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Am I Eligible

General

You are eligible for student financial assistance if:

  • you are a Canadian citizen, have permanent resident status or are considered to be a protected person within the meaning of subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Act;
  • you are a permanent resident of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • you have insufficient financial resources to meet your assessed need;
  • you are not in default on previous federal and/or provincial student loans;
  • you pass a credit check (this applies only to students who are 22 years of age or older who are applying for a student loan for the first time);
  • you provide accurate personal information, including your Social Insurance Number, first and last names, date of birth and gender, as confirmed by the Social Insurance Registry of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada;
  • you are registered as a full-time student at a designated educational institution (visit CanLearn.ca opens in new window for a list of designated institutions); and
  • you are enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least 12 weeks in duration.

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Course-Load Requirements

Provincial Student Loan

To receive a provincial student loan, you must be taking at least 80% of a full course load. (Your educational institution will determine the percentage of a full course load that you are taking.) This requirement may be reduced to 60% of a full course load upon submission of a Reduced Course Load Request Form for the following students:

1.  A single parent who has a child (or children) under 12 years of age and who:

  • is carrying at least 60% of a full course load that includes at least one university credit course requiring lab time in addition to regular classroom time; or
  • has a child (or children) with special needs; or
  • has other personal circumstances that merit special consideration.

2.  A student who has:

  • a severe medical condition; or
  • recently experienced a trauma that merits special consideration; or
  • other documented extenuating circumstances.

Federal Student Loan

To receive a federal student loan for full-time studies, you must be taking at least 60% of a full course load. For part-time studies, you must be taking 20–59% of a full course load.

Students with Permanent Disabilities

A student with a permanent disability may receive assistance (federal and provincial) for full-time studies if enrolled in 40–59% of a full course load. Students with a permanent disability may receive assistance for part-time studies if taking 20–39% of a full course load.

A permanent disability is a functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts ability to perform the daily activities necessary to participate full-time in post-secondary studies or the labour force and that is expected to remain with the individual for the rest of her or his life.

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Residency Requirements

Residency is established when you have lived in a province or territory for 12 consecutive months while not enrolled in full-time studies. To be eligible for student financial assistance from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, your most recent residence (and, if applicable, your parents’ or spouse’s residence) must be in Newfoundland and Labrador.

You are considered to be a permanent resident of Newfoundland and Labrador if:

  • you are a dependant student and the province of residence of your parent(s), guardian(s) or sponsor(s) is Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • you are a dependant student, your parents are separated or divorced and the parent with whom you live or who provides your principal means of financial support is considered to be a permanent resident of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • you are a dependant student, your parents moved away from the province but you remain in Newfoundland and Labrador to begin or continue post-secondary education within 12 months of your parents’ move;
  • you are a dependant student, your parent(s) resides outside Canada but their last province of permanent residence was Newfoundland and Labrador before leaving Canada; or
  • you are an independent student, a single parent, married or living common-law and you last lived in the province for at least 12 consecutive months, excluding time spent as a full-time student at a post-secondary institution.

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Maintaining Eligibility

Academic Performance

To maintain eligibility for the Canada Student Loans Program, you must successfully complete at least 60% of a full course load during each period of study for which you receive financial assistance for full-time studies. To remain eligible for part-time assistance, you must successfully complete all courses for which funding was issued. For the Newfoundland and Labrador Student Loans Program, you must complete at least 80% of a full course load. Students with permanent disabilities must successfully complete at least 40% of a full course load.

The first time you do not meet the required course load, you will be placed on probation. This means you can continue to receive additional assistance on a semester-by-semester basis, provided you submit confirmation that you have successfully completed each period of study.

If you do not meet this academic performance requirement for a second time, your eligibility for financial assistance will be suspended for 12 months.

A third time will result in a loss of eligibility for at least 36 months.

Note: Withdrawal from full-time studies and dropping below the required course load is deemed unsuccessful.

While there may be some flexibility in the application of probationary and restriction periods, depending on individual circumstances, students are encouraged to maintain a satisfactory scholastic standing throughout their borrowing years.

Enrolment in Multiple Programs

You may be eligible for assistance beyond your initial program provided you can demonstrate that the subsequent program(s) represents academic progression, has good labour-market prospects and will not result in the accumulation of an unmanageable level of debt. You will be required to submit a rationale to support your decision.

Switching Programs

In the event you switch programs, your eligibility for assistance may be affected. If you switch programs after the end of the fourth semester or after the midpoint of your program, you will be required to provide a rationale to support your decision before additional assistance is considered.

Faculty Registration

Generally, if you are attending university, you must be formally registered in a faculty to continue receiving financial assistance beyond the fourth semester.

Work Terms

It is possible to receive financial assistance during a mandatory work term, provided the educational institution you attend considers you to be enrolled in full-time studies and you demonstrate financial need through the needs assessment process. To determine your assessed need, you must include on your application a reasonable estimate of your gross weekly income during your work term.

If you are deemed eligible to receive financial assistance in addition to your work term income, confirmation from your employer of your actual income will be required prior to the release of assistance. If your work term is unpaid, you must provide confirmation of this from your employer or educational institution.

Note: Internships for students studying education or social work, or preceptorships for nursing students are not considered work terms.

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Audit

All information provided to the Student Financial Services Division is subject to audit, including number of dependants, marital status, the date you left high school and financial information.

The financial information you provide will be checked against information you, your parents or your spouse have provided to the Government of Canada when submitting income tax returns. If there are discrepancies, automatic adjustments will be made to your file and you will be notified in writing. If you feel the action taken was incorrect, you must provide additional information to the division by submitting an Audit Income Form (see below) that includes a monthly breakdown of your income. Please note this information must be provided in time to ensure that you receive the financial assistance to which you are entitled prior to the period of study end date.

Be aware that providing incorrect financial information on two occasions, or deliberately providing incorrect information at any time to the Student Financial Services Division, may result in you being restricted from receiving further financial assistance.

Submitting false or misleading information in relation to any application for government-subsidized assistance is an offense pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Student Financial Assistance Act. Fines and/or imprisonment may result.

Note: You can submit a request to have an over-award resulting from an audit split over two semesters. Before your request can be considered you must either submit the Audit Income Form or notify the Student Financial Services Division via email or in writing that you agree with the adjustments.

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