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  4. Government Student Financial Assistance

Government Student Financial Assistance

In Canada, student financial assistance (also known as student aid, or student grants/loans) is available from the federal and provincial/territorial governments. There are two main forms of assistance available: loans and grants. Student loans must be paid back whereas grants, in most cases, do not need to be repaid.

Applying For Student Financial Assistance

You apply for government student assistance in your home province even if you are planning to study in another province. Government student assistance is intended to help you pay for your education. The amount of assistance available will depend on your personal and family situation and can only be determined after you have submitted an application.

Contact Us

Student Awards and Financial Aid

Office: Administration Humanities, Rm. 108
University of Regina
3737 Wascana Pkwy
Regina, SK
S4S 0A2

safa@uregina.ca
1-306-585-4591
Book an Appointment

What Are The Benefits?

Female student posing outside of the Research and Innovation Centre

Benefits of Government Student Financial Assistance

  • Interest free while you are a full-time student
  • No payments required while you are a full-time student
  • You do not need to have a co-signer or collateral
  • A portion of your loan may be forgiven
  • You may also be considered for non-repayable funding such grants and bursaries
Smiling students talking to each other while sitting in comfortable chairs

Student Financial Assistance Programs

Saskatchewan Student Financial Assistance

The Canada-Saskatchewan Integrated Student Financial Assistance Program means Saskatchewan residents can apply for federal and provincial student loans using one application form. Find out more about the Saskatchewan student financial aid program.

Other Provincial Financial Assistance Programs

Students apply for financial assistance in their province of residence, even if they are attending the University of Regina. Find the student financial assistance information for your province here.

US Student Funding

Residents of the United States may be eligible for funding through programs such as Veteran Affairs and Sallie Mae.

  • Sallie Mae offers private student loans for American citizens.
  • The U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs offers opportunities for veterans, service members and family members to utilize their GI Bill benefits towards their UofR tuition.

Financial Assistance Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to apply?
The online application usually becomes available in early July. We strongly encourage you to apply before the start of August to ensure you receive your funding in time for when tuition and fees are due.
Do I have to apply for financial assistance each school year?
Yes, you will need to submit a new application at the start of each academic year. We encourage students to apply each year. Your financial situation can change each year, therefore, a new assessment is done based on the information you provide for that specific academic year.
Why would I apply for government student assistance as opposed to a bank loan?
Government student loans are interest and payment free as long as you are a full-time student. Also you do not need to have any collateral or a co-signor to secure your loan. As well, when you submit your application for funding you will also be assessed for government grants which is money you do not need to repay.
Is there a maximum amount of money my parents can earn before I am not eligible to receive financial assistance?
This is a difficult question to answer. Your financial need assessment is based on a number of variables. Your parents are expected to contribute to your education. The amount of their contribution is based on their income level, the number of children in the family and the number of children pursuing post-secondary studies. Your needs assessment also looks at your cost of attendance and your financial situation. The bottom line is there is no harm (or fee) to apply so we encourage you to do so.
I live outside of Saskatchewan, can I apply for government financial assistance?
Yes. If you have not lived in Saskatchewan for 12 consecutive months prior to the start of your study period, you would apply for financial assistance in your home province or territory.
It's halfway through the term - can I still apply for financial assistance?
Yes. Typically you can apply up until the last month of your studies. However, the process can take a few weeks so don't leave it until the last minute. You will still be assessed for the entire term, not just from the date you apply. You will also receive the full amount based on the full term of study.
If I'm not applying for financial assistance this year, do I have to start repaying my loan?
You do not  have to start repaying your loan if you are still a full-time student. You do need to go to the National Student Loans Service Centre and create a Confirmation of Enrolment. Once you've completed this form, we will be able to electronically confirm your status as a student and your loan payments will be put on hold until six months after the end date noted on the Confirmation of Enrolment. You will be required to make all repayments on your account that are due prior to when you fill out the form.

Check your province's website for any additional steps you may need to take when applying for interest-free status.
How much money will I receive?
The amount of assistance you receive can only be determined after you have submitted an application, and will depend on your personal and family situation. The government includes the following in their assessment:

  • Income - pre-study and study period
  • Assets - RESPs/investments
  • Parents or spousal income
  • Dependents
  • Scholarships
  • Previous years' income tax assessment.
There are maximum amounts set for financial assistance that cannot be exceeded. There are also grants and bursaries which are available and are paid out twice during the loan period. You can use the Canada Student Financial Assistance Estimator to estimate your potential eligible funding.
How long will it take to receive my funding?
Processing times will vary depending on the time of year and the type of application you submit. Filling out the application online will produce results much quicker than the paper application.

