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Financial Aid Options

Message received from StudentAid BC on March 27, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information Update

StudentAid BC would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all our institutional partners who are working incredibly hard to support students during this challenging time.

Please review measures outlined below that have been put in place to mitigate any potential impacts related to COVID-19 on students who receive financial assistance.

Temporary Suspension of Repayment

Effective March 30, 2020, all British Columbia student loan borrowers will temporarily have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. During this time, no payment will be required, and interest that currently applies to the federal portion of student loans will not accrue. Repayment will be paused automatically, so borrowers do not need to apply to have their repayment suspended.

For more information on the suspension of repayment, please read the  COVID-19 Information Update on the StudentAid BC website.

Service Delivery Process Changes

The following process changes have been put in place to support continued delivery of services at this time:

  • To ensure timely document processing, please encourage students to submit documents and correspondence through their StudentAid BC dashboard account or by email to StudentAidBC@gov.bc.ca (excluding documents requiring an ink signature).
    • At this time, an exception has been made to accept Part-Time Applications via document upload or email.
  • Many institutions are moving toward online delivery of programs to comply with public health directives. StudentAid BC will support these measures through the following changes:
  • For Program Year 2019/20 (ending July 31, 2020), existing programs moving from on site to online delivery do not require a Confirmation of Distance Education Eligibility (CODEE) form and institutions do not need to notify StudentAid BC of these changes but must ensure compliance with their regulator.
  • StudentAid BC will waive online distance policy requirements for new programs for the remainder of the program year, if all other program eligibility requirements are met.   However, to notify StudentAid BC of the new online program, please submit a CODEE.
  • Online programs submitted for the 2020/21 Program Year will be assessed based on the current Online Program Policy.

National Student Loans Service Centre Service Disruption

  • StudentAid BC is working with the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) to address a temporary NSLSC systems outage that has affected disbursements. This outage resulted in disbursements being temporarily halted.
  • NSLSC is working on this issue and we will provide regular updates on this matter until the issue is resolved.
  • We will provide further updates as required.

Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Please be aware that a COVID-19 information bulletin for students has been posted on the Latest News page on the StudentAid BC website.

 

Financial Aid in British Columbia

Student loans are interest free government advances designed to assist post-secondary students in paying for their education while they are actively engaged in their studies. This form of financial aid must be repaid upon completion of your degree.  B.C. student loans require that you receive at least 20 hours of instruction each week or a minimum of 60% load or 12 hours per week (40% or 8 hours  for students on disability) to get funding as fulltime student: only eligible students in the full-time format of Master of Counseling program could qualify for full time funding.  Students in the Saturday and the Mixed-Modes setups can only apply for part time students loans.

Watch a repayment presentation video from the National Student Loans Service Centre to understand your options a little better.

***Notices for STUDENTS RECEIVING LOANS***

Explore overall funding options in BC (refer to the other links below for specifics):

Applying for funding

The process is different for full-time and part-time students:

1)      Fulltime application

  • Application deadline: You can apply for fulltime student funding if you carry a minimum load of 12 credits per term (8 credits for students with disabilities).  Additional information (use the online application for expediency).
  • Additional information available at Student Aid BC
  • Application deadline:  You  apply for full-time student loans up to  6 weeks before your study program ends by providing  all the compulsory documentation.
  • Although you do not need to be actively registered into your study program before applying for student assistance, you will however not receive the money until the University confirms your fulltime enrolled in full-time and the beginning of your study period

2)      Part time

  • The in-class (Saturdays)  and the mixed-mode cohorts of the Master of Counselling  programs are considered part time by this definition and therefore students taking the Mixed-Mode or Saturday program do not qualify for Fulltime Students Loans (Except for students on disability or those who qualify for part time studies).
  •  You can apply for part-time student funding if you taking few  than 12 credits per quarter. Additional information available at Student Aid BC

StudentAid BC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Questions and Answers

What if an institution temporarily suspends operations (e.g. school closes, exchange program students recalled, work-integrated learning cancelled, etc.) as a result of the Coronavirus?

An interruption of study of up to four weeks will have no impact on student eligibility for financial assistance or disbursement of funding if students recommence classes at the end of the interruption. No withdrawal/unsuccessful completion reporting to StudentAid BC is required.

If an institution extends the study period in response to an interruption, students may request a reassessment from StudentAid BC to receive additional funding.

What if an institution cancels the term/semester due to the Coronavirus?

Students will not be penalized for non-completion of the study period if their institution cancels the term/semester. No withdrawal/unsuccessful completion reporting to StudentAid BC is required.

What if a student is ill or has been quarantined with the Coronavirus and cannot attend classes?

As with other illnesses, students may choose to work with their institutions to find alternate ways of completing their study period.

If a student is unable to successfully complete their study period, the institution will determine whether to report their withdrawal as either a non-punitive withdrawal or unsuccessful completion.

Students may choose to appeal this to StudentAid BC in order to access future funding.

What if a student decides to self-quarantine or not attend class out of concern for contracting the Coronavirus?

As with other exceptional circumstances, students may choose to work with their institutions to find alternate ways of completing their study period.

If a student is unable to successfully complete their study period, the institution will determine whether to report their withdrawal as either a non-punitive withdrawal or unsuccessful completion.

Students may choose to appeal this to StudentAid BC in order to access future funding.

Who should I contact if I’m not sure what to do?

Please call StudentAid BC at 1-800-561-1818.

StudentAid BC has a business continuity plan in place to continue to provide funding and support services to students and institutions in contingencies.

Additional information may be provided as required.

Maintaining an Interest Free status

Students with previous loans can prolong their interest free period if they return to school before they grace period. Link here for additional information at Student Aid BC

Repaying your StudentAid BC loan

Information about how to repay your loan.

Please click here for an important notice on a major change in the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) notification process.

New CSLP online services: Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) in collaboration with DH Corporation (National Student Loans Service Centre) and other stakeholders launched on November 18, 2019 three new online services for CLSP students:

  • Virtual Repayment Counsellor
  • One-time payments
  • Communicating missing financial institution (banking) information

For more information, please see the CSLP November 2019 Release and the Benefits of CSLP Program documents provided by CLSP that include an overview of the new features and their benefits

National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) online webinars are available on demand to educate students about their loans in general (Orientation Presentation) and about what to do once they leave City U with regards to paying back their student loan (Repayment Presentation).

Financial Aid in Alberta

Student Aid Alberta assists eligible Albertan post-secondary students.

Explore overall funding options in AB (refer to the other links below for specifics):

* Notices for students receiving loans

Please click here for an important notice on a major change in the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) notification process.

Other Funding Options

  • Check the Canadian federal government CanLearn website for grants, bursaries and scholarships
  • Use the Canadian government’s Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP), which lets you withdraw repayable amounts from RRSPs to finance training or education; learn more here or consult your financial institution
  • Ask your bank about personal educational loans
  • CityU awards scholarships four times each year. Learn more about scholarships.