Graduating students need to be ready to pay all balances owing to York University before graduation and to pay their licensing fees to the Law Society of Ontario. To ensure that they’re ready to do both, many graduating students benefit from exploring the sources of post-graduation funding outlined below.
Graduation and York Debt
York University Senate Policy stipulates that graduation privileges be withheld from any student until all financial liabilities to the University are settled. If you have any debt outstanding to York University, you are required to pay the balance to be eligible to graduate at Osgoode’s Convocation in June. We recommend that you make those arrangements early, and certainly no later than June 1. Outstanding York debt includes:
Student Account Debt
Your Student Account must be totally clear before you graduate – with all outstanding tuition, housing and incidentals paid in full.
Other York Debt, Including Parking and Library Fines
This debt does not appear on your Student Account, but it also must be paid off well before Convocation. York University maintains a second listing of this debt. If you believe that you have unpaid parking or library fines, it is your responsibility to contact the appropriate areas directly and settle your debt before June 1.
To be eligible to be called to the Bar, graduating students must go through the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) application and licensing processes. There is a Licensing Process Fee which is usually due at the start of April in third year. Students are responsible for ensuring they are aware of all appropriate fees and deadlines as outlined on the LSO website. Visit the LSO website for detailed information on the Lawyer Licensing Process.
Financial Assistance and Awards for Graduating Students
Winter Bursary Funding
Osgoode Hall Law School assists upper year departing students who have accumulated significant educational debt and who have difficult financial and personal circumstances by providing winter funding. Only students who have applied for a bursary will be considered for winter funding. No separate application is required.
Law Society of Ontario (LSO) Repayable Allowance Program
The LSO has established the Repayable Allowance Program (RAP), a financial assistance program of last resort for licensing candidates who are struggling to pay their fees and/or meet their living expenses during the licensing process. The maximum Repayable Allowance is $5,000 per candidate for each calendar year. For additional information, please visit the Financial Assistance page on the LSO site.
Extending Your Line of Credit During Your Articling Year
Some banks may consider you a student during your articling year and therefore will not require you to pay back your principal during that time. RBC Royal Bank, TD and Scotiabank have programs that allow for this. Make sure to contact your financial institution to see what kind of assistance or benefits they can provide.
Osgoode also offers awards for graduating students.