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Canada student aid

Students with Canada or Integrated Provincial Student loans: it’s now more important than ever to register an account with NSLSC On-Line Services so you can check the status of your loans!

Effective immediately a new feature in the NSLSC On-Line Services will change how you receive information about your loan. You will no longer receive Canada loan disbursement confirmations via Canada post mail. Instead, a Funding Confirmed notice will now appear in your secure online mailbox within the NSLSC On-Line Services website. (NSLSC will use the email they have on file to alert you to verify your online mailbox when new info on your loan is sent there.)

If you do not have an account with NSLSC On-Line Services, you will receive your info via email at which point you will also be advised to register for an account.

Eligibility and applying

Government student assistance, which can include loans, bursaries and grants, is available for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and refugees/protected persons with established financial need. The federal and provincial/territorial assistance programs are jointly administered through the student's province/territory of residence under the Canada Student Loan Program.

If you are a resident of AlbertaBritish ColumbiaManitobaNew BrunswickNewfoundlandNova ScotiaOntarioPrince Edward IslandSaskatchewan or Yukon, you can apply for both federal and provincial assistance through your province or territory's Student Assistance Office website, listed under "Aid websites by province/territory" below. QuebecNorthwest Territories and Nunavut do not participate in the Canada Student Loan Program, but administer their own student aid programs. 

The Government of Canada's Canlearn site is a wealth of information about government aid across Canada, from eligibility criteria to tips on managing your loans while in school. It also provides a financial assistance estimator that shows the approximate amount of assistance you could receive from the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) and participating provincial or territorial programs.

Apply early to avoid complications.

OSAP recipients should especially be aware that the longer you wait to apply, the more money you stand to lose! You can use their mobile app for faster updates:

ID requirements

New ID requirements for obtaining and negotiating Canadian student loan/grant authorization documents have recently been put in place. These requirements stipulate that in order to have your Canadian student loan/grant authorization documents signed by the Scholarships and Student Aid Office, and to have the documents processed at a designated postal outlet, you must present two forms of identification:

  • One piece of valid photo ID issued in Canada by the federal or a provincial or territorial government. Examples of acceptable ID are: a valid driver’s license, passport, provincial health card with photo, permanent residency or citizenship card; and
  • One document proving that the Social Insurance Number (SIN) on your loan or grant authorization document is your own. For example, you may present your SIN card or an official Government of Canada document that indicates your Social Insurance Number (e.g., a Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment, a Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions, a Confirmation of Social Insurance Number from Service Canada, or a temporary SIN card).

Cashing your loan

In some cases, your government loan/grant documents will be mailed to the address that you provided on your application for government aid. Please bring these documenst to the Scholarships and Student Aid Office, or to the student aid staff at Macdonald Student Services, along with the required ID. We will verify your student status, sign your loan/grant document and instruct you on how to proceed.

For most provinces, the new Master Student Financial Agreement (MSFAA) replaces previous federal and provincial government aid agreements. Students only have to sign one MSFAA for the entire duration of their studies. The student's responsibilities and the terms and conditions of accepting and repaying the loan(s) are outlined on the MSFAA. The contract is between the student and the Government of Canada, and between the student and the provincial government. The MSFAA does not specify the amount of assistance the student will qualify for, as this will be done through a Notice of Assessment from the province or territory.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) recipients

Once your OSAP entitlement has been calculated by the Ministry and McGill has confirmed your enrolment, your funding will be released ON or AFTER the first day of school. As your funds will be electronically disbursed to your bank account, it is important that you update your banking information with the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) to avoid delays in receiving your money. For information on your entitlement and/or status of your government aid, please contact OSAP.

Manitoba Student Aid Program recipients

Students receiving Manitoba government aid must present a copy of their Notice of Assessment to McGill's Scholarships and Student Aid Office before their confirmation of enrollment is processed.

Repaying your loan

The CanLearn website provides all the info you need on repaying your Canada student loan. Our office also holds regular workshops on this topic. Here is a Power Point presentation.ppt of our most recent one!