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Grade 12 Essay Writing Contest - Credit Education Week
Hey guys, 

I was wondering if anyone applied for the grade 12 essay contest with credit education week. The topic this year was "what is the dumbest thing you have done with your money and what did you learn from it?"
I am curious to know if anyone knew when they would be announcing the winner and will they call or email?

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Anyone in the honours science program at Trent??
Hi, I just wanted to know a bit about that program since I would like to apply there in January. Thanks
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OSAP Question
I got accepted to all the schools I applied to, but was not able to afford it. Thankfully, the school I wanted allowed me to defer my admissions offer to next year so that I could take a year off to save money. My parents are in a bad place financially (they're in a lot of debt) and they can't help me with any of my finances, meaning I am responsible for all of my tuition, taxes, living expenses ect. Unfortunately, OSAP didn't care about my financial situation and the fact that my parents weren't helping with my tuition, they just cared about how much my parents make and the savings I had. My parents make a fair amount (middle class), so I didn't get enough from OSAP. I am currently working full-time (40 hours a week) and I plan on continuing to do so until I start school in September and then i'll go down to part time during the school year. .However, I am scared that since I have been working all year and saving up all my money, OSAP will take away all my grants. I am trying to apply for every scholarships but I don't meet the requirements for the majority of them. If OSAP takes away my grants, then I will not be able to afford school at all. Staying home for school isn't an option, because they don't offer the program I want at my local university. I save every penny I can and I never spent money on anything that isn't 100% necessary (not even coffee). I didn't get that much to begin with, but considering how much I'll have saved up during the school year, OSAP will probably take it out of the money they give me, starting with the grants. Is there any way I can make OSAP understand my situation and have them consider the fact that my parents are not helping me whatsoever?
Note: I originally didn't plan on taking a gap year, so I applied to OSAP and the final amount given was $7000 less than what I needed. Depending on how hard the school is and the work load, i'm not sure what kind of hours i'll be able to work during the school year and since I have to move away I won't be able to keep my job, so I'm not sure how long it will take me to find another one, meaning I could be out of work for a long time (it took me 10 months to find the job I have now). I'm also not sure whether or not my current job will allow me to come back during the summers (they typically don't do transfers so that's not an option either). I'm not just the first year i'm worried about but the three subsequent years as well (maybe more depending on whether or not I decide to get my masters). I know I should have started looking for a job earlier on but it's too late to do anything about that. If anyone has any tips or suggestions on what I can do about OSAP please let me know. Thank you!
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Financial Aid: How are you paying for school?
Hey everyone! I am one of your yconic Student Ambassadors for this school year. Today I will be discussing financial aid and sharing my thoughts on how you can pay for school.

Before you even apply to university, you have to pay fees to get your applications processed. In some cases, you might even have to pay more to complete supplementary applications (Check out my post last week about university applications: http://bit.ly/2jKJt6m). Unfortunately, this is only the beginning. 

I am currently in my third week of university and have spent A LOT of money. Textbooks alone can cost you hundreds of dollars. Thankfully, there are many ways for you to finance your education. 

1. OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) 

OSAP is a financial aid program set up by the government to assist families and students to fund their education. You get grants and loans from OSAP and the amount depends on your family's income. That said, you might qualify for FREE tuition. 

When you're applying for OSAP, hand in your required documents ASAP to ensure that your OSAP money comes on time to pay your tuition and buy your course materials. 

Check out this page to get more information and to calculate roughly how much you can get from OSAP: https://www.ontario.ca/page/osap-ontario-student-assistance-program 

2. RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) 

An RESP is like a savings account for your parents to contribute to for your post-secondary education. In addition to the amount your parents contribute, the government adds to it as well. 

3. Bank Loan 

Getting a bank loan is another option to help you pay for school, especially if you'll be studying as an international student abroad. It is important to note that the interest rate might be higher than OSAP and varies from bank to bank. 

4. Part-Time/Summer Job 

Working part-time or having a summer job is a great way to save and pay for school. It definitely helps reduce the amount you have to borrow to pay your tuition fees and course materials. An added bonus is that instead of asking your family for money, you have your own to spend for textbooks and of course, food! 

5. Scholarships and Bursaries 

Free money is awesome! Bursaries are offered to students who demonstrate financial need. Just like OSAP, it takes your family income into consideration. A lot of post-secondary institutions have a financial aid section on their websites, which gives students information on how to apply for them. 

