Financial Aid Directory

Canada Student Loans and Grants

The Canada Student Loans Program enables students with a demonstrated financial need to attend a post-secondary institution by providing them with loans to cover the costs of going to school. In doing so, the Government of Canada attempts to ensure Canadians have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills needed to participate in the economy and society.

Full-time Canada Student Loans

Canada Student Loans Program financial assistance is based on the premise that post-secondary education is the shared responsibility of the student, the student’s family (if applicable) and the government.

A student’s financial need is assessed by taking into consideration the resources available to them relative to their education-related expenses. If expenses are higher than resources the student is deemed to have need for student financial assistance.

The Canada Student Loans Program covers up to 60% of a student’s assessed need, up to the CSLP’s loan maximum of $210 per week of study. Generally, provinces will cover the remaining need through their respective student financial assistance programs.

One of the benefits of a Canada Student Loan over a commercial loan is that, while in full-time studies, interest does not accrue on loans and no payments are expected on the loan.

The Canada Student Loans Program recognizes that physical and learning disabilities may mean that it takes longer to complete a program of study. Under general conditions when students apply for a full-time Canada Student Loan they must be enrolled in at least 60% of a full course load. However, a student with a permanent disability need only register for at least 40% of a full course load. Correspondingly, the part time course load requirements are also reduced.

Canada Student Loans are administered at the National Student Loans Service Centre, which manages the loan on a day-to-day basis

Part-time Canada Student Loans

Part-time Canada Student Loans are also available. It is assumed that eligible applicants will be earning an income while attending studies. Therefore, a part-time student may be eligible to borrow a cumulative amount of $10,000 (principal and interest) over the period of their studies in total Canada Student Loans. Repayment of Part-time Student Loans begins after graduation or if the student stops going to school. Loan payments are not required while in school, but interest will accumulate on the loan. If the student is having difficulty paying back their loan, the Repayment Assistance Plan will allow them to only pay back what they can reasonably afford. In certain cases, payments may not be required until the borrower’s income increases.

Budget 2009 - Changes to Student Financial Assistance

The Government of Canada recently announced, in Budget 2008, a series of changes to its student financial assistance programs, such as Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants, to improve access to university, college and trade school and to help students and families manage the cost of post-secondary education. These changes will come into effect as of August 1, 2009.

Check out the information below to learn the new measures to help pay for post-secondary education.

Canada Student Grants Program

The new Canada Student Grants Program (CSGP) consolidates federal student financial assistance grants into a single program that will provide more effective support for students and families and help them manage the cost of post-secondary education. The grants available under the new CSGP will be predictable, easy to apply for, and provided to students at the beginning and middle of the school year.

Program Highlights:

(Please note that students may be eligible to receive more than one grant simultaneously).

Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD)

The new federal student loan Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD) will be available to borrowers with a permanent disability who are having difficulty paying their student loans. RAP makes it easier for student loan borrowers to manage their debt by paying back what they can reasonably afford.

Under this plan:

  • Loan payments are based on income, ability to pay and disability accommodation costs (uninsured medical expenses, special care and other expenses).
  • Borrowers will not make payments exceeding 20 per cent of their income towards loans covered by RAP.
  • In certain cases borrowers may not have to make any loan payments until their income increases.
  • Students with a permanent disability go directly to Stage II of the RAP and fully repay their student loan within 10 years after leaving school.

Note: If you are a student with severe permanent disabilities who is prevented from working or going to school and who will never be able to repay your loans, you may benefit from having your loans immediately forgiven under the Permanent Disability Benefit. You must apply for the benefit.

You need to apply for RAP-PD. Enrolment is not automatic.

  • Call the National Student Loans Service Centre at 1-888-815-4514 to request an application form, or to get more information about the plan.
  • Complete the application form and submit it to the National Student Loans Service Centre.
  • Provide required supporting documentation.

The RAP-PD comes into effect on August 1, 2009.

Permanent Disability Benefit

Beginning on August 1st 2009, the Permanent Disability Benefit will be available to borrowers with a severe permanent disability. If you have a severe permanent disability, you may be eligible to have your loans immediately forgiven.

Students with a severe permanent disability who received loans between 1995 and 2000 will now be eligible for immediate loan forgiveness regardless of when the severe permanent disability occurred.

For more information about these changes to student financial assistance and how to pay for your post-secondary education, visit

Contact Information

Since 2000, Canada Student Loans have been directly financed by the Government of Canada through the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC).

National Student Loans Service Centre
1 888 815-4514 (within North America)
1 800 2-225-2501 (outside North American plus appropriate country code)
TTY: 1 888 815-4556
P.O. Box 4030
Mississauga ON
L5A 4M4

Canada Student Loans Program
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
P.O. Box 2090, Station “D”
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 6C6