12 December, 2007

OSAP: Basil Fawlty Edition

Advice for those with one-year M.A. programs, cleverly disguised as angry ranting.

At least, if you live in Ontario (though I imagine other provinces are similar).

If you take a one year M.A. program, OSAP gets suspicious when you apply for another "first year" the next year. They understandably don't like it when students switch programs too often, since it shows a lack of focus and they probably aren't getting their money's worth.

But honestly, folks. Did you even glance at my application? At the part that makes me fill out my entire academic history and what programs I was in when? Go on, take a look. Yes, see the M.A. clearly listed as "Year 1 of a 1 Year Program." Mhm. That means that I am now done that degree! It's over!

And under the space for the current program? Where it says Ph.D.? Folks, this is not some directionless drunken general arts major farting around. It should be quite clear why I am applying for the first year of a program again.

And UofT! Yes, you! What's up with the transcript nonsense? Any time a student needs an official transcript, they need it in a sealed envelope, or else it's invalid. That means if I order two transcripts, and you send them both in the same envelope, one of them is completely rahling useless! This should not be news to you. This is true for every instance in which an official transcript is needed.

So, folks, here's the advice part of this post. If you have applied to the first year of a program two years in a row, OSAP is going to demand transcripts, a photocopy of your SIN card, and a letter from you explaining things. They will not tell you about this until very late in the process. So get them ready beforehand.

Or you will end up like me, feeling much like this:

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