Manitoba Student Aid frequently asked questions

Questions about Manitoba Student Aid program

What is Manitoba Student Aid?

Manitoba Student Aid provides financial assistance for post-secondary studies in the form of loans, bursaries and grants for eligible applicants. It administers provincial and federal student loans and other financial assistance to Manitobans who don't have the resources to pay for their education on their own.

Manitoba Student Aid funding is supplemental and is not intended to replace your own resources or to cover the entire cost of your education. You, and in some cases your immediate family, are expected to contribute. Applying for other sources of funding (ex. scholarships, bursaries, or Government funding) are highly recommended.

It is also important to note that due to processing delays during peak times, Manitoba Student Aid funding may not be available at the start of classes. Therefore, it is important for students to have a back-up plan of how they will pay for tuition, books/supplies, or living expenses while their application is in process.

For more information, visit What is Manitoba Student Aid? Do I qualify?

How do I qualify?

To qualify for Manitoba Student Aid, you must be:

  1. A Canadian citizen, permanent resident (landed immigrant), or protected person as defined under Canadian Immigration Legislation.
  2. A Manitoba resident. Generally, you are a resident if you've lived in Manitoba for the last 12 consecutive months before your study period, not including time spent in post-secondary students. For newcomers, you are considered a resident if Manitoba was the province where you first landed.
  3. Studying at a designated school and program. If you're not sure, visit Is my school designated?
  4. If you are 22 years of age or over and applying for the first time, you must pass a credit check.
  5. Not in default of previous federal or provincial student financial assistance.

For more information, visit What is Manitoba Student Aid? Do I qualify?

I'm studying outside of Manitoba. Can I still qualify?

Yes, students studying at schools outside of Manitoba (ex. different province or country) may qualify for Manitoba Student Aid funding. Please note that the school and program must be designated. To check if your school and program are designated, visit Is my school designated?

I'm an International Student. Do I qualify?

Unfortunately, International Students do not qualify for Manitoba Student Aid.

Am I a Full-time or Part-time student?

You are a full-time student if:

  • You are attending a university or college and are taking at least 60% of a full course load each term.
  • You are attending a private vocational school and are taking a full or 100% course load.
  • You have a permanent disability that has been verified through Manitoba Student Aid and are attending a university or college, and are taking at least 40% of a full course load each term.

You are a part-time student if:

  • You are attending a university or college and are taking 20 to 59% of a full course load each term.
  • You have a permanent disability that has been verified through Manitoba Student Aid and are attending a university or college, and are taking 20 to 39% of a full course load each term.

For more information, visit What's available to me?

Am I a Dependent or Independent student?

Generally, you are considered to be a single dependent, unless:

  • You have been out of high school for a minimum of four years
  • You have been in the workforce for at least 12 months in a row on two or more occasions and you were not a full-time student during that time
  • You are, or were, a Crown ward of a child and family services agency
  • Your parents are deceased and you have no legal guardian
  • You are married or have been living common-law for 12 months
  • You were previously married or living common-law; or
  • You are widowed, divorced or separated, or a single parent with dependent children living with you.

Contact Manitoba Student Aid if you require more information.

How much funding can I get?

There is a maximum amount of funding available for each student.

If you are a full-time student:
The maximum amount of loans available for eligible students is $350 Canadian dollars X the number of weeks in 1 program year. For example, a student attending Year 1 at University of Manitoba may receive $11,900 in loans ($350 X 34 weeks).

If you are a part-time student:
The maximum lifetime assistance available is $10,000 Canadian dollars.

What type of funding is available?

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

When you submit an application, you will be automatically assessed for grants, bursaries, and loans.

For more information, visit What's available to me?

Can I just apply for the grants and not the loans?

When you submit an application, you will be automatically assessed for grants, bursaries, and loans. You will not be able to apply for grants only. If you have leftover funding at the end of your school year, you are welcome to return the funds by paying back towards your Canada Student Loan or Manitoba Student Loan.

Can I apply for Manitoba Student Aid for more than 1 school?

You may only submit 1 application for 1 school, whether full-time or part-time.

How do I apply?

