Financial Aid Directory
Government Funding Programs in Northwest Territories
Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities
The government of the Northwest Territories has not signed an agreement with the Federal government to implement the EAPD program. As such, support for students with disabilities operates under the terms of the Vocational Rehabilitation for Disabled Persons (VRDP) Program. The program does offer support to students with disabilities to attend post-secondary education. However, this is a very small program with a limited budget and students are encouraged to seek other supports, such as student loans.
VRDP funding has traditionally gone to support the purchase of computers and specialized software for individuals with disabilities. Students at Aurora College or other upgrading or employment-related programs are eligible for funding. The program has also supported assessment and tutoring services for students in post-secondary institutions, colleges, and universities. The focus of the program has been on covering items not covered by mainstream programs such as the student loan program. The program does not cover costs associated with tuition, books or living expenses, which are covered under student financial assistance. Officials reported a short waiting list for access to VRDP funding at the time of our data collection. They also noted that funds are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. So students are encouraged to apply early for assistance.
Student Loan Program
NWT Study Grant For Students with disabilities - Full-Time/Course Reimbursement
The NWT Study Grant is in addition to other Grants, Remissible/Repayable Loans, and Course Reimbursement funding offered to full-time, distance learning and part-time students through the NWT Student Financial Assistance Program (SFA). Recipients do not have to repay the NWT Study Grant under normal conditions, but must specifically apply for it. Eligibility for the NWT Study Grant requires medical and or other appropriate documentation of your disability, such as a disability assessment, and the manner in which it limits your ability to participate fully in post-secondary studies.
All Student Categories, Northern Indigenous Aboriginal Resident, Northern Resident Schooled in the NWT, and Northern Resident Not Schooled in the NWT may be eligible to receive the NWT Study Grant. The Grant is additional funding designed to assist post-secondary students with permanent disabilities such as deafness, blindness, and other physical or learning disabilities. Based on an assessment of needs, eligible students attending post-secondary studies full-time may receive up to $5,000.00 per academic year. Students attending post secondary studies through distance learning, correspondence courses or part-time may receive up to $1,000.00 per course. If you are applying as a full-time student you are required to enroll in courses that represent at least 40% of a 100% course load. If you are applying as distance learning, correspondence courses or part-time student then you are required to enroll in courses that represent at least 20% of a 100% course load.
How to Apply
To apply for the NWT Study Grant check the box indicating NWT Study Grant for Students with Disabilities on the SFA Application(s). Complete the Income and Expense pages, including all educational expenses related to your disability. For example, if you have a personal care attendant, the NWT Study Grant can provide funding for the cost incurred while you are at school. For more information, contact a Student Case Officer.
The NWT Study Grant may be used to cover exceptional expenses such as the cost of a tutor, an interpreter (oral, sign), note taker, transportation, attendant care or special equipment. The Grant will also reimburse students for (up to 75%) of the cost of a disabilities assessment (up to $1,000). It is important to keep in mind that the NWT Study Grant may be disbursed up-front. For reimbursement, you will need to submit quotes or receipt(s) (proof of purchase) for your education-related materials. For example if you have a personal care attendant, the program can only provide funding for the costs incurred while you are in school, not for when your attendant provides you with services at home. The Grant will not cover the capital costs such as vehicle modifications and alterations for educational institutions or student residences.
Expenses Exceeding that of the NWT Study Grant Limit
If your needs exceed the NWT Study Grant for Students with Disabilities, you can also receive funding under the Repayable Loan. When you apply for SFA, please complete the Income and Expense pages of the SFA application(s) forms and include all expenses related to your disability. If your needs are more than the NWT Study Grant of $5,000 per academic year, you may be eligible to receive up to an additional $1,100 a month in the form of a Repayable Loan.
As of Fall 2000, a full-time student means a student who is enrolled in 60% of a 100% course load of post-secondary studies in the first 4 semesters, and 75% of 100% course load in subsequent semesters. You have to be a full-time student to receive funding under the SFA Program for full-time student status. The NWT SFA Program will determine if you qualify as a full-time student. Students with disabilities who are eligible for full-time funding may enroll in at least 40% of 100% course load and still be considered full-time.
Part-time Student As of Fall 2000
Part-time funding means that a student is either enrolled in distance learning, correspondence courses, or an institution part-time. The NWT SFA Program will determine if you qualify as a part-time student. Students can apply for the NWT Study Grant, and based on an assessment of your educational needs, may qualify for up to $1,000.00 per course. This may be disbursed up-front to cover the student's educational-related expenses. Students with disabilities who are eligible for part-time studies may enroll in at least 20% of 100%.
If I'm receiving Income Assistance, can I also receive Student Financial Assistance?
Students are not normally eligible to receive Income Assistance while enrolled in full-time post-secondary studies. However, if you are not eligible for assistance from the SFA Program, you may qualify for funding under the Income Assistance Program. This assistance is only available to you if you do not qualify for SFA.
All students applying for funding under the Income Assistance Program must meet the same eligibility requirements as those of the SFA Program. Tuition is available for only 1 semester if you are enrolled in a full-time, approved program of study in an accredited post-secondary institution. You must attend a post-secondary institution in the NWT to receive funding from the Income Assistance Program. Tuition is not available if you are required to repay SFA because you dropped out during the semester, but you may still receive funding for your living expenses.
Assistance is only available to those clients in the Adult Benefits or Youth Educational categories. Clients must complete a Productive Choice Plan with the assistance of a Career Development Officer (CDO) prior to any payment of tuition. The CDO will confirm that clients have been denied SFA, and advise the Income Assistance Worker. Clients may be provided with $50 for school supplies.
Other Funding Sources for Disabled Students
Contact the NWT Council for Disabled Persons in Yellowknife, as well as the institution you are attending to find out about other forms of assistance such as scholarships that may be available for disabled persons. See Section 18 of this guide for the SFA definition of a disabled person. The Northwest Territories Council For Disabled Persons may be contacted at: Box 1387, Yellowknife, NWT, X1A 2P1, tel: (867) 873-8230, TTY: (867) 920-2674, Fax: (867) 873-4124.
Student Financial Assistance