Government student loans and grants can help you finance your education. They are interest-free while you are in school full-time. There are two main categories of government student loan programs:
- The Canada Student Loans Program, (for full-time and part-time students)
- Provincial and Territorial Student Financial Assistance for full-time students
If you still have questions about student loans after reading the information below, please contact Student Central.
You are eligible to apply for a government student loan if you are:
- A Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or designated as a protected person
- Enrolled in or qualified to enrol as a full-time* student (unless you plan to apply for a loan as a part-time student)
- Approved for a reduced course load - you must be registered in a minimum of 6 credit units per term (40% of a full course load) in order to maintain full-time status
* full time is defined as taking nine credit units per term (typically three classes for most undergraduates)
* If you are enrolled at more than one institution, to be considered a full-time student your combined course load should be equivalent to nine credit units per term (typically three classes for most undergraduates)
Loans are meant to give you a helping hand and may not pay for your entire post-secondary education. You may need to supplement your loan with other sources of funding.
Spring and Summer loans
To be eligible for a full-time student loan during the spring and/or summer terms:
- Your enrolment must be at least 6 consecutive weeks in length (except in the case where you have a student loan extended)
- You must continue to be enrolled in 60% or more of a full course load, which will be defined based on the number of quarters that you are enrolled in (see chart below) and achieve successful completion.
- If you are approved for a reduced course load, you must be enrolled in 40% of a full course load, which will be defined based on the number of quarters that you are enrolled in (see chart below).
You are ineligible for student loan funding for any time period when you are registered in 0 credit units.
|Quarter registered in||Minimum credit units required||Reduced Course Load||Start/end dates|
|Q1 extension (see below)||2 credit units or more||1.5 credit units or more||May 8 – May 31|
|Q1, Q2||4 credit units or more||3 credit units or more||May 8 – June 26|
|Q1, Q2, Q3||6 credit units or more||4.5 credit units or more||May 8 – July 22|
|Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4||8 credit units or more||6 credit units or more||May 8 – August 16|
|Q2, Q3||4 credit units or more||3 credit units or more||June 3 – July 22|
|Q2, Q3, Q4||6 credit units or more||4.5 credit units or more||June 3 – August 16|
|Q3, Q4||4 credit units or more||3 credit units or more||June 27 – August 16|
Spring Term = Quarter 1 (Q1), Quarter 2 (Q2)
Summer Term = Quarter 3 (Q3), Quarter 4 (Q4)
Student Loan Extensions
You can get a Quarter 1 (Q1) loan extension if:
- Your period of study is September 5, 2018 to May 31, 2019 (Term 1, Term 2, and Quarter 1), and you registered in at least 9 credit units or more in each of Term 1 and Term 2, and are registered in 2 credit units or more in Quarter 1.
- Your period of study is January 3 to May 31, 2019 (Term 2 and Quarter 1), and you registered in at least 9 credit units or more in Term 2, and registered in 2 credit units or more in Quarter 1.
- Your period of study is August 23, 2018 to May 31, 2019 (Term 1-EX PR, Term 2, and Quarter 1), and you registered in at least 9 credit units or more in both Term 1 and Term 2, and registered in 2 credit units or more in Quarter 1.
Students applying for Saskatchewan or Ontario student loans are not required to complete a new application, but will have to request that a Program Information Form (PIF) be completed by Student Central. Students from all other provinces will have to indicate on the student loan application that you are applying for a Quarter 1 extension.
If your program involves one or more practicum/internship placements, these placements may be eligible for additional financial assistance. Please contact your provincial/territorial government to see if you are eligible for additional funding.
As of the 2019 Fall Term, the university no longer participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program, also known as the Direct Loan Program. This means students with American citizenship will no longer be eligible to receive funding through the Direct Loan Program while attend the University of Saskatchewan.
If you had a direct loan prior to attending USask, we can work with you to defer the interest on your existing direct loan. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Pell Grants - Students attending foreign schools are not eligible for grants, such as the Pell Grant from the US government.