If you are a full-time student, you may apply online. Create a Manitoba Student Aid account and log into your online portal to submit an application. You may apply even if you haven't been officially accepted yet, as long as you know your:

  • School and program of choice (must be designated)
  • Start and end dates

Average time for assessing online applications is 3 - 5 business days. Once your application is assessed, you will find out:

  • How much you are eligible to receive
  • What forms you need to fill out and submit
  • If and why you are not eligible to receive funds

Paper applications may only be submitted for the following reasons:

  • Applying for full-time studies for a second time in the same program year
  • Applying for part-time studies

Paper applications can be found at Forms. Average processing time for paper applications is 4 - 6 weeks (or longer during peak times).

For more information, visit Where do I start? and What information do I need?

Do I need to re-apply every year I'm returning to school?

Yes, you must submit a separate application for each school year.

When should I apply?

New applications for fall and winter studies are available in June of every year. Apply early to avoid delays.

What is the deadline to apply?

You must apply and submit all required information no later than 45 days before your period of study ends. Manitoba Student Aid cannot release any funds after your period of study end date.

Are there limits to remain eligible?

Yes, there are limits to the assistance you can receive from Manitoba Student Aid. They include:

The number of certificates, diplomas and degrees
Manitoba Student Aid will fund only one certificate, one diploma and one degree. Generally, you will not get more student aid funding if you are getting 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. This may be extended for an additional 60 weeks for students enrolled in doctoral studies.

Full-time studies:
You must maintain satisfactory progress and attendance, whether you received student aid funding or not, to continue to be eligible for student financial assistance. Transcripts or academic histories will be required for all students who have attempted at least one academic term of full-time study and have not completed the minimum required course load. The minimum required course load is 60% (or 40% for students with a verified permanent disability) for students enrolled in university or college, and 100% for students enrolled in private vocational institutions.

Part-time studies:
You must pass all courses for which you received part-time funding for.

For more information, visit What is Manitoba Student Aid? Do I qualify?

Questions about Manitoba Student Aid application and process

How do you assess the application?

We calculate how much funding you may receive based on your assessed financial need. To calculate your assessed financial need, we use this basic formula:

Total Costs - Total Resources = Assessed Financial Need

There is a maximum amount of funding available for each student.

If you are a full-time student:
The maximum amount of loans available for eligible students is $350 Canadian dollars X the number of weeks in 1 program year. For example, a student attending Year 1 at University of Manitoba may receive $11,900 in loans ($350 X 34 weeks).

If you are a part-time student:
The maximum lifetime assistance available is $10,000 Canadian dollars.

How do I apply for more funding?

You can request a review of your assessment if you need more funds because of an error on your application, as long as you are not already receiving the maximum awards.

To obtain forms to make changes to your application, visit Forms

Where do I find my required documents/forms?

You can view or print your required documents/forms by logging into your Manitoba Student Aid online portal and checking your My Required Documentation tab.

How do I submit my documents/forms?

Documents/forms that require signatures in ink must be mailed or placed in the drop box at:
401 - 1181 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0T3 (East side of the building beside the Wall Street entrance)

Please refer to your Manitoba Student Aid online portal to determine which documents/forms require signatures in ink.

You may submit other documents/forms to Manitoba Student Aid via one of the following:

Email: ManitobaStudentAid@gov.mb.ca
Fax: 204-948-3421
Mail or Drop-box: 401 - 1181 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0T3 (East side of the building beside the Wall Street entrance)

Important:
Information is processed in the order it was received, and may take up to 6 weeks to review (or longer during peak times). During peak times, our mail unit may experience delays in processing incoming mail. To avoid delays, ensure that your documents/forms are completed in full.

DEADLINE: You must submit all required information no later than 45 days before your period of study ends. Manitoba Student Aid cannot release any funds after your period of study end date.

How do I complete the "Pre-Authorized Debit Agreement" form?

Manitoba Student Aid requires an original copy of your "Pre-Authorized Debit Agreement" form (i.e. not a photocopy). The form must include:

  • Your name on your application and bank account must match
  • Any one of the following: void cheque, bank stamp, or direct deposit slip from your bank
  • Your signature and date in ink
How do I check the status of my application or submitted documents/forms?

