How will my co-op work term impact my awards and financial aid?

Have a co-op term coming up? Here are five tips to ensure your awards and financial aid are in order so you can remain focused on your work term.

OSAP eligibility

While completing a co-op work term, you are considered a full-time student and are eligible to apply for full-time OSAP funding. You cannot choose to apply for part-time OSAP funding.

A co-op work term is considered a 100% course load for OSAP purposes.

Updating your income

It’s important to report your study period income as accurately as possible on your OSAP application. When reporting your income don’t forget to include your expected earnings from your co-op work placement. If you have already submitted your application and need to update your reported income, contact the Awards Office. We can take care of that for you.

Taking classes

Many students decide to take a half-credit course while completing a work-term. When you apply for OSAP and select a work term, your funding will be assessed based on your co-op fees. If you plan to take a class and would like to be assessed for additional funding, send us an email so we can update your application to reflect your additional tuition and fee costs. Make sure that you include your student number in any email that you send to us.

Continuation of Interest-Free Status

The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) needs to know that you are enrolled and in school full-time for your loans to remain interest-free. If you have applied for OSAP and your application has processed, an automatic Confirmation of Enrolment process will take care of this for you. In some cases, a Continuation of Interest-Free Status/Confirmation of Enrolment (CIFS) application will need to be submitted.

If you have received OSAP during your study term, but will not be applying for OSAP during your work term, we highly recommend completing a Continuation of Interest Free Status application. This will prevent your student loans from entering repayment while you are completing your work term(s).

Remember that you must complete a Continuation of Interest-Free Status application, and submit it before the end of your 6-month grace period to avoid accruing interest on your previous government student loan. Interest accrues on the provincial portion of your loan, not the federal portion, during the grace period. Carleton University’s Awards & Financial Aid Office cannot automatically confirm your enrollment with the National Student Loan Service Centre.

Out-of-Province Students

The process for confirming your enrollment will be slightly different if you are receiving funding from a province other than Ontario.

We recommend visiting the financial aid website of your home province to learn more about the process. Links to your home province website are listed on our out-province-page.

Maintaining Scholarships

Students in a co-operative education program cannot draw upon scholarship funds during a work period. Let us know if you will be in a co-op work term in the upcoming semester so we can defer your scholarship to your next two full-time study terms (minimum 2.0 credits in each term). Students must also complete a minimum of 4.0 credits over these two terms in order to meet the course load requirement for scholarship renewal.


If you have additional questions about how your work-term may impact your awards and financial aid, email us at