In addition, you can get an entrance scholarship, which is based on your Top 6 for Grade 12. They might range from $500 to $4000 though it depends on the post-secondary institution. This is one of the reasons why it is important to maintain your grades after getting accepted into your program of interest. 

There are many scholarships available here on yconic, so if you're reading this, I would highly recommend that you start applying to them. Last year, one thing that I found surprising was the fact that many scholarships go unclaimed due to people not applying for them. Writing essays might seem unappealing and a lot of work now, but your future self will be thanking you later for doing so. 

Let me know in the comments how you plan to or are currently paying for school. If you have any questions, please check out my AMA as well: http://bit.ly/2fknIsA 

Hope to hear from you soon! 

Alyssa Vidal 
yconic Student Ambassador
Gap Year
I've been thinking of taking a gap year before entering university. Should I still apply during grade 12 or should I apply during my gap year?
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5 Things I Would Tell My Grade 12 Self
Hey Yconic! 

O-week has just finished for me and university classes are already in full swing. For many of you here on the site, you must be super excited (and slightly anxious) about applying to university and getting ready for your final year of high school. Looking back, life is so incredibly different here at Western than it was in high school. From studying to living, everything here has really changed my perspective on life as a student. So here are some things I would tell my grade 12 self and also recommend to the high school class of 2018!

1. Develop good study habits 
This is something that is pretty common sense but it's important that I point this out. Learn to prioritize school work and readings before having fun or going out with friends. In university, no one cares anymore about whether or not you even show up to class so, in order to stay up with the prof, you need to be able to be as responsible as possible.  Taking good notes and organizing myself is something that I would tell my grade 12 self because all of these good habits carry over from high school to university. 

2. Apply for scholarships and Bursaries
Post secondary life is EXPENSIVE. In fact, I just spent $900+ on textbooks, school supplies, and lab safety equipment. A lot of high school students don't even think about finances for post secondary until very late in the year when many of the deadlines have passed. In hindsight, I should have applied to many more scholarships. For many of you grade 12 students, I recommend you look early on (aka right now) and start applying for some because it really helps with the cost of your post-secondary education. 

3. Build a sense of independence
University life, especially in residence is really independent. Most students now do their own cooking, laundry, and cleaning. One week ago, I didn't even know what dryer sheets were and it was then I realized that I had no idea how to dry my clothes, sort colors/whites, etc without the help of my parents. Many of my friends are also experiencing a "lifestyle shock" because we've been sheltered our whole lives. To all the grade 12's this year, start picking up some basic life skills like cooking and doing the laundry so you know how to be independent when you transition into university. 

4. Take care of yourself
While working hard is important, it's equally important to take care of yourself. Many of you will pull all nighters, cram for tests, and consume ungodly amounts of caffeine. Even though this is a fact of life for many of us, remember that this should not be a permanent way of life. During "off-times", remember to eat right, hit the gym, and rest well. Looking back, I realized that the stress that I had put on myself in high school was becoming so evident that I had difficulty sleeping and concentrating. So for the grade 12's this year, remember that even though working hard should be a top priority, your physical and mental well-being is also a priority, something that I had wished I'd thought about. 

5. Realize that there is a world of people out there
Back in high school, I was never too sociable because all I did was work and study. I found it hard to make friends or find people that were like me. Knowing that my world in university was not going to be anything like high school is something I had the wish I'd known.  But everything turned out alright because little did I know that at Western, a school with over 29,000 students,  I was going to meet so many people that were like me in the first week alone. So if you are quiet high school student, get ready to have your mind blown by the world of different people that you meet after high school. So if you are unsure if you will fit into university, don't worry because there is bound to be someone out there just like you!

What did you think about my list? Do you have something you would tell your grade 12 self or recommend to others? If so, comment below! 

If you have any questions, also feel free to ask me on my AMA http://bit.ly/AMABenson

Benson Law 
yconic Student Ambassador 
Will one need the textbooks they buy in one year for the next year. People go around selling all of their textbooks and even their notes. Will these not come in handy in reviewing previous content so that you can better understand the material from future classes?
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Where Can I Find Grants, Bursaries and Relevant Scolarships?
Hello everyone, 

I'm an incoming grade 12 student looking for ways to fund my post secondary education. I was wondering if you guys know of any legit sites (besides this one) for finding bursaries and grants.

 In my experience using both Yconic and Scholarships Canada always gave me results that were fairly irrelevant despite having filled out a detailed user profile. If you guys h ave any tips for avoiding this issue, I'd greatly appreciate it. 