You may check current processing times on the Manitoba Student Aid website or by logging into your Manitoba Student Aid online portal and checking your My Required Documentation tab.

Information is processed in the order it was received, and may take up to 6 weeks to review (or longer during peak times). During peak times, our mail unit may experience delays in processing incoming mail. To avoid delays, ensure that your documents/forms are completed in full.

I already submitted my required documents/forms, but why does my online portal still say "Requested"?

Not all documents can be processed at the same time, as others are as quick as confirming that all signatures are there (ex. applicant or parental declaration forms, etc.), whereas others require a Manitoba Student Aid staff member to review and process (ex. request for changes, academic histories, Pre-Authorized Debit Agreement and Sponsoring Agency forms, etc.).

Information is processed in the order it was received, and may take up to 6 weeks to review (or longer during peak times). During peak times, our mail unit may experience delays in processing incoming mail. To avoid delays, ensure that your documents/forms are completed in full.

You may continue to check current processing times on the Manitoba Student Aid website or by logging into your Manitoba Student Aid online portal and checking your My Required Documentation tab.

When will I get my funds?

You will receive your funds after:

  • All your documents/forms are submitted and processed. To avoid delays, ensure that your documents/forms are completed in full.
  • Your school has confirmed your enrollment

Funds from the Canadian Government (ex. Canada Student Loan and Canada Student Grants) should be available 7 - 10 business days from the time funds are disbursed.

Funds from the Provincial Government (ex. Manitoba Student Loan and Manitoba Bursary) should be available 5 - 7 business days from the time funds are disbursed.

If you have not yet received your funding, ensure that you have submitted all required documentation. You can view the status of your documentation by logging into your Manitoba Student Aid online portal and checking your My Required Documentation tab.

Information is processed in the order it was received, and may take up to 6 weeks to review (or longer during peak times). During peak times, our mail unit may experience delays in processing incoming mail. To avoid delays, ensure that your documents/forms are completed in full.

Note: Funds cannot be released before your program starts or after your program ends.

How will I receive my funds?

The funds are generally released in 2 disbursements: 60% at the beginning of the program, and 40% at the mid-point of the program. Check your Manitoba Student Aid online portal under My Award Information tab for detailed disbursement amounts and dates.

Once your enrollment is confirmed, your Manitoba Student Aid funding will be sent directly to your school to pay your outstanding tuition, if applicable. Any leftover amount will be sent to the bank account on your file and may take 5 - 10 business days to become available in your bank account.

Exception: if your school is located outside of Canada, all your funding will be deposited to the bank account on your file.

Note: Funds cannot be released before your program starts or after your program ends.

My online portal says my funds should be available already, but it's not in my bank account.

The disbursement dates indicated on your Manitoba Student Aid online portal are estimated dates of when the funds are available. Funds are usually available after the dates indicated. The release of the funds is dependent on when the required documents/forms and confirmation of enrollment are processed. To avoid delays, ensure that your documents/forms are completed in full.

You may continue to check current processing times on the Manitoba Student Aid website or log into your Manitoba Student Aid online portal.

How do I report changes to my personal information or application?

To report changes to your address, student number, or course load, log into your Manitoba Student Aid online portal.

To report changes to your application (ex. changes to your name, marital status, banking information, living arrangements, school, added/dropped a school term, etc.), submit the appropriate forms (if available) to Manitoba Student Aid. The forms are located at Forms

You may also send your request for changes to Manitoba Student Aid via one of the following:

Email: ManitobaStudentAid@gov.mb.ca
Fax: 204-948-3421
Mail or Drop-box: 401 - 1181 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0T3 (East side of the building beside the Wall Street entrance)

DEADLINE: You must submit all required information or requests for change no later than 45 days before your period of study ends. Manitoba Student Aid cannot release any funds after your period of study end date.

For more information, visit How do I update my account information?

How does changing my course load affect my Manitoba Student Aid application?

If you are increasing or decreasing your course load, your application must be reassessed (ex. you may receive more funding for a higher course load, and less funding for a lower course load).

