

    Bursary assistance is limited to program tuition, book and equipment costs reported by the postsecondary institution offering the bridge training.

    The OBPAP bursary applicant must be a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident or Protected Person living in Ontario and not be in default of a student loan, restricted from OSAP eligibility or be in receipt of Second Career or OSAP funding.

  5. Is OBPAP bursary assistance available to students enrolled in preparatory courses/programs that lead to bridge training?
  6. No. OBPAP bursary assistance is only available to eligible students enrolled in approved bridge training programs (listed in the response to question 22) that lead to employment.

  7. What is the bursary maximum?
  8. The bursary covers up to $5,000 in direct education costs.

    The OBPAP bursary maximum is the lesser of $5,000 or tuition, book and equipment costs reported by the postsecondary institution for the bridge training. The maximum amount available for each bridge training project is outlined in the response to question 22.

  9. If I am selected for an OBPAP bursary, will I receive the bursary maximum? 
  10. Yes, unless your costs are less than the bursary maximum. Institutions are required to provide OBPAP bursary recipients with the bursary maximum established for their bridging program to cover eligible tuition, book and equipment costs incurred by students. The maximum will not be issued where less costs are incurred to complete a bridge training program (e.g., if the bursary maximum is $1,000 and you incur $800 in eligible costs to complete your bridging program, you would receive a bursary of $800).

    Given that funding is limited, OBPAP bursary assistance is available to applicants with the greatest assessed financial need. 

  11. How is financial need determined?
  12. The postsecondary institution offering the bridge training determines financial need based on their policies regarding student financial need.

    Students with assessed financial need are eligible to receive an OBPAP bursary to cover eligible educational costs. Priority is given to those students with the greatest assessed financial need.

  13. What is covered?
  14. The bursary covers bridge training costs (tuition, books and equipment) reported by the postsecondary institution that is offering the program.

  15. How do I obtain bursary funding?
  16. Applications for an OBPAP bursary can be made through the Financial Aid Office of your postsecondary institution.

    If you are awarded an OBPAP bursary, the postsecondary institution will take the bursary funding and apply it against tuition, book and equipment costs that you would otherwise have to pay to the postsecondary institution for the bridge training.  Any remaining funds will be issued to you (based on receipts submitted) to reimburse you for mandatory program book and equipment costs.

  17. Can I apply for an OBPAP bursary after I have completed an eligible bridge training program?
  18. No. Application for OBPAP bursary assistance must be made before or during the bridge training period.

  19. Does the OBPAP bursary cover day care and transportation costs? Can bursary funds be used to cover prior learning and assessments (e.g., Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)), English proficiency tests, immunizations or criminal reference checks?
  20. No. The OBPAP bursary only covers direct education costs (tuition, books and equipment) that students pay for the bridge training.

  21. Can I receive OBPAP bursary assistance above what I am being charged by the postsecondary institution for my bridge training and/or mandatory books and equipment?
  22. No.

  23. Can the bursary be renewed?
  24. No.

  25. My bridge training program involves a series of courses that span a number of academic years. How can I cover my bridge training costs if I can receive only one OBPAP bursary?
  26. Given that students can only receive one OBPAP bursary and some bridge training programs entail a series of courses that can take more than one year to complete, postsecondary institutions may set aside the bursary maximum for a student to cover his/her 2016-17 and future year education costs.

  27. Can this bursary assistance be combined with other forms of assistance (e.g., bursaries or scholarships) to offset bridge training tuition, books and equipment costs?
  28. Yes. However, in such circumstances, the other forms of financial assistance must first be applied to offset eligible bridge training costs prior to using OBPAP funds to cover any remaining costs.

    For example, if a student with $5,000 in eligible OBPAP bridge training costs were to receive a $3,500 institutional bursary, that bursary would first be applied to cover these costs. The remaining $1,500 in eligible bridge training costs could be covered through OBPAP.  The OBPAP bursary cannot be combined with OSAP funding (see questions 19, 20 and 21 for further details).

