Government Student Loans
The federal and provincial/territorial governments provide student loan and grant assistance for Canadian citizens and permanent residents studying at the post-secondary level. The funding is offered in the form of repayable loans and non-repayable grants and is issued to students if they have demonstrated financial need. These loans are interest free while you are a full-time student.
Part-time students may also be eligible for Student Loan and Grant funding. Information and application forms are available online from the BC Ministry of Advanced Education.
For more information, please refer to Canlearn's Canada Student Loans and Grants handout.
Am I Full Time and Eligible ?
Yes, you may be eligible if you meet the following criteria:
- Registered in a minimum of 4.5 units of study per term . Students who have registered as having a permanent disability with their student loan provider are considered full-time at 3.0 units per term.
- Course of study is 12 consecutive weeks
- Period of study does not have breaks greater than ten working days.
- None of my courses are duplicate, mutually exclusive or waitlisted
Graduate students must be registered as full-time according to the regulations set by Graduate Admissions and Records.
SUMMER SESSION View the summer session requirements and eligible study blocks (PDF).
Withdrawing from Full-time Studies
WARNING - Dropping below 4.5 units for credit per term of study will jeopardize your student loan eligibility. If you are receiving government student loans and grants to finance your studies, please contact Student Awards and Financial Aid before dropping any courses.
Six months after withdrawing from full-time studies, the student becomes responsible for starting to repay outstanding loans and accrued interest.
Any loan or grant disbursements awarded for the current session or term are forfeited if the student withdraws from full-time studies. In particular, the University may not release grant cheques to individuals who are not full-time students.
If student loans and grants have already been released for the current session to a student who withdraws, the provincial agency may require that a portion be repaid.
If you have questions or concerns about assistance, consult Student Awards & Financial Aid prior to withdrawal.
Going on an International Exchange
If you require funding while you are overseas on an International Exchange through the University of Victoria, please ensure you complete all the necessary paperwork before you leave! We have put together an information sheet in pdf format called "Financial Aid Information for International Exchange Students" of things you need to do regarding loans, confirmation of enrolment and other financial matters.
It is also extremely important that you visit the website for UVic International and Exchange Student Services. The IESS has a checklist of things to do before you leave to study abroad.
How to Apply
Students must apply to their province/territory of residency and only one application is required to access both the federal and provincial funding. Student loan applications are usually available in May/June of each year and students should apply early to ensure that their loans will be processed before the school year commences. The majority of provinces/territories prefer students to apply on-line or access a printable version of the application from their websites.
CanLearn - a one stop online source for information on post-secondary education in Canada. Includes student loan information, budgeting tools and a financial need calculator.
Once the student loan document has been confirmed by the school. The student can take the student loan documents directly to a designated postal outlet that will forward the loans to the lender. Please check the CanLearn website for a list of designated postal outlets. Please note that although registration status for student loans through BC is now electronically confirmed, loans are only valid for 30 days from date of issuance. Take the loan documents to your service provider before they stale date! If, for whatever reason, you don't get your loans to the service provider in time, you will need to bring the loans to our office to be manually re-confirmed.
Once you have negotiated your student loans, your must contact your lenders regarding repayment and maintaining interest-free status.
REPAYING YOUR STUDENT LOAN LINK
Confirmation of Enrolment
Once you receive government issued student loans, you will need to do Confirmation of Enrolment paperwork to keep them in Interest Free Status. This paperwork must be signed by UVic Student Awards and Financial Aid. Instructions may be found on the Confirmation of Enrolment page.
Personal Student Loans
If you do not qualify for a government student loan, you may consider applying for a personal student loan or student line of credit from a bank. These loans are not interest free while you are enrolled as a full-time student and are not based on financial need. You will probably require a co-signer (usually your parents) in order to qualify for these loans. Application forms for these loans are available from most Canadian banks.
Review the External Awards section for other financial resources.