Important information to remain eligible for Manitoba Student Aid:

If you are a full-time student:

  • You must maintain at least 60% of a full course load each term if you are attending a university or college
  • You must maintain a full or 100% course load if you are attending a private vocational school
  • You must maintain at least 40% of a full course load each term if you have a permanent disability that has been verified through Manitoba Student Aid and are attending a university or college

If you have dropped to below the minimum 40%, 60%, or 100% course load requirement as indicated above, your full-time application is void.

If you are a part-time student:

  • You must maintain at least 20 to 59% of a full course load each term if you are attending a university or college

For more information on how to re-apply for funding, visit Forms

Why did I receive an email from Manitoba Student Aid?

You will get an email asking you to log into your Manitoba Student Aid online portal for further details each time there has been a change to your application/assessment, or there is information you need to provide.

Why did my assessment change?

Your assessment may change if we receive information from your school that your course load or tuition fees have changed. You will receive an email notification advising you to check your Manitoba Student Aid online portal for details.

I made a mistake on my application. How do I correct it?

You may send information to correct the error to Manitoba Student Aid via one of the following:

Email: ManitobaStudentAid@gov.mb.ca
Fax: 204-948-3421
Mail or Drop-box: 401 - 1181 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0T3
(East side of the building beside the Wall Street entrance)

DEADLINE: You must submit all required information or requests for change no later than 45 days before your period of study ends. Manitoba Student Aid cannot release any funds after your period of study end date.

I can't get in to my account. How can I reset my account or password?

Visit your Manitoba Student Aid online portal at: https://web33.gov.mb.ca/sao/app/en and select Forgot Your User ID/Forgot Your Password

Where is my "Welcome Email" or "10-digit MSFAA number"?

Check your Junk email folder to see if you have received your "Welcome Email". If you have not received the email, you can visit the National Student Loans Service Centre to register your 10-digit Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA).

To obtain your 10-digit MSFAA number, log into your Manitoba Student Aid online portal and check your My Required Documentation tab.

Where do I find my "File number"?

To obtain your Manitoba Student Aid File number, log into your Manitoba Student Aid online portal and check your Status of My Application tab. Your File number can also be found on some of your required forms generated for your application.

How can I cancel my application?

You may submit your request to cancel your Manitoba Student Aid application via one of the following:

Email: ManitobaStudentAid@gov.mb.ca
Fax: 204-948-3421
Mail or Drop-box: 401 - 1181 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0T3
(East side of the building beside the Wall Street entrance)

How can I appeal my application?

If you were denied financial assistance or you think the amount you received is too low, you can appeal your assessment. Please note that your appeal will only be considered if your situation allows for an exception to our policy.

To appeal your assessment, complete the Request for Appeal form located at Forms

DEADLINE: You must submit your appeal request and all required information no later than 45 days before your period of study ends. Manitoba Student Aid cannot release any funds after your period of study end date.

What is the status of my appeal?

You may check current processing times on the Manitoba Student Aid website.

Appeals take 4 - 6 weeks to complete (or longer during peak times). When your appeal is complete, you will get a letter in the mail, advising you of the results of the appeal.

How do I contact Manitoba Student Aid if I have questions?

Manitoba Student Aid contact information:

Phone: 204-945-6321 (Monday - Friday, 8:30AM - 4:30PM CST)
Toll-free (Canada and the USA): 1-800-204-1685

Email: ManitobaStudentAid@gov.mb.ca
*Please do not send multiple emails to avoid delays in receiving a response

Fax: 204-948-3421

In-Person: 401 - 1181 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0T3
*By appointment only due to COVID. For more information, visit Important information about Manitoba Student Aid in-person appointments

Every time I call the general line, the call disconnects.

During peak times, we may experience a higher than normal call volume. Unfortunately, only a certain number of calls are able to enter the call queue; all others cannot proceed. In these situations, please hang up and try again. We sincerely apologize and appreciate your patience.

Questions about Repaying Student Loans

Where do I find my student loan balance?

For Manitoba Student Aid loan information, please log in to your Manitoba Student Aid online portal.

For Canada Student Loan inquiries, please contact National Student Loans Service Centre at 1-888-815-4514.