Make sure you apply through your province of residence—where you have lived for at least 12 consecutive months (excluding time spent as a full-time student in a post-secondary education program).
Each province/territory has its own student loan application process that you must follow. When you apply for your loan, you are automatically considered for a Canada Student Loan.
Apply as soon as you know that you will be attending the University of Saskatchewan and will need financial support. Applying early will help to ensure that your loan is processed in time for the upcoming academic year. It typically takes four to six weeks to process a loan application.
Learn more about your provincial/territorial student loan process:
- British Columbia
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Northwest Territories
Note to students with permanent disabilities: Students with permanent disabilities can access other financial assistance through the Government of Canada and through provincial/territorial programs. For more information, visit the Government of Canada financial assistance for students with permanent disabilities page.
Note to students who are enrolled at more than one institution: Please complete the dual registration form. Your combined course load should be equivalent to nine credit units per term (typically three classes for most undergraduate students).
The Government of Canada provides financial assistance (grants and loans) to help part-time students across Canada access post-secondary education. The government pays the interest on part-time student loans while in-study (as of January 1, 2012). The maximum total amount of part-time loans is $10,000. Only the Government of Canada offers loans and grants to part-time students.
Receiving your loan
Ensure full-time registration
Ensure you are registered full-time for the period of study on your assessment letter. The university will not be able to confirm that you are enrolled at the U of S if you have not registered for classes.
- To be considered a full-time student you must maintain an enrolment of 60% -100% of a full course load (40% for students with a permanent disability). At the University of Saskatchewan, full-time undergraduate students are those who are registered in 9 or more credit units per term (6 credit units for students with a permanent disability) during the Fall and Winter terms.
Paying tuition with an alternative method of payment
If you plan to use an alternate method of payment for your tuition (i.e., MasterCard), you must make payments before your loan documents are confirmed (i.e., 21 days prior to the period of study start date) to avoid having tuition remitted off your loan.
Check for oustanding balance
It is university policy that total assessed tuition and fees, for the loan period, be deducted from your student loan if available. This amount includes both the Federal Loan amount and the Grant amount. It is your responsibility to check your account balance in PAWS to ensure that there is no outstanding balance. View your account summary in the Tuition and Fees channel in PAWS.
Register with the National Student Loans Service Centre
We encourage you to register with the National Student Loans Service Centre. Through this service you can:
- Check your student loan(s) status and balance(s)
- Submit a confirmation of enrolment request if you are still in school and not receiving new loan funding
- Review loan payment and transaction history
- Update your contact information
- Customize your repayment to either inrease or lower your monthly payment amount
- Apply for repayment assistance
- Receive helpful updates in your Personal Message Centre
- Access, download and print the following from your digital mailbox:
- e-letter update when new loan and/or grant funding has been disbursed
- e-letter update when you leave school and we require confirmation of enrolment
- e-letters with updates after you submit a repayment assistance application
- e-documents for tax and budgeting including the Income Tax Receipts and Annual Loan Statements
- Receive emails when there is an update for you to review
When your student loan application is processed, you will receive an email or letter from your student loan provider detailing your approved loan. Alternatively, they may request additional information.
Once you receive your student loan package in the mail, be sure to carefully read your loan agreement—it is a legally binding document—and follow the instructions outlined in your loan package.
For out-of-province students, tuition and fees for Term 1 will be paid with your first disbursement and Term 2 will be paid with your second disbursement. After the second disbursement has been applied, please check your account balance in PAWS to ensure there is no outstanding balance.
New! Your assessment results will be electronically posted to your portal account in the Message Centre. You will no longer receive this information in the mail.
If your application is approved, the following documents will be posted on your portal account:
- Notice of Assessment
This letter will tell you:
- The type of funding that has been approved (loan and/or grant);
- The amount of money you will receive; and
- When you will receive your money.
- Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA)
- Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement
The MSFAA is a multi-year agreement and requires a one-time signature.
