On Campus

Somebody help me. Waterloo can’t

Birth certificate and OHIP not enough ID to pick-up student loan

Somebody help me. Please. Because the University of Waterloo certainly can’t.

When I recently made an appointment to pick up my student loan from OSAP, I noticed that I’ll need government-issue photo ID before they’ll release my funds. The problem is, I don’t have government-issue photo ID. My OHIP card actually doesn’t have a picture, and I don’t have a driver’s license. Yet.

In fact, when my parents recently renewed their auto insurance, they learned that if I, at 16, had a driver’s permit, their rates would go up. A lot. And since I don’t drive yet anyway, it would have been stupid to invest that extra money in their auto insurance, right?

So I called the Student Awards and Financial Aid Office at Waterloo a few minutes ago, explained the situation about why I don’t have the required picture, and offered my birth certificate instead. But that isn’t enough. Instead, Waterloo suggested that I get a passport. As in, spend money in order to get the money that I’m borrowing. And then hope the passport arrives within a week.

I asked “Alice” if she could please consult with a supervisor, and hopefully, come up with a plan that would satisfy their need to make sure I am who I claim to be when I show up (to sign my cheque over to them). After a nice long wait on hold, twice, Alice came to share what “Maureen,” her supervisor, seems to think is a good solution.

“Contact your local MPP and express your concerns about….”

I admit, I blanked out the rest once it became clear that Waterloo wasn’t going to be able to help. But I wish I had remembered to ask for my local MPP’s home number. And, uh, name. Then again, I don’t know why Waterloo seems to assume that he or she is going to be willing to come with me for my appointment and vouch for me.