  29. If I have $8,500 in tuition, book and equipment costs and the maximum amount for my OBPAP bursary is $5,000 and I am also eligible to receive a $3,500 bursary, how much OBPAP bursary assistance can I receive?
  30. In this case you would receive $8,500 in combined bursary assistance. The $3,500 bursary would first be applied to reduce eligible education costs and the balance would be covered up to the OBPAP bursary maximum established for your bridge training program (in this case $5,000). Please see question 22 for a listing of OBPAP bursary maximums by bridge training program.

  31. What happens if I fail a course?
  32. If your bridge training consists of a series of courses, you will have to pay to repeat the course that you failed.

    If your bridge training consists of a single course you will have to pay to repeat the course.

    OBPAP bursary assistance is not renewable.

  33. What happens if I drop a course?
  34. If your bridge training consists of a series of courses you will have to pay to repeat the course that you dropped.  If your bridge training consists of a single course you will be considered, for the purposes of OBPAP, as having withdrawn from the program and you will have to pay to repeat the course.

    Students who have their tuition fees covered through OBPAP and subsequently withdraw from their program will be required to return unused tuition fees to the postsecondary institution offering the bridge training. 

  35. Can I continue to receive OBPAP bursary assistance if I wish to change bridge training programs?
  36. No. OBPAP bursary assistance is intended to allow students to access bridge training which will allow them to practice in the profession for which they were trained. As such, OBPAP bursary assistance is not intended to fund retraining in other fields/professions.

  37. I am enrolled in an OSAP-approved bridge training program; can I apply for an OBPAP bursary instead of a student loan?
  38. No. OBPAP bursary assistance is only available to students enrolled in non-OSAP approved bridge training programs.

  39. I had to take out an OSAP student loan to cover my bridge training costs. Why are other students receiving subsidized or no cost bridge training as a result of the OBPAP bursary?
  40. OBPAP bursary assistance is only available to students enrolled in non-OSAP approved bridge training programs.

    Although your bridge training program does not qualify for an OBPAP bursary and you will have to repay your OSAP student loan, student loan recipients derive many benefits that can exceed OBPAP bursary amounts.  For instance, students in two-term programs can have annual repayable loan amounts reduced to $7,500 and $11,250 for three-term programs through the Ontario Student Opportunity Grant (OSOG).  

    Students with low incomes may also be eligible to receive non-repayable provincial grants to help cover tuition costs and federal grants for living/study expenses.

    OSAP student loans are also interest free while students are in school.

  41. Can I receive OBPAP and OSAP at the same time?
  42. No. OBPAP is intended to help eligible students enrolled in approved bridge training programs to obtain employment in the field for which they were trained. While OSAP-approved postsecondary programs encompass full-time study and lead to a degree, diploma or certificate, OBPAP bursary recipients have already obtained a postsecondary credential and are seeking training to access employment in their field.

  43. Which bridge training programs have been approved by MCI to offer OBPAP bursary assistance in 2016-17 and what are the award maximums?
  44. Students enrolled in the following approved bridge training programs will be eligible to apply for OBPAP bursary assistance in 2016-17. The OBPAP bursary maximum specified for each program reflects direct education costs reported by the postsecondary institution for the program. Each postsecondary institution is responsible for submitting timely and accurate program information to MCI.

Postsecondary
Institution

Name of Program

Bursary Maximum (Based on
Reported Direct Education Costs)