For Saskatchewan applicants, once your application has been reviewed you will receive an assessment letter and a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA). You are required to complete the online MSFAA. Your confirmation of enrolment will then be sent to our office electronically for us to confirm your status as a student. If the funding is confirmed you should expect to receive your funds within 10 business days. Note: you will not receive any money prior to your start date.

For example, if your funding is processed and confirmed by the University of Regina on August 15 you will not receive your first disbursement until the start date of August 31.
How do I apply for grants and bursaries without applying for the loan?
In order to apply for grants and bursaries through government funding, you have to complete the online application for government student financial assistance. Some provinces have an option within the application where you can select to receive "Grants Only". In Saskatchewan, if you select this option you will still have the ability to later request the loan funding as well if you decide you need the additional funding.
What happens if I add or drop a course?

If you add or drop a course, you must contact the provincial office handling your student financial assistance and let them know you have changed the credit hours you are registered in. They will update your file and reassess you based on this new information.  Please note that the Student Awards and Financial Aid office reviews your registration regularly and also reports changes to your status to your provincial office.

There are two possible outcomes for this:

  • Overpayment: if you drop a class, this could reduce your monthly disbursements or the amount of your next assistance
  • Additional funds: if you have added a course this could result in additional funds for you (if you are not at the maximum amount already).
You will receive an assessment letter outlining any changes.

Any tuition credit resulting from dropped courses or tuition taken in excess of your actual tuition amount may be returned to you. Please contact our office so we can investigate your particular situation and let you know if we can refund the excess funds to you or if it must be sent back to National Student Loans Service Centre.

If you are planning to drop a course it is highly recommended that you contact Student Awards and Financial Aid office (safa@uregina.ca). We can review your schedule and let you know if dropping that course would result in a possible discontinuation.
What happens if I discontinue or withdraw from the university?
If you discontinue or withdraw from the university, our office will notify your province of your discontinuation/withdrawal and they will reassess your funding. This could create overpayments which would be deducted from your next loan/grant funding. In addition, any grant funding you received for the period may be converted to a repayable loan.

Important: a discontinuation counts as a 'strike'. After two 'strikes' you have to wait a year before you can get financial assistance again. More then two 'strikes' could result in you waiting even longer for financial assistance. A 'strike' happens if you withdraw or drop below full time status during your study period. A 'strike' could also happen if you aren't successful in passing a certain percentage of your courses. Usually at least 60% of a full course load year must be passed.

For example: if you are taking three courses each term- this is considered 60% of a course load - you must pass all courses to be considered successful. If you are taking five classes each semester - this is considered 100% and you would have to pass at least six out of ten of these classes to be considered successful.

Any tuition credit resulting from a discontinuation is sent back to National Student Loans. If you have applied for two semester financial assistance and have discontinued from your studies in the Fall term, we will send the tuition we have taken for the Winter term back to National Student Loans. You will need to re-apply for new financial assistance for the Winter term if you plan to return to study.
I am taking at least one class at another post-secondary institution, how does this affect my student financial assistance?
If you are planning to enrol in classes at more than one institution, you are considered a dual-registered student. In order for the University to confirm your student financial assistance you must complete the following based on the institution where you are studying:

  • University of Saskatchewan: please send an email to safa@uregina.ca and include your name, your U of R ID number, your U of S ID number, the courses you are taking, the number of credit hours, and the start and end dates of these courses.
  • Any other post-secondary institution: please send an email to safa@uregina.ca and include your name, your U of R ID number, the name of the institution, a proof of your registration at the other institution showing the courses you are taking, the number of credit hours, and the start and end dates of those courses.
  • Request a Letter of Permission (LOP) from your faculty/college
  • Ensure that your faculty/college has registered your LOP on the U of R student information system
Please note that it is your responsibility to pay the tuition and fees at the other institution.
What happens if I have already paid my tuition and now my student financial assistance funding has been applied to my account?
If you have already paid your tuition prior to your student financial assistance funds being applied to your student account, you can contact Financial Services for a refund of the payment you made.
I still have an amount owing on my account, why didn't my student financial assistance pay for everything?
The amount we take from your student financial assistance is only to cover tuition and course fees. Sometimes the financial assistance does not cover the full amount of tuition so be sure to read your assessment letter carefully as it will outline how much assistance you will receive. As well, late charges, printing charges, etc. will not be covered by your student financial assistance . You must contact Financial Services to make a payment for those charges.