OP is looking for grants and bursaries + advice on how to find relevant scholarships
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Transfer AFTER second year
I am entering my second year this fall in Biology. I currently go to a smaller university far from home and this summer has been very tough on my family financially. It would be better for me if I went to uni in Toronto/Durham region to save money. I was wondering if anyone has their own experiences or heard from friends about how it is like to transfer after second year. Also, I know most schools accept transfers only for the fall term, but I want to transfer as soon as possible so are there any schools which offer admission for the winter or spring/summer semesters? I will need further school after my bio  BSc, so for my undergrad years I want to save money. Also, am I making the wrong choice to transfer after second year? or should I just stay and finish up the degree there? Anyone with opinions on how its like transferring from a smaller uni to a larger one?
*I will be transferring into third year
*my grade are pretty decent so far-I only know the first year grades
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HEY, just looking into some life sci/health sci programs for next year (I will be doing grad school too) and was wondering how the University of Waterloo is in their sci programs? I know some people who go for their arts/bus but not for sci. Is it a nice school for a science undergrad if I want to pursue grad school? I heard a lot about their coop and engineering but based on my grade 11 marks, I don't know if I will qualify for co-op. Just want any thoughts on the waterloo science programs/faculty and reasons why I should keep waterloo as my first choice *other than Co-op*
*edit-I will be living in rez

Does UWaterloo offer good connections in sciences?
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AMA: U of T National Scholarship, Engineering, QuARMS
Hi Yconic! I want share my thoughts about university applications with soon to be high school graduates as many senior users provided some really valuable advice on this platform during the time I was applying for university and applying for scholarships. While I was not an adjudicator evaluating any of the applications I wrote in grade 12, I believe peer to peer input is crucial in normalizing the stressful undertaking of the regular university admissions procedures plus arguably more work for scholarships! As well, I remember wanting to know as much as possible about any information related to the applications which I imagine is a shared sentiment.

I am an Ontario student and am entering my first year this September at U of T for engineering (TrackOne). I can speak about my experiences applying to U of T for engineering (TrackOne), Waterloo for engineering (Computer) and Ryerson for engineering (Electrical). I was also a finalist for the QuARMS program (top 40 applicants interviewed) and was awarded the University of Toronto National Scholarship. Please feel free to reach out! 
Banking and OSAP

Should I change my withdrawal limit and increase it past the amount OSAP will be providing me so that my school can take the money from my account ? I said that OSAP can give it directly to my school, so would that mean it will not go into my bank account at all ?

How does the whole paying your tuition process work ???

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OSAP- Help!!!
On OSAP if it says "1st payment: school confirms that you've enrolled in full-time studies : pending", does that mean my tuition is not deferred ?
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Volunteering and Jobs
Does anyone know some good places to volunteer that would look good on a resume or applications, and are always looking for volunteers ? Also, how do you find a job if you have not worked before? Do employers still hire you ?
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program crisis???
Hello everyone,
I have had anxiety all throughout the summer just thinking about this. I am entering my second year of uni in a BSc health studies program. All throughout high school I took science courses because I only had one career vision-to work in health care. Although I enjoy studying bio and health courses, I have never had a internship/placement to actually experience health care careers which is why I am worried it won't be the career for me. I have never had a business, computers, etc classes and I want to experience those courses so I can finally know what I am interested in. I just don't want to have regrets about not experiences certain areas and wondering if I would have been better off in that field.
What should I do? my university has a picked out course schedule and our electives are program related as well

*using sisters account*
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Waterloo for health studies
hey guys, just want to know what you guys think about doing health sci (regular) at UW compared to any other uni. at both uni's the cost is basically the same and I will be living away from home. I heard that faculties other than eng and cs don't really stand out but is going to uw for health studies worth it? in terms of opportunities and reputation among employers and future career networking? anyone at AHS at waterloo want to give their opinion?
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Does it actually matter how much we put for the expected scholarship amount ? Would it affect how much we would get from OSAP? And if we wanted to change what we wrote what do we do?
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Transfer worth it?
I am transferring to UWaterloo in the second year into the health studies program from a bio program at another university. But I was wondering if transferring for science is worth it since I will  finish my program one semester late and graduating on year later that my expected graduation date (2020). I initially transferred because I wanted to receive co-op but I was only offered admission to the regular program. For both uni's I would be living away from home  and cost is similar, the reputation is the only difference. Is UW health sci regular worth it for my situation?
Please any advice is appreciated, I have been stuck on this decision for months
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