Your government loan is an agreement between you and the provincial/federal government. Therefore, you are responsible for being informed of the details of your loan such as the funding amount, any required documents, the disbursement dates, and following up on any details that are unclear. This also includes assuming responsibility and following up if your loan has been delayed for any reason.
Eligibility for loan funding is determined by each individual province or territory. If you are a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident, you can apply through the province that you have most recently lived for 12 consecutive months before starting your post-secondary program.
If you are enrolled in an eligible program with a minimum 60% of a full-time course load (or 40% for students with registered permanent disabilities), you can complete a full-time studies loan application. For undergraduate students, this means that you are registered in a minimum of 9 semester hours (or 6 semester hours for PD), and for graduate studies it is a minimum enrollment of 6 semester hours. Dropping below the 60% threshold can cause you to lose your funding and begin repayment.
Please note: students in programs where courses are condensed, such as the BA Leadership or MBA programs, should contact the TWU Financial Aid Office regarding their course load eligibility before completing their loan applications. This also includes undergraduate summer sessions due to the condensed nature of the courses.
Applying for a Loan
Prince Edward Island
When completing your loan application, you may be required to have a Program Information Form completed by our Financial Aid Office. For some provinces such as Ontario, we receive an electronic request to complete this form; but for other provinces, such as Saskatchewan or PEI, you will be required to send us the paper copy to fill out and submit for you. Applications, such as BC and Alberta, will have you select the program from a drop-down menu and will already have our tuition costs in their system.
After you finish filling out your portion of your loan application, your parent may be required to complete a Parent Portion. This information gives the lender more information about the size of your family and the total family income so that they can assess you for loan and grant funding. By completing the loan application, you are automatically assessed for government grant funding as well. You and your parent(s) may then both be required to complete a Declaration Page which you will need to print, sign, and mail in to the provincial loan office before your application will be considered complete.
AFTER YOU APPLY – Assessment & What to Expect
Once you complete your loan application and send in any required documents, it can take up to 6 weeks for your application to be assessed. It is important to be informed at each step of the loan process to avoid missing any steps that may cause delays in your assessment and in the release of your funding.
Once your application has been assessed, you will receive a Notice of Assessment and a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA). The Notice of Assessment will outline what type of funding that you have been approved for (loan, grant), the amount of money that you have been approved for, and when you are eligible to receive the funding. This document may be available to you in your online loan portal. Your funding will typically be divided so that you receive 60% of your loan amount in the Fall semester and the remaining 40% in the Spring semester, but this is not the case for every province so review your assessment carefully.
Your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement will either be mailed to you or may be available to print in your online loan portal, depending on your province. The MSFAA is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of your provincial and federal student loans. Before signing, please review the agreement as it is a legally binding contract requiring you to repay your student. As a first time borrower, you will need to sign and submit this document before your loan funding will be set to release. It is also a multi-year agreement, so you will not be required to sign this each time you apply for funding. To submit your MSFAA, read the instructions that came with it carefully as you may be required to take the document and personal documentation to a designated Canada Post outlet.
If you do not agree with the decision on your assessment, you can ask for a reassessment or an appeal. A reassessment is used if you provided incorrect information on your first application, or if your financial situation has changed since you applied. To submit an appeal, review the appeal categories available from your province and choose the correct form that fits your situation. You can call your provincial loan office first regarding your assessment if you want to find out more information about why you did not receive the maximum funding. Submitting an appeal request does not guarantee that you will receive more funding.
Please note that there is a maximum amount of loan funding you can be assessed up to in each province or territory. Before submitting an appeal, check that you have not already been awarded this amount.
|BC||$10,880 (or $17,340 for students with dependents)|
|Alberta||$15,000 (or $22,500 for graduate studies)|
|Saskatchewan||$408 per week of studies ($13,872)|
|Quebec||$8,488 [$311/month of study + $6000 studying for outside Quebec] (or $9,304 for graduate studies: $413/month of study + $6000 for studying of Quebec)|
|Nova Scotia||$13,940 (NB $6,800 loan & grant + $7140 Canada loan)|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||$11,900|
|Northwest Territories||Contact NWT for more information|
|Nunavut||Contact Nunavut for more information|
|Yukon||$11,764 ($4624 YK Grant + 7140 Canada loan)|
DISBURSEMENT - HOW DO I RECEIVE MY FUNDS
If you have submitted your MSFAA in a timely manner, your funding will release on the date outlined on your Notice of Assessment. Your provincial loan office will contact the TWU Financial Aid Office to have your enrollment confirmed. As part of this process, we will match the information provided on your loan application – such as your program of study, study dates, your full legal name, and your SIN – to the information we have on file in addition to checking that you are still enrolled in 60% of a full-time course load. When this information matches, we will confirm to your province that you are enrolled at TWU as a full-time student so that your funding can be released.
