Applying for Government Student Loans in Canada

Government student loans in Canada are either from the federal government of Canada or from the provincial government.

Unlike the US (where the application process can vary as well) – depending on your province of residency, you may apply for either or both student loan programs. These are different of course, from private loans.

Available student loan in different Canadian provinces

If you are a permanent resident of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, you can apply for both the Canada Student Loan from the federal government and the student loan programs provided by the province or territory.

The provincial governments of Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador partnered with the federal government to provide one integrated student loan.

Quebec, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut do not participate in the Canada Student Loan Program, as they operate their own student loan programs.

The Yukon province, on the other hand, does not have a student loan program. Permanent residents may apply for the Canada Student Loan of the federal government.


For the provinces and territories that participate in the Canada Student Loan Program, other eligibility requirements include citizenship or permanent residency status; enrollment in a degree, diploma, or certificate program with a duration of at least 12 weeks for full-time students; and enrollment in 20 to 60 percent of a full-time course load for part-time students. Enrollment must be in a designated educational institution, and the student must be in financial need.

Application forms are available at high schools, the financial assistance office of your province or territory, or online. Follow the instructions on the application carefully and mail the completed form to the provincial or territorial student financial assistance office. Full-time students have the option of completing their applications online, and can get the results earlier than the normal assessment period of four to six weeks.

Applying for a Canada Student Loan also includes an automatic assessment for other financial support such as the Canada Student Grants, and other grants and bursaries from the province or territory of residence.

Application deadlines vary on the kind of loan you applied for. You must check with the student financial assistance office in your province or territory for deadlines.

After the assessment period, you will receive a letter of assessment and a Certificate of Eligibility. The letter of assessment will indicate if you qualified for the loan and other grants. The Certificate of Eligibility will show the amount you will receive.

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