The Education You Want. The Funds You Need.

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Answers for Parents

Parental Income

When Manitoba Student Aid considers a student to be a dependant, we will consider parental income when we calculate the student's financial need.

We consider a student to be dependant unless that student:

  • has been out of high school for more than four years
  • has worked full-time for at least two years while not going to school
  • has parental custody of a child at least 50% of the time

Family Size

When calculating student resources, family size is considered as a major factor.


About Parental Contribution

There is no standard answer when determining parental contribution. Each situation is considered individually. Family size and student costs are considered along with parental income in determining how much parents are expected to contribute to a child's education.

Parents who are concerned when they see an assessment that shows we expect them to contribute $2,000 towards their child's education should remember that this amount covers an entire study period and thus may be spread over many months. Parents also need to know that this dollar figure normally includes the value of what they already provide including food, transportation and medical expenses. It is not a demand for $2,000 in cash. It is only a part of determining how much a student will need for education beyond what parents are able to provide.

When we calculate the student costs, we include preset amounts for food and hygiene, a bus pass and miscellaneous medical expenses. So if you're already feeding them and buying their bus pass, you're already contributing to their education.

For more complete information about our program, read on.


What is Manitoba Student Aid?

Our program provides loans, grants and bursaries to Manitobans who need help paying for school.

Student loans are calculated based on financial need and are meant to supplement, not replace, a student's own resources. Applying for a student loan does not mean one will be provided, nor does it determine the amount of any loan provided. Manitoba Student Aid makes these decisions based on need.

A great thing about student loans is that they are interest-free and payment-free while students attend school full-time.

One Application – Two Loans

Completing a Manitoba Student Aid application does a lot of things all at once. Submitting an application means you're applying for loans and grants from the Manitoba government, and also from the Canada Student Loans Program.

It is important to remember that, when it's time to repay the loans, there are two different lenders to pay and each keeps its own account records. Both lenders will send information about what they need when it comes time to repay.

Who Uses Manitoba Student Aid, and Who Is Eligible?

Manitoba Student Aid is used by people entering post-secondary school right out of high school, people returning to school after being in the workforce, single parents, married students—anyone who wants an education but doesn't have the ability to pay for it up front.

To apply for Manitoba Student Aid, a student needs to be:

  • a Canadian citizen, permanent resident (landed immigrant) or protected person.
  • a Manitoba resident
  • studying at a designated school (see designated schools and programs)
  • able to pass a credit check if over 22 years of age and applying for the first time
Other Requirements and Limits
Requirements

To remain eligible for full-time Manitoba Student Aid, students must:

  • Pass at least 60% of their courses in each term at a college or university.
  • Keep their attendance above 90% if they're going to a private vocational or private training school.
Limits

There are limits to the assistance available from Manitoba Student Aid. They include:

  • Number of certificates, diplomas and degrees – Manitoba Student Aid will fund only one certificate, one diploma and one degree. Generally, we will not fund a second certificate, diploma or degree, unless the first one was needed to get the second one.
  • School program – Manitoba Student Aid will fund the number of years a school says it should take to complete a program, plus one extra year. Taking less than a 100% course load could mean running out of loan eligibility before finishing the program.
  • Lifetime limit – Manitoba Student Aid funds full-time students for a maximum of 340 weeks. Few educational programs would require this much time to complete.

When to Apply?

Full-time students should apply early using our online application called My Student Aid Online (MySAO). Normally, applications for fall and winter studies are available in June.

If your child applies early, they won't run the risk of missing any deadlines. MySAO applications take two weeks to process and paper applications take up to 8 weeks to process.

We will accept an application, even if the student has not officially been accepted to the school. All that is needed is the name of the school, the name of the program and the start and end dates.

If the school or program is not designated, students need to submit a paper application so the designation process, which can take 8 weeks, can start.


Where to Start?

Online application

Full-time students can apply using My Student Aid Online (MySAO).

It takes two weeks to process MySAO applications. Once the application is processed, Student Aid will notify the student about:

  • how much they are eligible to receive
  • what forms they need to fill out
  • if the application was not successful, why
Paper application

Paper applications are required if a student is:

Paper applications are available at both our Winnipeg and Brandon offices. Once we receive a paper application, it can take up to 8 weeks to process. Planning ahead is essential.

When we finish processing the application, we will provide notification of:

  • how much the student is eligible to receive
  • what forms the student needs to fill out
  • why, if the application was not successful and funding was denied

Is the School Designated?

Students must go to a designated school and be in a designated program to be eligible for funding from Manitoba Student Aid.

Search here to see if a school or program is designated.

If the school or program has not been designated by Manitoba Student Aid, this does not mean it can't be. What it does mean is that we will not fund students to attend until it is designated. This requirement is in place to protect students and to make sure government is supporting quality education that is meaningful and valuable to students and society.

To ask for a school or program to be designated, students must complete a paper application to get the process started. Contact us or visit one of our offices for a paper application.

The designation process starts when we receive the application. It can take up to 8 weeks.

Manitoba Student Aid will contact the school to see if it meets designation criteria. We will ask for information about:

  • the school's accreditation
  • the program requirements
  • the school's entrance requirements

Unfortunately, if the school or program is not or cannot be designated, students will need to seek funding elsewhere.

For more information, please read the Manitoba Student Aid Designation Policy (Adobe PDF Document 217 KB).


Does the Loan Cover All of the Expenses?

Not necessarily, we calculate award amounts based on financial need. To calculate financial need, we use this basic formula:

Allowable Expenses – Resources = Financial Need

Allowable expenses are based on educational costs (set by the school), and standard living allowances (set by the Canada Student Loans Program). Allowable Expenses include:

A student's resources, and their parents' resources, if applicable, are used to calculate financial need. Resources include:

  • student's income during school
  • student's income for up to 17 weeks before school
  • scholarships and bursaries
  • student's savings and investments
  • parents' yearly income, if applicable
  • other assets including RRSPs and RESPs

Remember, our funding is meant to supplement, not replace, a student's own resources. Applying for a student loan does not mean getting one. Getting one does not mean getting the maximum amount.


Full-Time Students

Students going to a university or college are considered full-time if they are taking 60% or more of a full course load each term.

Students going to a private vocational school are considered full-time if they are taking a full or 100% course load.

Students attending university or college, who also have a Manitoba Student Aid-verified permanent disability, are considered full-time students if they take 40% of a full course load each term.

Grants and Bursaries for Full-Time Students

Part-Time Students

Students going to a university or college, and taking 20 to 59% of a full course load each term are considered to be part-time.

Students attending university or college, who also have a Manitoba Student Aid-verified permanent disability, are considered part time if they are taking 20 to 39% of a full course load each term.

To apply for a part-time student loan, students must complete a paper part-time student loan and grant application (Adobe PDF Document 718 KB).

Parental income is not considered as part of the calculation for a part-time student loan.

Grants for Part-Time Students


Students with a Permanent Disability

Students with a permanent disability are eligible for the same loans and grants, and subject to the same loan limits, as all full-time and part-time students.

Additional Grants Available to Students with a Permanent Disability


Indigenous Students

Students of Canadian Indigenous ancestry are eligible for the same loans and grants, and subject to the same loan limits, as all full-time and part-time students.

Additional Grants and Awards Available to Indigenous Students

Status Report | Manitoba Student Aid

Status Report

Welcome to our website! We hope you enjoy the experience of being a student in Manitoba. We are here to help you along your journey! For any questions please contact us.