All federal, provincial, and territorial governments in Canada offer student loan programs to help offset the costs of post-secondary education.
While the idea of taking on the responsibility of a loan may seem daunting, please note that while applying for loans, you are also considered for various provincial/territorial and federal grant programs. The funds provided by grants or bursaries are non-repayable.
If you choose not to apply for student loans, you may be passing up the opportunity for this free funding. We therefore encourage you to consider student loan funding for the upcoming academic year if you find yourself in need.
Provincial and territorial students loans and grants
Individual provinces and territories offer financial support for your educational costs via loan and grant programs.
Available programs can vary by province and territory. We strongly encourage you to visit your province of residence to learn more about offerings for the upcoming academic year.
Student loan information by province and territory
New Brunswick students
Currently the Province of New Brunswick offers the following funding options in conjunction with the federal programs:
- Renewed Tuition Bursary Program (RTB)
- New Brunswick Bursary (NBB)
- New Brunswick Student Loans
For more details, visit Student Financial Services — Government of New Brunswick.
Nova Scotia students
Currently the Province of Nova Scotia offers the following funding options in conjunction with the federal programs:
- Nova Scotia Student Loan
- Nova Scotia Student Grant
- Supplemental Loan for Medicine, Law, and Dentistry
For more details, visit Student Assistance — Government of Nova Scotia.
Other provinces and territories:
In order to qualify for a federal or provincial student loan, students:
- must be Canadian citizens or permanent resident of Canada
- must apply to their home province for funding (must be a resident of the province/territory to which they are applying for funding and have lived there for the past 12 consecutive months excluding full-time attendance at a post-secondary institution)
- must demonstrate financial need
Your parent(s)'s or spouse/partner's income tax information may be required as part of the application process.
How to apply for government student loans
Apply for Canada student loans and grants through the financial assistance site of your province or territory of permanent residence.
For more details, visit How to Apply — National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC).
Loan applications in most provinces are posted in late May or early June.
Students should complete their loan application well in advance of the start of the academic year to allow adequate time for their application to be processed (four to eight weeks).
Provincial loan applications are automatically considered for the federal Canada Student Loan program. Only one application form is needed.
Many provinces offer bursaries or grants for students demonstrating high need and applicants are automatically considered for these programs.
After a student's application is received, a notice of assessment will be mailed outlining the available funding.
Students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with how their student loan will be disbursed and if any additional documentation is required prior to funds being allocated.
Federal student loans and grants
To apply for federal student loan and grant programs, you simply complete your provincial application. This application will be reviewed by your provincial and federal government.
For more information, visit the National Student Loans Service Centre website.
List of federal student loan and grant programs
Currently, the federal government offers the following financial aid funding options.
Canadian Student Loan Program For Full-Time/Part-Time Students (CSL)
Canada Student Grants:
- For Full-Time/Part-Time Students (CSG-FT & CSG-PT)
- For Students with Dependents (CSG-DEP)
- For Students with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PD)
- For Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE)
- Skills Top-Up to the Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students
The National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) website is the primary source of information for Canadian student loans and grants.