This document will need to be printed, signed, and sent to the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) before you receive any money. It is important you review the agreement before signing as this is a legally binding contract requiring you to repay your student loans.
Once you have signed the MSFAA, you need to take it to a designated Canada Post outlet where they will confirm your identification and forward your MSFAA to the NSLSC.
When the MSFAA has been received, the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) will confirm your enrolment electronically with the school.
Once your enrolment is confirmed, your funds will be either deposited electronically into your bank account or forwarded to the school to pay your tuition and mandatory fees. The deposit usually occurs within seven to ten business days after enrolment is confirmed. Your assessment letter outlines the dates your money will be transferred. Please check your account balance in PAWS to ensure there is no outstanding balance.
Maintain interest free status
While you are in school full time, your student loan(s) remain interest-free. Although you are not required to make loan payments during the first six months after you leave school, interest will begin to accumulate during this non-repayment (grace) period.
Going back to school? Reinstate your interest-free status.
Whether you take out a new student loan for upcoming studies or not, your existing loan holder(s) need to know that you are still in school. If not, you will lose the interest-free status on your existing loans and will have to start repaying loans earlier than expected.
If you are taking out a new loan and are registered as a full-time student: We will automatically confirm your enrolment to your government student loan providers. Please ensure you are registered full-time for the period of study your loan is for. We will not be able to confirm that you are enrolled at the U of S if you have not registered for classes.
If you are not taking out a new loan: You must provide Confirmation of Enrolment (Schedule 2) to your loan provider(s). As long as the completed documentation is provided to the loan provider(s) within six months of your previous period of study end date, no interest will be charged.
For Integrated Student Loans (Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, British Columbia or Newfoundland and Labrador) or Canada Student Loans log in to the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) On-Line Services and submit a Confirmation of Enrolment request online.
For full-time provincial or territorial stand-alone loans
Stay in touch with your financial institution or your provincial or territorial student assistance office directly. If you have a Canada Student Loan, you may also need to keep in touch with the NSLSC and your provincial or territorial student assistance office.
If you had a William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan: also known as a direct loan, prior to attending USask, we can work with you to defer the interest on your existing direct loan. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Repay your loan
Six months after you have completed full-time study, whether you have graduated, transferred to part-time studies, withdrawn, or you are taking time off from your studies, you will need to begin repaying your student loan. This is called student loan consolidation.
Prior to your loan(s) entering the repayment phase, the National Student Loans Service Centre will send you a Consolidation Letter and Agreement. It outlines your repayment terms and your minimum monthly payment. You also can negotiate your monthly payment amounts with the National Student Loans Service Centre, pay in lump sum or pay out your loan early. Contact the National Student Loans Service Centre if you have not received your repayment information one month before your loans consolidate.
Even though you are not required to make a payment for six months after completing your studies, interest will accumulate during this time. Any unpaid interest accumulated during this six month period will be capitalized and included in your principal balance at the time of consolidation.
Your first loan payment is due:
- On the last day of the seventh month following the date your period of study ends; or
- The end date you withdraw from studies
We encourage you to register with the National Student Loans Service Centre Online Services. Through this service, you can customize your repayment and get repayment assistance.
Register for National Student Loan Service Centre Online Services
Maintaining Your Loan While in Repayment
As a borrower, you are required to fulfill your obligations and responsibilities of the repayment terms and conditions of your loan. Missing payments could damage your credit rating and your student loan could go into default. Defaulting on your loan will affect your credit score and in turn your ability to purchase something as simple as a new cell phone.
Contact the National Student Loans Service Centre before you miss a payment. There are repayment options available to help you manage your payments and avoid defaulting on your loan. If you have difficulty paying back your student loan, you can apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan.
Student Loan Repayment Presentation
The National Student Loans Service Centre offers a specialized presentation for students. To learn about repayment, please visit https://dhcorp.webex.com/dhcorp/ldr.php?RCID=db89eb61e35c98dadf77ad8f754f24dc.