Collège Boréal Gestion de projets Education Costs up to $2,155 ($1,650 in tuition fees and up to $505 for textbooks)
Fanshawe College Bridging for Internationally Educated Nurses (BIEN) Education Costs up to $5,000 (up to $7,020 in tuition fees, up to $1,990 for textbooks and up to $400 for equipment)
George Brown College Enhanced Academic Pathway for Nurses Graduate Certificate Education Costs up to $5,000 (up to $8,611 in tuition fees, $200 for equipment and up to $1,500 for textbooks)
Humber College Mobile Systems Integration Bridging Program for Internationally Trained IT Professionals Education Costs up to $3,743.18 ($3,243.18 in tuition fees and up to $500 for textbooks)
Humber College NET Solutions for Internationally Trained IT Professionals Education Costs up to $3,556.40 ($3,056.40 in tuition fees and up to $500 for textbooks)
Humber College Engineering Software Skills Enhancement Project Education Costs up to $3,525.66 ($3,005.66 in tuition fees and up to $520 for textbooks)
Humber College Leadership Connections Education Costs up to $565 ($565 in tuition fees)
Humber College Sales and Marketing Connections Education Costs up to $565 ($565 in tuition fees)
Humber College Trades WIN Support Program Education Costs up to $450 ($300 in tuition fees and up to $150 for books and equipment)
Humber College Supply Chain Awareness Program for Employment (SCAPE) Education Costs up to $160 ($160 in tuition fees)
La Cité collégiale Programme d'emplois spécialisés en soutien à l'Ontario rural (ESSOR) Education Costs up to $4,887.25 ($4,435.25 in tuition fees and $452 for books and materials)
La Cité collégiale Programme d'accès aux métiers de la construction pour les immigrants (PAMCI) Education Costs up to $2,401.28 ($1,971.88 in tuition fees and $429.40 for books and materials)
La Cité collégiale Programme d'accès aux services de santé pour les immigrants (PASSI) Education Costs up to $3,242.99 ($2,889.86 in tuition fees and $353.13 for books and materials)
McMaster University Occupational Therapy Examination and Practice Preparation (OTepp) Education Costs up to $5,000 (up to $8,795 in tuition fees and up to $160 for textbooks and equipment)
Mohawk College Bridging for Internationally Educated Nurses (BIEN) Education Costs up to $5,000 (up to $6,258.72 in tuition fees and up to $1,176.57 for textbooks and equipment)
Mohawk College Internationally Educated Medical Laboratory Technologists Education Costs up to $5,000 (up to $9,800 in tuition fees and up to $900 for textbooks)
Mohawk College Bridging to Employment - Information and Communications Technology and Environmental Occupations Education Costs up to $1,878.52 (up to $1,178.52 in tuition fees and up to $700 for books and equipment)
Ryerson University Middle Level Managers with Technical Background (MLM) Education Costs up to $4,383 ($4,083 in tuition fees and up to $300 for textbooks)
Ryerson University International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program (IMPP) Education Costs up to $5,000 (up to $6,280 in tuition fees and up to $1,000 for textbooks and equipment)
Ryerson University Workplace Communications in Canada Education Costs up to $2,500 ($2,500 in tuition fees)
Ryerson University  Engineering Connections: Project Management Education Costs up to $452 ($452 in tuition fees)
Ryerson University Information Technology Connections Education Costs up to $565 ($565 in tuition fees)
Ryerson University Green Economy Bridging Program Education Costs up to $300 ($300 in tuition fees)
Ryerson University Immigrant Professionals Leveraging Architectural Knowledge for New Opportunities (IPlan) Education Costs up to $930 ($500 in tuition fees and $430 for books)
Seneca College Bridging to Green Careers Education Costs up to $2,723.71 ($2,158.45 in tuition fees and $565.26 for textbooks)
Seneca College Financial Services Connections Education Costs up to $565 ($565 in tuition fees)
Seneca College Business Services Bridging Program Education Costs up to $300 ($300 in tuition fees)
Seneca College Job Skills Human Resources Bridging Program Education Costs up to $865 (up to $865 in tuition fees)
Seneca College Bridge Training Program for Internationally Trained Mental Health Professionals Education Costs up to $1,412.50 ($1,412.50 in tuition fees)
Sheridan College Supply Chain Connections Education Costs up to $565 ($565 in tuition fees)
Sheridan College HR Connections Education Costs up to $565 ($565 in tuition fees)
University of Toronto Business Edge for Internationally Educated Professionals Education Costs up to $2,000 ($2,000 in tuition fees)
University of Toronto Licensing International Engineers into the Profession Education Costs up to $5,000 ($5,350 in tuition fees and $1,250 for textbooks)
University of Toronto Bridge Training for Internationally Educated Pharmacy Graduates Education Costs up to $5,000 ($13,000 in tuition fees, up to $900 for textbooks and up to $500 for course notes)
University of Toronto Certificate in Life Science Enterprise (LSE) Education Costs up to $2,085 ($2,035 in tuition fees and $50 for books)
University of Toronto Ontario Internationally Educated Physiotherapists Bridging Program Education Costs up to $5,000 (tuition fees range from $1,000 to $6,000)
University of Waterloo International Optometric Bridging Program Education Costs up to $5,000 ($8,000 in tuition fees and up to $3,000 for equipment)
York University Bridge Training for Internationally Educated Professionals (Business, Finance, Management and Information Technology) Education Costs up to $3,900 (up to $2,300 in tuition fees and up to $1,600 for textbooks)
York University Bridge Training for Internationally Educated Professionals (Human Resources) Education Costs up to $3,900 (up to $2,300 in tuition fees and up to $1,600 for textbooks)
York University Osgoode NCA On-line Exam Preparation Courses Education Costs up to $3,073 (up to $2,200 in tuition fees and up to $873 for textbooks)
The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences Medical Radiological Technology (MRT) Education Costs up to $5,000 ($4,000 in tuition fees and $1,000 for course notes and equipment)
The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Education Costs up to $5,000 ($4,000 in tuition fees, $1,000 for course notes and equipment and $750 for laboratory supplies)