Additionally, there is a maximum amount we are able to request to be directed to the University of Regina. If your tuition and fees are higher than this amount, you are responsible for paying the difference. It is your responsibility to monitor your student account and ensure that all tuition and fees are paid on time.
There is a credit balance on my account from my student financial assistance, can I get this refunded to me?
There is a poosibility that credit balances can be refunded to you. Depending on the province of your financial assistance and the reason for the credit balance we are sometimes able to refund the credit balance to you. Please contact our office so that we can investigate your particular situation.
I live in a residence on campus, how do I pay for that?
Students who live in residence must make payment at Residence Services. The money we take from your student financial assistance can only to be used towards tuition. Any credit balance cannot be transferred to pay for residence fees.
Should I apply for part-time financial assistance or full-time financial assistance ?

It all depends on whether you will be registered in part-time studies or full-time studies.

Full-time Studies: "Full-time studies" is defined as registration in a minimum of 60% (40% for students with a disability) of a "full course load" for a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks.

Part-time Studies: "Part-time studies" is defined as registration between 20-59% (20-39% for students with a disability) of a "full course load" for a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks.

Full-course Load: A "Full-course load" is the maximum number of credit hours that a student can register for each term.

Undergraduate students

Fall/Winter: For an undergraduate student to be considered full-time they need to be registered in a minimum of 9 credit hours in each term (6 credit hours for students with a disability). In the Fall and Winter terms, a full-course load for an undergraduate student is 15 credit hours each term.  You must meet this requirement in each term of your study period, we are not able to average your registration across multiple terms.

Spring/Summer: There are multiple parts of term during the period between May and August which have different start and end dates. You must ensure that your entire length of study does not have more than a 3 week break between terms.
The study period must be a minimum of 6 weeks in length to be eligible for government student assistance.
On your student aid application, you will indicate the first day of the first part of term, and the last day of the last part of term for the course(s) you will be taking from May-August.

For Saskatchewan student assistance students: once our office has confirmed your registration, you will not be able to change your loan dates. Please ensure that when you apply for a loan you are confident in your course selections. Out of Province students may have more flexibility depending on how the government aid works in your province. Please check with our office before making any changes.

Graduate students

Graduate students please refer to the minimum registration requirements listed on the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research website regarding full-time and part-time registration. Graduate studies does not reduce the minimum course load requirements for students with a permanent disability.

Does the University of Regina accept FAFSA funding?
The University of Regina is a deferment status only school for the U.S. Direct Loans program (FAFSA). Students who have received loans in the past may be eligible to retain their interest free status by requesting a deferment. Please email safa@uregina.ca to request a deferment.
I want to apply for spring/summer loans. What dates should I put on my loan application?
Part of Term Start Date End Date Undergrad Minimum credit hours required to be full-time % of Course Load DRCL Reqmt % of Course Load
Grad Studies (Min req't & DRCL)
Grad Studies % of Course Load
Weeks of Study
1 May 2 Aug 19 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
4 May 2 June 23 6 100 3 50 6 60 7
7 July 4 Aug 24 6 100 3 50 6 60 7
10 May 2 Aug 6 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
1 & 4 May 2 Aug 19 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
1 & 7 May 2 Aug 24 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
1 & 10 May 2 Aug 19 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
1 & 4 & 10 May 2 Aug 19 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
1 & 7 & 10 May 2 Aug 24 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
4 & 7 May 2 Aug 24 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
1 & 4 & 7 May 2 Aug 24 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
4 & 10 May 2 Aug 6 9 75 6 50 6 60 14
4 & 7 & 10 May 2 Aug 24 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
7 & 10 May 2 Aug 24 9 75 6 50 6 60 16
1, 4, 7, & 10 May 2 Aug 24 9 75 6 50 6 60 16