Manitoba Student Aid

Eligibility Requirements for Full-Time Students

Who is eligible?

To be eligible you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident (landed immigrant), or protected person, as defined under Canadian Immigration legislation.
  • be a Manitoba resident (generally, you are a resident if Manitoba is where you lived for the last 12 consecutive months before your study period, not including time spent in post-secondary studies)
  • study at an approved school that is designated (approved) for Manitoba Student Aid purposes. If you are not sure if your school is designated, see Is my school designated . If your school is not listed as a designated institution, it may not have been reviewed yet to determine eligibility for funding. In this case, you must submit a paper application. The school will be asked to provide specific information for designation purposes. This process may take up to eight weeks.
  • study in an approved program that is a minimum of 12 weeks in length, within a period of 15 consecutive weeks. If you are not sure if your program is approved, see Is my school designated. If your program has never been reviewed, you must submit a paper application. The school will be asked to provide specific information for program approval purposes.
  • have satisfactory progress and attendance
  • not be in default of previous federal or provincial student loans
  • not have a poor credit history, if over the age of 22 and applying for the first time
  • have an assessed financial need
  • maintain the minimum required course load for the entire academic year. This means you must maintain and satisfactorily complete at least 60% of a full course load over the entire academic period in order to remain eligible for assistance through the full-time program (100% if you are attending a private vocational/trade school).

Course-load Examples:

  1. Student is taking Arts, Year 1. The maximum (100%) course load for the entire academic year = 30 credit hours. Minimum requirement of 60% for the entire year: 30 credit hours x .60 = 18 credit hours minimum.
  2. Student is taking Arts, Year 1, one term only. Full course load for one term = 15 credit hours. Minimum requirement of 60% of the course load for the one term: 15 credit hours x .60 = 9 credit hours minimum.
  3. Student is attending a private vocational/trade school: Student must take 100% of the program, as it is offered.

Note: The full course load for some faculties, such as Engineering, may be higher than 30 credit hours. This means the minimum requirement would also be higher (you will need to take more than 9 credits minimum per term).

Ask your school if you have any questions about your program course load.


Maintaining/Reinstating Interest-Free or Payment-Free Status

Canada Student Loan (CSL)

These federal loans are interest-free while you maintain your full-time student status at your institution. You must begin repayment of the loan six months after you cease to be a full-time student.

Your must reinstate your interest-free status for CSLs issued prior to August 1, 2000 if you are continuing school. Visit the CanLearn website for more information on maintaining interest-free status for CSLs.

Manitoba Student Loan (MSL)

These interest-free provincial loans are interest-free and payment free while you maintain your full-time student status and for six months after your studies end. You must begin repayment of the loan six months after you cease to be a full-time student. If you decide to return to school but more than six months will elapse before you start your next classes, you must complete a Confirmation of Return to School form (Adobe PDF Document 528 KB) to delay repayment of your loan(s).

  1. If you are continuing school and negotiating new loans:
    Once your educational institution confirms your enrollment on your Loan Authorization, take a copy to each of your lenders to confirm that you are attending school.
  2. If you are continuing school and are not negotiating new loans or received a zero award:
    Complete a Confirmation of Return to School form (Adobe PDF Document 528 KB). Have your educational institution confirm your enrollment, then take a copy of the form to each of your lenders of your Manitoba Student Loans to confirm that you are attending school. Forms are available from Manitoba Student Aid.

Limits of Assistance

The Manitoba Student Aid Program administers the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) on behalf of the Federal Government. There are limits to assistance, which may be slightly different for federal assistance (Canada Student Loan) and for provincial assistance (Manitoba Student Loan and Manitoba Study Assistance).

  • Lifetime limit to weeks of eligibility – The maximum number of weeks of assistance is 340. This may be extended for an additional 60 weeks for students enrolled in doctoral studies. The limit to weeks of eligibility refers to full-time studies only and includes only the weeks for which the student was eligible to receive assistance, or for which the student had completed a federal Schedule 2 or provincial Form CR (Continuation or Reinstatement of Interest-Free Only Status form). There are exceptions to Canada Student Loan weeks of eligibility for students who applied before August 1, 1995, and for students with permanent disabilities.
  • Limit to years of eligibility – The maximum number of years of eligibility for assistance is normally the number of prescribed years in a program of study, plus one extra year.
  • Number of certificates, diplomas, and degrees – Students may be eligible for assistance for one certificate, diploma and degree. Funding will not be provided for a second certificate, diploma or degree, unless there is a prerequisite for a second program.
  • Course load – The course load you are taking is reflected in the amount of assistance you receive. If you reduce your course load below the amount you indicate on your application, the costs of your tuition, books, and supplies will be adjusted according to the percentage you are actually taking. If you reduce your course load below 60% (100% for Private Vocational Schools), you will no longer be eligible for full-time assistance. Note: you may run out of years of eligibility for assistance before your program ends if you complete less than 100% of a course load in each year.