Changes are Happening

Changes for the 2019-20 Academic Year

Lower Interest Rates on Canada Student Loans

Effective November 1, 2019, a number of changes came into effect which will reduce the amount of interest a student will pay on their Canada Student Loan. The changes are as follows:

  • No interest during the student’s grace period (i.e., six months after leaving school and prior to the start of repayment)
  • For fixed rate, interested is lowered from prime plus 5% to prime plus 2%
  • For floating rate, interest will be lowered from prime plus 2.5% to prime only

Note: The NL Student Loan is always interest free. The above changes are subject to the Government of Canada legislative and regulatory approval.

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Part-time Students – New Online Processes

Effective June 10, 2019, students applying for part-time student financial assistance for the 2019-20 academic year will use a new online application process. Registering the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) is also online allowing for a simplified process and get funds to students even faster.

  • Students can access the part-time student loan application through their Student Aid Login. If a student does not already have a login, one can be created using the link.
  • Part-time students assessed and deemed eligible to receive student financial assistance will need to complete a part-time Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) through an online process. The part-time MSFAA is a legal agreement between the student and the Canada Student Loans Program about borrowing and repaying federal part-time student loans. Once assessed and approved for part-time funding, 10-digit part-time Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) number and instructions will be emailed to the student.

See Part-time Students for more information.

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Increase in Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE)

Effective August 1, 2019, the maximum funding available under the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities increased from $8,000 to $20,000. This grant is designed to provide eligible students with funds to cover costs for services/equipment to overcome education-related barriers that the disability may present.

As in previous years, this grant will be paired with the Grant for High Need Students with Permanent Disabilities to cover additional costs over and above the maximums for the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities. This ensures that students with permanent disabilities are able to receive the full cost of required services and equipment.

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Expanded Eligibility for the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit

Effective August 1, 2019, there is an expanded eligibility for the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit so more student loan borrowers with severe permanent disabilities can qualify for loan forgiveness. Eligible applicants may be able to work and/or participate in post-secondary studies as long as they continue to meet program guidelines.

A severe permanent disability is now defined as:

  • a functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment that prevents a borrower from performing the daily activities necessary to participate in the labour force in a substantially gainful way; and
  • is expected to remain with the person for their expected life.

Click here for more details.

Note: The above changes are subject to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Government of Canada legislative and regulatory approval.

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