Please note that the earliest we receive the request to confirm your enrollment is a few weeks before classes begin each semester.
Once we have confirmed your enrollment, your provincial loan office will process the confirmation and then let the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) know. At that point, the NSLSC will release your funds. Your funding will be released to your personal bank account. Because your funding remits directly to you, you are responsible for being aware of the timing of your loan funding (5-10 business days after the designated disbursement date if no other delays are encountered) and having a financial plan to make your TWU student account payments on time – the 15th of every month.
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC STANDING - UNSUCCESSFUL COMPLETION AND WITHDRAWALS
At the end of each semester that you are in receipt of government loan funding, you are required to successfully complete at least 60% of a full-time course load (for undergraduate students 9 semester hours or 6 semester hours for students with permanent disabilities; for graduate studies students 6 semester hours). If you do not, the TWU Financial Aid Office is required to inform your provincial loan office of your unsuccessful completion. Students who fail to achieve satisfactory marks (i.e. pass) in 68 weeks (4 semesters) of post-secondary studies are no longer eligible for additional student financial assistance. Note for repeated courses: Students who retake a class in order to receive a better grade in the course may not be able to use the course towards their course load eligibility requirements.
In addition, students who withdraw from their post-secondary studies two times while receiving student financial assistance will be denied further student financial assistance. Any student who receives funding or interest-free status and does not maintain full-time student status (drops below a 60% course load or 40% for students with a permanent disability), or fails to attend their classes for two consecutive weeks, will be considered to have withdrawn. The TWU Financial Aid Office will report withdrawals to the provincial loan office which will result in the cancellation or pro-rating of student financial assistance, including terminating interest-free status. Students are able to submit an appeal if there is an extenuating circumstance for their withdrawal.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
If you would like to continue receiving loan funding, you can complete a new loan application each year that you attend. Typically the loan application will open in June or July, so keep checking back on your provincial loan offices website to ensure that you apply in a timely manner. If you decide that you do not want to take out another government loan, but you are still enrolled full-time, then you will need to complete an application for continuing interest-free status (see below).
After your full-time studies end, you will enter a Grace Period and may receive a letter from the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) that you are required to start paying back your loan. You are allowed six months in the Grace Period where no payments are required; however, interest does accrue. During this period the NSLSC will mail you a Consolidated Student Loan Agreement that will provide information on: the amount of your loan, your interest rate, your repayment term, the amount of each loan payment, your first payment date, and the amount of your grace period interest.
At the six month mark you will move into the Repayment Period. At this time, you will be required to start making payments on the funds that you have borrowed. If you have not returned your Consolidated Student Loan agreement, you will placed on the default repayment settings. Please review this document and return it to set a repayment plan that will work best for you!
+ Once you enter the Repayment Period, you will also be able to apply for a program called RAP, or the Repayment Assistance Plan, through the National Student Loans Service Centre. To do so, log in to your NSLSC account at canlearn.ca and apply online. For more information on this, you can visit the RAP section on their website.
Students are responsible for ensuring their existing loans are placed into interest-free status. If you choose not to apply for another loan, but you are maintaining full-time enrollment in your studies, you can apply for interest-free status. This lets the government know that you are still enrolled so that you will not enter the Repayment Period before your studies are completed. During your summer break, you may receive a letter from the National Student Loans Service Centre letting you know that you are entering your Grace Period. Although payments are not required, interest begins to accrue during this time. As long as you return to full-time studies in the following Fall semester and apply for either a loan or interest-free status, this interest will be reversed.
The application for interest-free status can differ by province, but for most provinces you can apply online through your NSLSC account at canlearn.ca under the “Confirm Your Enrollment” tab. If you are from Alberta, you will also be required to submit a Form B for the provincial portion of your loan. For some provinces such as Ontario or Manitoba, you will be required to submit a provincial form instead. The TWU Financial Aid Office will be able to confirm your enrollment through one of the above forms after classes begin each year or each semester. When you enter your grace period, pay close attention to any documents you receive by mail or to your NSLSC mailbox so that you can follow the appropriate directions to keep your loan in good standing.
If you still have questions, you can check your provincial loan office's website or contact the TWU Financial Aid Office for assistance.