  1. My postsecondary institution is charging me more fees than listed in the table above. Can the institution use its OBPAP funding allocation to increase the OBPAP bursary maximum for my bridge training program to cover these fees?
  2. No. Each postsecondary institution is responsible for submitting timely and accurate program information to MCI. Students in such circumstances should contact the Financial Aid Office of their institution to determine if they are eligible for other financial assistance (e.g., other bursaries or grants). 

    Alternatively, postsecondary institutions can contribute funds to increase the amount of OBPAP bursary assistance.

  3. I started a bridge training program in April 2016 for which I have paid all the fees. Am I eligible for an OBPAP bursary? If yes, given that I have already paid the program fees will the bursary be directed to me instead of the postsecondary institution?
  4. In-session 2016-17 bridge training programs starting on or after April 1, 2016 are eligible for OBPAP bursary assistance. If you are enrolled in an MCI approved bridge training program and qualify for an OBPAP bursary, the bursary will be directed to you to reimburse you (based on submitted receipts) for the eligible education costs that you paid.

  5. Are Second Career recipients eligible for the bursary?
  6. No.

  7. Are students who have defaulted on their student loans or are restricted from OSAP eligible for OBPAP bursary assistance?
  8. No.

  9. Am I eligible for interest-free status on my student loans while participating in an approved OBPAP bridge training program?
  10. Contact your Financial Aid Office or the National Student Loan Service Centre at 1-888-815-4514 to determine which programs may be available to help you keep your student loans in good standing while in bridge training programs.

  11. Does my postsecondary institution provide any information about me to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development?
  12. The administration of OBPAP by your postsecondary institution is subject to audit by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. During the course of any such audit, your postsecondary institution may have to disclose relevant personal information about you to the auditors.

    The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development may also evaluate and monitor OBPAP by conducting follow-up surveys with students who received OBPAP bursary assistance. Your postsecondary institution is required to maintain up-to-date contact information of such students and, at the request of the Ministry, your postsecondary institution is required to provide this personal information to the Ministry in order to ask these students to participate in such a survey.

    Apart from this, however, your postsecondary institution is required to provide de-personalized reports about OBPAP to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development so the Ministry can monitor and evaluate the administration of OBPAP.

1 Bridge training programs that are indirectly funded by MCI through Employment Ontario Service Providers. OBPAP bursary assistance is not available to students attending former indirectly funded MCI bridge training programs.