How to Apply

When you apply and qualify for student financial assistance, you are automatically assessed for Canada Student Loans and Grants.

The loan amount you may receive is calculated based on factors including:

  • the cost of tuition;
  • your savings/financial contributions; and
  • your living situation.

To estimate the potential annual student loan and grant amounts you may receive, use the Student Financial Assistance Estimator.

We recommend you apply at least two months before the start of your program to ensure you receive your funding on time, if approved. 

There are five steps in the application process:

Step 1: Begin application

Apply for a Canada Student Grant and Loan online through the student financial assistance site of your province or territory of permanent residence:

Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick or Newfoundland and Labrador

  • You may be eligible to receive a combination of federal and provincial student loans.
  • Manage and repay your student loan through the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC).

Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island

  • You may be eligible to receive two loans: one from the Government of Canada and the other from your provincial government.
  • Manage and repay your loans through two loan providers: the NSLSC website for your Canada Student Loan, and your provincial government's student financial assistance office or their service provider for your provincial loan.

Yukon

  • Apply for a Canada Student Loan through Yukon Student Aid.
  • You are assessed for both federal and territorial grants as well as a Canada Student Loan.
  • Manage and repay your student loan through the NSLSC website.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut or Quebec

Note: You must re-apply for a Canada Student Loan every school year. If you do not apply for financial assistance during one semester or year of study, your school must complete Confirmation of Enrolment information.

Step 2: Wait for Notice of Assessment from your province/territory

Your Notice of Assessment will indicate (by mail, online or by email) if you qualified for a grant and loan:

  • Full-time (Option 2: and part-time) students may receive a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) if they have not previously completed one. You must complete your MSFAA online at the NSLSC website.
  • Option 1: Part-time students will receive two separate documents:
    • Certificate of Eligibility for Part-Time Student Loans and Grants
    • Canada Student Financial Assistance Agreement for Part-Time Students

If you are not approved for funding or you are not satisfied with the approved amount contact the student financial assistance office in your province or territory to be re-assessed.

Step 3: Review and accept the MSFAA terms and conditions

Review your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA):

  • Your MSFAA is a legally binding contract. Review it carefully and read the terms and conditions. Make sure you fully understand your responsibilities and commitments before accepting. Your acceptance means you agree to be bound by the MSFAA terms and conditions.
  • If your personal information is not correct, you can follow the steps on our website to update this as well as contact your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office to update it.
  • Include your financial institution information for direct deposit.
  • The MSFAA is a multi-year agreement. This means the next time you apply for student financial assistance, just complete and submit your student loan application for your province or territory of residence and wait for your Notice of Assessment.
Step 4: Submit your loan documents

Log in to your National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) account to complete and sign your MSFAA online.

Step 5: Confirm your enrolment

Before you receive your student loan and/or grant, your school must confirm you are enrolled at a designated post-secondary institution.

A Confirmation of Enrolment must be completed electronically on your behalf by your school.

Find the financial assistance site for your province or territory to start your student loan application.

Loan disbursement

Your loan or grant will be deposited directly in your financial institution account or forwarded to your school to pay your academic fees (e.g. tuition) on or after the first day of classes.

While there are exceptions, you normally receive two disbursements of money in a year, depending on when you apply:

  • during your first term; and
  • during your second term.

For more information on disbursement dates, check with your school's student financial assistance office.

Changes to your financial situation and eligibility

If your financial situation changes before you start school or while you are studying, you must inform your provincial or territorial student assistance office.

If your eligibility for student loans is reassessed and this changes the amount of money you are to receive, your provincial or territorial student assistance office will let you know.