Manitoba Student Aid

Applying – How, Where and When to Apply

One Application - Two Loans

When you apply for student financial assistance in Manitoba, you deal with only one office, Manitoba Student Aid. It is important to recognize, however, that while you are completing only one application form, you are applying for two separate student loans - a Canada Student Loan whose funds are disbursed from the National Student Loan Service Centre, and a Manitoba Student Loan whose funds are disbursed from Manitoba Student Aid. When cashing and repaying your student loans, you will be dealing with the two separate organizations.

How and Where to Apply

To apply for Manitoba Student Aid for a full-time program using the online application form, select My Student Aid Online (MySAO) to create an account or log in to your existing account.

  • If you are having difficulties applying online, please call Manitoba Student Aid’s General Inquiry line, where staff will assist you in applying.
    Note: In some cases, a paper application is required and may be sent to you by inquiry staff, if:
    • You are submitting a second application in the same program year, or
    • Your institution or program has not been designated.

Keep in mind that it can take up to five weeks to process a regular paper application and up to twelve weeks for a designation application.

When to Apply


You can apply even if your school has not officially accepted you. However, you must know the name of your school, program, and start and end dates.

It takes approximately two weeks to process an Internet application and up to five weeks for a paper application. If you are attending a school or program that has not been reviewed for approval, you must apply on a paper application. The review process may take at least six weeks.

Confidential Information

The information submitted by you and your parents or spouse is confidential. Except as noted in the authorization and declaration, information cannot be released to anyone other than to you, your spouse, or your parents (if you are a dependent applicant), unless you provide written authorization. If you wish to authorize someone else to act for you when dealing with Manitoba Student Aid matters, especially if you will be attending school outside of Manitoba, send a signed note along with your application. Indicate who is authorized to act for you, what information can be released to them, and for how long the authorization is valid. Independent applicants must provide authorization if they wish their parents to act on their behalf.

Conditions of the Application

Declaration and Consent Form

All students, and their spouse or parent(s) if applicable, are required to sign a declaration and a consent form for release of information from the Canada Revenue Agency. All students are also required to sign a consent to allow for the verification of their Social Insurance Number, name, date of birth and gender with information contained in Human Resources and Social Development's (HRDC) Social Insurance Register.

If you are applying on the Internet, the declaration must be signed and returned prior to the release of any funds.

Audit and Verification

All information provided to Manitoba Student Aid is subject to audit and verification.

As soon as you apply, start a Canada Student Loan/Manitoba Student Loan file, which should include copies of your applications, income tax returns and any other correspondence and documentation you are submitting. Audits will be conducted to verify information. If you are selected for an audit, you may be asked to provide copies of income tax returns (including all T-slips and schedules for you, and your spouse, parents, sponsors, or legal guardians, if applicable). You may also be asked to provide copies of bank statements and verification of: employment income; funding from other sources; value, sale or purchase of assets, copies of loan authorization forms; and any other documentation that might be required to verify your reported information and your financial circumstances. This information should be kept for at least two years after you cease to be a full-time student.

If an audit determines that you received more assistance than you were entitled to, you will be asked to repay any overaward. Furthermore, applications in subsequent years may be automatically referred for audit. If it is determined that the underreporting or misreporting was deliberate, possible penalties may include denial of further assistance and/or loss of interest-free status. Legal action may also be taken.

What is a poor credit history?

You will be considered to have a poor credit history if within the 3 years before you made your application for financial assistance:

  • there were three separate occasions on which you were more than 90 days overdue in your payments on three or more loans or other debts (credit cards, lines of credit, utility bills, car loans, etc.)
  • each individual debt or loan was worth $1,000 or more
  • you had control over the circumstances that led to the overdue payments

Canada Student Loans Program Credit Check Requirements

The Canada Student Loans Program requires a credit check on all first-time applicants 22 years of age and over.

First-time applicants include individuals who may have previously applied for financial assistance, but who have never been awarded a loan or grant under the Canada Student Loans Program.

Applicants with a poor credit history may be denied financial assistance.

What can you do if you are denied financial assistance?

If you are denied financial assistance because of your credit history, you will be notified. If the reasons for your financial circumstances were beyond your control, your file may qualify for a review by Manitoba Student Aid. Examples of such circumstances include unexpected or exceptional expenses, a loss or reduction in income or earnings, or a change in family or marital situation. Your letter of denial will advise you of the review process.