Canada provides financial assistance to students through its government student loan programs. These programs are for students who wish to pursue post-secondary education, such as a college, graduate, or doctorate degree. There are particular programs for full-time students and part-time students, and for those with physical disability or with dependents.
Types of government student loan programs
There are two types of government student loan programs — one that is offered by the federal government and another one which is being offered by the respective provincial or territorial governments.
Through the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP), the federal government of Canada works in partnership with most provinces and territories to deliver student financial assistance. The federal government of Canada usually provides sixty percent (60%) of the assessed need, or up to a maximum of $210 in loans per week of study.
The forty percent (40%) may be provided in the form of provincial or territorial student loans. The Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP) is funded by the federal government while provinces fund their own lending programs or may operate in coordination with the CSLP.
Where the provincial and federal government loan programs are integrated, the student needs to apply just once in his or her province of residence.
Loan management and repayment are coursed through the National Student Loans Service Centre. Ontario, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick are the four provinces that offer an integrated program. In British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, student loans are available alongside provincial or territorial student financial assistance.
In Yukon, only the federal student loan is available to permanent residents.
For all the other remaining provinces, such as Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Quebec, the federal student loan is not available and these provinces offer stand-alone loan programs. While there are many types of government student loan programs available, the student should select and apply for that program which suits his or her financial needs best.