Where do I find my Manitoba Student Aid loan account number?

Your Manitoba Student Aid loan account number is an 11-digit number that is found on your Repayment Letter. It is mailed to your address on file a couple of months prior to entering repayment.

What is the interest rate on student loans?

At this time, the interest rate for both the Manitoba Student Loan and Canada Student Loan is 0%.

When do I have to start making payments on my student loans?

Payments on your Manitoba Student Loan and Canada Student Loan begin 6 months after your full-time or part-time study period end date.

How do I make payments to my student loan?

Manitoba Student Loan payments can be made via:

  • Online banking, payee name Manitoba Student Loans (you will need your 11-digit Manitoba Student Aid loan account number, which can be found on your Repayment Letter)
  • Cheque, payable to Manitoba Student Aid (drop off or mail to 401 - 1181 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3G 0T3)

For more information, visit How do I make payments?

For Canada Student Loan repayment inquiries, please contact the National Student Loan Service Centre at 1-888-815-4514.

I am/will be back to school full time. Do I still need to submit a "Confirmation of Return to School" form?

If you are a full-time student with unpaid student loans, you must inform your lenders that you are a full-time student by submitting:

  1. Confirmation of Return to School form to Manitoba Student Aid. The completed form can be emailed to msaloans@gov.mb.ca or faxed to 204-948-1210.
  2. Confirmation of Enrolment – Schedule 2 form to the National Student Loans Service Centre

If you do not inform both lenders that you are a full-time student, you will have to start making payments on your loans and you will be charged interest, if applicable.

For more information, visit What happens to my loans when I am in school?

I'm currently in repayment. How do I change my banking information?

If you have changed your banking information while in repayment, you must notify Manitoba Student Aid. You may send an email to msaloans@gov.mb.ca with your void cheque and instruction to update your bank account. We will reply to your email once the update has been completed. In the subject line, please state "Change of Banking Information" along with your full name and your 11-digit Manitoba Student Aid loan account number, if available.

Remember, if you have both a provincial and federal student loan, you will also need to update the National Student Loans Service Centre by calling 1-888-815-4514.

What if I'm having trouble repaying my student loan?

If you're having trouble repaying your loan, you can apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan.

For more information, visit What if I'm having trouble repaying my loans?

For Canada Student Loan repayment assistance inquiries, please contact the National Student Loans Service Centre at 1-888-815-4514.

How do I obtain more information about my Manitoba Student Loan (ex. how to make additional payments, how to change my payment schedule, where to obtain my loan statement, etc.)?

To obtain additional information about your Manitoba Student Loan, you may contact Manitoba Student Aid via one of the following:

Phone: 204-945-6321 (Monday - Friday, 8:30AM - 4:30PM CST)
Toll-free (Canada and the USA): 1-800-204-1685
Email: msaloans@gov.mb.ca
Fax: 204-948-1210

For Canada Student Loan inquiries, please contact the National Student Loans Service Centre at 1-888-815-4514.

Questions about School and Program Designation

Is my school or program designated/approved?

You must go to an approved or designated school and be in a designated program to be eligible for funding from Manitoba Student Aid.

To check if your school or program is designated, visit Is my school designated?

I don’t see my school or program on the list of designated schools/programs.

If your school or program has not been designated by Manitoba Student Aid, you cannot receive student aid for it until it is has been designated. This requirement is in place to protect you and to make sure schools and the government are accountable to each other.

Your school will need to complete and submit the appropriate designation applications. To obtain the designation applications, visit Institution Officers

How long does the designation process take?

The designation process can take up to 8 weeks, so please apply early. If your school or program is not designated or cannot be designated, you will not be given Manitoba Student Aid funding for that school or program.

Who can I contact to find out if my school has responded to your Designation Application request?

Please send an email to the Private Vocational Institutions Branch at PVI@gov.mb.ca

Who can I contact about complaints regarding a school?

Please send an email to the Private Vocational Institutions Branch at PVI@gov.mb.ca

Now Available

The Manitoba Student Aid application is now available for full-time students attending classes in the fall.
To avoid delays in processing your application, apply now!