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OSAP issues -- academic probation 
21st-Jul-2010 05:35 pm
Hey all, well I had a pretty terrible year academically this past semester due to personal/psych issues and whatnot so I ended up failing 2 classes and withdrawing from some other ones (I think I made a post about that before too). I'm ready for a better start this year but I recently got notice from OSAP that they are denying me funding due to academic probation. The msg from the OSAP site reads this:

You have been placed on academic probation for OSAP purposes. Because you have not maintained satisfactory academic progress, you must provide a letter of explanation outlining your situation including the reason(s) you have not progressed academically. This letter should also outline your academic objectives. You must also provide a copy of your transcripts from previous institutions for the past two years of study (if applicable).

Just wondering if anyone has gone through this before or has any advice. It's just a really bad situation all around and I really need that loan, I can't afford school otherwise. I know I should talk to the registrar but if anyone has any personal exp. with doing this it'd be much appreciated too. Thanks.
21st-Jul-2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
This has happened to me in the past and it does suck, but there are ways to recover from it, thankfully. For the letter you have to write, it doesn't have to be so extreme, but I basically wrote a paragraph on why my grades sucked (ex. transition from high school to college was difficult, I had a job, etc), and then I wrote a second paragraph on my whole ~plan~ to improve my grades (seeking out help from TAs, making a schedule of readings/deadlines, time management, etc etc). Just make it sound like you are REALLY regretful and sorry.

If this is the first notice of probation, I think you'll still get OSAP this year, but you just have to write that letter and send your transcript AND make sure your grades for the upcoming school year are above the minimum requirement (it's 1.5 or something, I can't remember). If your grades are bad again, then they'll suspend you and you won't be able to get OSAP next school year.

Anyway, I hope that helps. And I guess just some words of comfort, this/it happens a lot more often than people realize. I know so many people who are "good students" who still were put on probation because university is just a bitch sometimes, haha. So don't worry about it; just get that letter sent in ASAP. My first year was horrible and I had to withdrawal from some courses, just like you did ...and I'm still in school and getting OSAP, so you should be fine. Good luck!

21st-Jul-2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
Aw thanks SO much for your advice, it really helps a lot and is kinda reassuring for me, lol. Is the letter sent directly to OSAP or did you have to go through your registrar?
21st-Jul-2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
NP! The letter is sent directly to OSAP; you shouldn't have to deal with your registrar at all. There should be an address and a form of some sort on the OSAP website or with the notice they sent you. But if not, just go to FinAid and they'll help you out. You might even be able to give it to them.
22nd-Jul-2010 03:11 am (UTC)
really? when I called UofT financial aid office they told me to send it to them since UofT is the one that deals with OSAP and the OSAP office really only deals with out of province students... the letter I printed off from OSAP website I'm 95% sure said to mail it to your financial institution
22nd-Jul-2010 03:29 am (UTC)
Every school (or most of the universities anyway) should have their own financial aid office, so technically you are doing it through UofT, but it's through UofT's financial aid office, which they then send to OSAP.
22nd-Jul-2010 03:39 am (UTC)
Right, yeah - i also just realized that FinAid is basically within U of T anyway. I'm thinking I might just drop it off there instead of mailing it. I delayed a bit because I was kind of panicking but hopefully it won't be too late to get things in order. Thx again.
21st-Jul-2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
My friend was in this situation - like shadybrightside said, she just briefly outlined her situation, and explained her "action plan" for the future. She ended up having the full amount given to her after a little bit, so definitely do it ASAP.
22nd-Jul-2010 03:09 am (UTC)
ahhh I just got that letter despite having 2 degrees and being in year 3/3 of a 3rd... I called the school and they basically just told me to explain why I haven't made progress (which for me is bogus but anyways), any factors that led to lower grades and how you plan to do better this year.

Basically just say you had personal issues that affected your ability to do well on school (thus having to drop a couple courses) but since then you've been able to get the issues dealt with and are on a much better track.

And that you know you'll have catching up to do since you failed some and dropped some so you're plannning on getting extra help from a TA or tutors, using other resources (ie writing centres, library resources and tutorials), ensuring you're doing readings and making notes on the readings etc.

Don't stress--- also you don't need official transcripts (according to the girl I talked to) so dont waste money buying transcripts just print off your transcript from ROSI
22nd-Jul-2010 03:36 am (UTC)
ah, thanks -- i was wondering about the transcript issue. Which would have made things a bit more complicated because I still owe the library money & that prevented me from ordering transcripts on ROSI... etc. etc.

Thanks a lot tho for your advice too.
22nd-Jul-2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
Just to add to what others have said. Be sure that you've taken whatever steps are necessary to make the coming years a success. It's fine to explain what's happened in the past, to set forth a plan in the letter to OSAP, to parrot what people are saying here in the explanation, etc. However, if you haven't addressed the actual issues that caused you to be so unsuccessful previously, then the chances are always good that the problems will be repeated. If you need assistance from an academic adviso, then seek it. If you're in the wrong major, then consider a change. If you're partying too much, reconsider. If you have mental health issues, then be sure that they have been addressed.

While you will hear anecdotally of lots of students being in the same boat, the reality is that most students are never placed in this position. While it's comforting to know that others have worked their way back from this, be sure that you don't just take comfort from the fact, but that you also do what it takes to make sure that it doesn't happen again. You don't want to allow yourself to be placed on academic probation by U of T, or have to sit out a year due to poor grades. Good luck at getting yourself back on track. And go pay those library fines!
22nd-Jul-2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughts, yeah I do understand how this really is not the likeliest situation for a U of T student. I had been ok for my first two years of study, but an incident had occurred that affected my third year pretty badly. CAPS has helped though and I really feel like I can start over this time. But yeah, it's something not to be taken lightly of course. Thanks again.
28th-Mar-2011 03:37 am (UTC) - ^^
hi, my issue is about osap too, I was taking 80% course load for this year but now I am left with 40% because I dropped the 2 full year courses i took before the deadline of dropping. I am aware that osap rules have stated that full time students getting full time financial aid are suppose to maintain their full time course load for the year or else it would be a huge problem getting aid for next year. I am wondering if I take 1 more credit in the summer and end up with 60% course load by september, would that solve the problem?
19th-Sep-2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
Where can I get this probation letter off OSAPs website?
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