Nova Scotia Student Loan
If you are a resident of Canada and seeking a higher education, you have both the resources of your federal and your provincial government in order to help you afford it. Residents of Nova Scotia, for example, may be eligible for the Nova Scotia Student Loan, funded by the Government of Nova Scotia through Nova Scotia Student Assistance, as well as funding from the Government of Canada. This funding is meant to be a supplement to any financial resources you may have and be able to contribute.
The Nova Scotia Student Loan is based on calculated financial need, and amounts are based on subtracting your estimated resources from your educational costs. Resources considered include:
- Parents’ income for dependent students
- Spouse’s income for married or common-law students or spousal support payments, if applicable
- Your personal income and earnings
- Scholarships and/or training allowances provided by other organizations
- Income Assistance or Employment Insurance amounts
- Investments or any Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) funding in your name
Your educational costs include things like tuition, school fees, textbooks, basic living expenses, and travel costs (if applicable). The maximum amount you can apply for with a Nova Scotia Student Loan for the 2014-2015 academic year is $180 per week of study for an average maximum of 39 weeks. The amount you receive may be lower depending on your need, and your maximum timeframe can be different based on your school as well. The Nova Scotia Student Loan is 40 percent grant you don’t have to repay and 60 percent repayable loan. Interest begins to accrue after six months of leaving school; however, qualified borrowers may be eligible for zero percent interest on a Nova Scotia Student Loan if you live and work in Nova Scotia and meet certain requirements.
Application and Eligibility
When applying for financial aid, you should first seek out any forms of free money you may qualify for. Fortunately, for Canadians, you can apply for both federal and provincial grants and loans with a single application. In order to be eligible you must:
- Be considered a full-time student taking at least a 60 percent full course load per term or 40 percent if you have a permanent disability
- Be a Canadian citizen, Protected Person, or Landed Immigrant
- Be a Nova Scotia resident
- Not have any defaulted student loans
- Pass a Nova Scotia Student Assistance credit check if you are an independent student
- Maintain satisfactory scholastic standard while in school, meaning that you must pass at least 60 percent of your full class load and 40 percent if you have a permanent disability
- Be enrolled in a Designated Program that is an approved, full-time program leading to a degree, certificate, or diploma
- Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
By clicking on “Agree” in the Terms and Conditions page of your application, you are essentially signing a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement, which is a legal agreement with the Province of Nova Scotia to borrow, use, and repay your Nova Scotia Student Loan.
To apply for a Nova Scotia Student Loan, you will need to create a Student Assistance account online and have your SIN, current income information from both your parents and your own Revenue Canada tax returns, a bank account in your name, and your school information handy.
Nova Scotia Student Loans are serviced by third-party companies for repayment. If you have questions about your options, contact your service provider, which can be determined here. There are many options for repayment, and you may even qualify for the Debt Cap program, which reduces or eliminates the student loan portion of your debt. Contact your loan servicer for more information on this and other programs or benefits you may qualify for.