uOttawa freshman burns through OSAP in first week of school


Photo credit https://welcome.uottawa.ca/

SANDY HILL – “They put $7,842 in my account last Thursday and I had no idea what to do with all of that money!” exclaimed 18 year-old first year psychology student Marcus Anderson.

What he probably should have done is put the money towards his overdue $3,430.94 fall tuition and $5,714.50 fall residence fees and meal plan. However, having never had a part-time job or any experience with money other than his weekly allowance his ability to make prudent financial choices was somewhat suspect.

“First I knew I needed a laptop so I went to the Apple store and picked up a MacBook Pro for $1,549.00. It was a little expensive but I wanted something that would last me my four years, then who knows, maybe graduate school, I plan on writing a lot of papers.”

Forgetting that the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) was designed to be funding for school related expenses the 18 year-old started using his loan to buy things he’d had on his wishlist throughout high school.

“On my way out of the Rideau Centre I decided to pop into The Source to see what kind of deals they had. I decided to treat myself and get an Xbox One, it was on sale for $499.99. Then I realized that I needed a TV that would complement the technology of the Xbox. I got a  Hisense 50″ 4K LED Smart TV marked down from $999.99 to $699.99, what a steal. The salesperson pointed out that I could pre-order chell [NHL 17] for only $79.99 and so I threw that in as well, I’m gonna need some study breaks.”

Unfortunately on Friday the frivolous freshman fun was temporarily halted when he was informed by his RA that his residence fees were already two weeks overdue and that if he didn’t pay them by Monday his meal plan would be put on hold.

“I thought OSAP was meant to be spending money for the year, I just assumed residence fees and my meal plan would just get added to my overall debt. Someone said I should have to use that money to pay tuition as well? Why would the school send me money just to have me send it right back to them?”

Thankfully for Anderson the Bank of Montreal had a booth set up in the lobby of his residence offering him a $15,000 line of credit for his first year and a total of $45,000 over the next four years.

“And it got better the next booth over gave me a MasterCard with a picture of the campus on it with a $5,000 limit. I was really scared I’d have to get a part-time job or something, I really want to be able to focus all of my attention to my studies.”

So far in his first week Anderson’s post-secondary accomplishments have consisted of nightly visits to Hull, a Rocketeer ranking in Rocket League and an impressive ability to sleep through lectures.

Ramsgate & Hackett

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