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Loan Assessment - How Long It Will Take

Assessment time will vary depending on which province your loans are through. If possible, monitor your student loan assessment on your provincial or territorial student assistance website. Alternatively, phone your provincial or territorial student assistance authority for the latest assessment information. For provincial and territorial contact information check our website.

Loan Application - When to Apply

Submit your student assistance application to the appropriate government student assistance authority once you know which institution you will be attending and what your study dates will be. It is best to apply at least 2 to 3 months before the start of classes. Applications for September to April are available online in June each year.

Check with your home province/territory for more information, their respective websites are available on the CanLearn website.

Full-Time Status for Loan and Interest-free Eligibility

For Student Aid BC loan and interest-free purposes, a full-time undergraduate student is registered in a minimum 60% course load (4.5 registered units per term - duplicate, audited, mutually exclusive and waitlisted courses don't count toward credit). For any other province or territory, please check with Student Awards and Financial Aid.

Please note that students with a permanent disability who have applied for recognition of their status through their provincial/territorial government student assistance office may be registered in a 40% course load and still be considered full-time.

A full-time graduate student is defined in a different way, usually 3.0 units per term (1.5 units for a student with a designated permanent disability through their lender).  Please check with Graduate Admissions and Records.


Loan Eligibility - Co-op Programs

Most co-op work terms are considered to be the equivalent of full-time studies for the purpose of receiving government student assistance. You are eligible to apply for full-time government student assistance or interest-free status on government student loans while registered in a co-op work term. Students on a co-op work term should apply for loans per term.

If you hold a renewable scholarship, please contact Student Awards and Financial Aid prior to starting your co-op work term.

Loan Eligibility - Credit Screening

There is a credit check on all first-time applicants of Student Aid BC student loans over the age of 22 as of the first day of classes. If these students have three instances where an installment on three or more loans or debts over $1000 was more than 90 days overdue they will be denied.

There is an appeal process for students who can demonstrate that exceptional circumstances contributed to problems with their credit history. To appeal follow the steps outlined on the Student Aid BC website and select Credit Screening in the Appeal Categories.


Applying for Student Loans

You apply for student loans through the province/territory where you have last resided once you have decided which school you will be attending and what your study period will be.

If you completed high school fewer than four years ago, your province/territory of residence would be the one where your parents live.

If you completed high school more than four years ago, your province/territory of residence would be the province/territory where you last lived for twelve consecutive months excluding time spent as a full-time student.

You complete a government student assistance application. This application is available online through your provincial/territorial government student assistance website.

If your home province is not BC then you must apply through the Ministry of Education, Financial Assistance Branch, in your home province. Please see our website for contact information.

Loan Application - BC Government Website

The BC Government website for Student Loans is

Loan Application - One Application for Federal/Provincial funding

For most provinces and territories one government student loan application will allow you to be considered for both federal and provincial/territorial funding. For more information visit the Provincial & Territorial Information page on the CanLearn website.

Loan Assessment- Will a Government Student Loan Cover all my Expenses?

Government student assistance will not cover all of your educational expenses. Assistance under the student loan program is intended to supplement the financial resources available to students through summer jobs, parents, spouses and other sources. Please note that spending guidelines issued by the government are based on a moderate standard of living.

Loan Assessment - Lifetime Maximums

Canada Student Loans fund 340 weeks of study including interest-free weeks. If a student enrolls in a doctoral program, Canada Student Loans will allow them 400 weeks of assistance and/or interest free status. Canada Student Loans will allow 520 weeks for students with a permanent disability designation.

The BC Student Assistance Program funded to a maximum of $35,000 or 340 weeks, whichever came first, until July 31, 2006. If a student received less than $35,000 in Student Aid BC loans by July 31, 2006, their StudentAid BC loan lifetime maximum is now $50,000 or 340 weeks whichever comes first.

If you are from another province or territory please check with your provincial government student assistance office to confirm the maximum funding available.

Loan Negotiation - How to Receive Student Loan Funding?

Once you receive your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) take it to a designated Canada Post outlet; there is one on campus in the Pharmacy located in the Student Union Building.

Make sure to bring your Social Insurance Card (or proof of SIN number), government issued photo ID, and either a void cheque or your bank information with you to the Post Office. DO NOT sign the MSFAA prior to going to the Post Office, as your signature needs to be witnessed. Please note you only need to complete the MSFAA once, but it is an important step as it is the master agreement between you and your lender and sets up the direct deposit so that you can receive your funding.

As soon as your student loans are either electronically confirmed (BC students) or manually confirmed online by UVic (other provinces/territories), your province or territory will send the funding to your bank closer to the first day of classes. Typically the bank will take five to ten business days to deposit the funds to your bank account.


Loans - Grant Programs

When students apply for government student assistance they are automatically assessed for grant funding. Grants are awards that you do not need to pay back.

To learn more about Canada Student Grants go to the Canada Student Grants website.

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