Nova Scotia Student Assistance uses a classification system to determine who, along with the student, is principally responsible for his or her educational-related costs and therefore, who must fill out and sign a section of the student's application. For example, married students are expected to have support from his or her spouse, and the spouse will be required to supply information about his or her income, etc. All information provided on the student's application is then taken into consideration when calculating the amount of loan(s) the student is entitled to receive.
There are four student categories. Most Student Loan applicants fit into the Single Dependant Student category. Once you've figured out your student category, you can then determine if you can be considered a resident of Nova Scotia.
We process your loan application based on your student category as of the first day of the month in which your classes begin. For example, if your classes begin on September 15 and you will be married on August 28, you must apply for a loan as a Married Student because your category on September 1 would be married.
A Single Dependant Student is considered financially dependent on a parent, step-parent, guardian, sponsor or other supporting relative. You are a Single Dependant Student UNLESS you fit into one of the other three categories.
Single Independant Student
You are a Single Independant student if you meet ONE of the following conditions:
Same-sex relationship, Common-law and Married Students
For Nova Scotia Student Loan purposes, you are living in a same-sex or heterosexual common-law relationship if (a) you are currently cohabiting and have cohabited for at least 12 consecutive months with another person in a conjugal relationship or (b) you have listed yourself as the common-law partner on your most recent income tax return or (c) you and your partner have been cohabiting in a conjugal relationship and are raising any children of whom you both are the natural or adoptive parents.
Your spouse is expected to contribute financially. The amount of your loan will reflect this contribution, whether or not your spouse actually contributes. If your marriage, common-law relationship or same sex relationship ends, your category becomes either Single Independant Student or Single Parent Student. This change in your status is made on the 91st day after you separate. Once you prove your status has changed, the change will become back-dated to when your relationship ended.
Single Parent Student
This category is only for single students who are custodial parents. This includes parents who have
Even though you may financially support your child, and your child visits you, you do NOT fit into the category of Single Parent Student UNLESS you are the custodial parent.
Once your student category has been determined, our office then determines whether or not Nova Scotia is your province of residence. The reason we need to determine residency is because your resident province is the province in which you apply for student loans.
Residency For Single Dependent Student
As a Single Dependent Student, you are considered a resident of Nova Scotia if any ONE of the following conditions applies to you:
Residency For Single Independent Student
As a Single Independent Student, you are considered a resident of Nova Scotia if any ONE of the following conditions applies to you:
Residency For Married Student
As a Married Student, you are considered a resident of Nova Scotia if any ONE of the following conditions applies to you:
If your spouse is not a full-time student and you are not a resident of Nova Scotia (you have not spent 12 consecutive months here while out of school) you may still apply to Nova Scotia for a Student Loan if:
Residency For Single Parent Student
As a Single Parent Student, you are considered a resident of Nova Scotia if any ONE of the following conditions applies to you:
Tuition and Student Fees - The actual amount charged by the school will be allowed. Processing of applications may begin before schools have finalized their fees. If this happens, your application will be processed on last year's fees and automatically updated once the school notifies us of any change.
Books/Instruments/Related Computer Costs - Up to $1800 a year (regardless of the actual amount you are required to pay).
Living Costs - Includes food, shelter, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. The rate depends on:
NOTE - Single Dependent Students and Married Students will be assessed with the living at home costs if the parents or spouse lives within commuting distance(16 km) of the educational institution the student is attending.
Return Transportation - If you are living away from home, two return trips are allowed annually between your home in Nova Scotia and the institution
Child Costs - additional costs are allowed for dependents of single-parent students and married students.
Child Care Costs - Child care costs are allowed for children 11 years and under if there is no parent at home. (For example, child care costs are not allowed if one parent is home unemployed or studying by correspondence). If you have child care for a child over age 11 with a permanent disability, include a letter from your doctor ONLY if you have not already sent one, verifying that the child needs daily care.
All files are subject to audit. To prove child care costs, if audited, you must provide cancelled cheques or copies of money orders or a letter from the licensed day care. If you are unable to provide this information the cost will be disallowed and may result in overawards.
Alimony and Maintenance - considered exceptional expenses; the lesser of the amount legally required, or the amount actually paid will be allowed.
All files are subject to audit. If audited, you must send proof of the alimony/child support payments - for example, official documentation and proof that you are making the payments. (i.e., cancelled cheques or money orders)
You must send a photocopy of official documentation confirming monthly payment, and, if any, verification payment is being made ( for example, a cancelled cheque).
Who You Can Claim As a Dependent
You can claim anyone Revenue Canada accepts as a dependent on your Income Tax Return. If you are a dependent student, your parents can claim anyone Canada Revenue Agency accepts as a dependent. Dependents include children who are:
For the purpose of qualifying for the Canada Student Grant for Full-time Students with Dependents, you must have the care and custody of children under 12 years of age and/or children 12 years of age and older who have a disability who require care (confirmed by a physician). (See Table A for costs)
You are expected to make a contribution from any income you receive during your Pre-Study and Study periods. You must report all sources of income on your application. Depending on the source of income, either a percentage of the income amount will be taken as a resource or the calculated minimum contribution amount will be taken as a resourse.
Income means income from all sources before deductions. It includes, but is not limited to the following:
If the final Income Tax Return information shows that the actual income level was higher than you estimated, you may end up with an overaward.
Education and Scholarship Trust Fund
If your parents have established an education or scholarship trust fund for you, the parental contribution will be the amount assessed under the Student Assistance program, or the annual amount available from the trust fund, whichever is greater.
You must advise our office if you withdraw from or stop attending classes. The amount of loan you are eligible to receive will be recalculated based on the actual time you were in classes. In most situations you will have received more loan than you were entitled to receive.
If you withdraw or stop attending classes, you should use any remaining loans you may have to immediately pay down your student loan. This will help reduce your overawards.
You will be charged interest on your Canada Student Loan immediately upon completion of your program. Your Nova Scotia Student Loan will remain interest free for 6 months after your completion of study. You must begin to repay both loans immediately following the 6 months.
A withdrawal form must be completed by your school and returned to our office.
You will also have a "probation" placed on your file.
Students taking less than 60 per cent of a full-course load are considered by Nova Scotia Student Assistance to be studying part time. As soon as you decide to study part time you should contact our office. Reducing your course load to part time means that you have withdrawn from full time studies. Once your course load drops below 60 per cent you are required to repay your Canada and Nova Scotia Student Loans six months after you start studying part time unless you are approved for interest relief. Contact the lender or Service Provider who holds your loan to see if you are eligible for the Canada Interest Relief Program or Nova Scotia Repayment Assistance Program.
In addition, you may have an overaward because you were awarded more loan than you are now entitled to receive. Therefore, your loan amount will be reassessed to reflect the lower amount of tuition charged. If you change to part-time studies, you should use any remaining loans you may have to immediately pay down your student loan. This will reduce the amount of overawards you are going to have.
If your need is reduced after the first assessment, an overaward may be calculated. An overaward is the amount of loan or grant you would not have received if this information had been on your first assessment. For example, if you receive a scholarship or get a part-time job after you negotiate your loan, your loan would need to be re-assessed and overawards may result. Overawards may also be calculated if your costs decrease after your first assessment (ie.,you withdraw and therefore attend fewer weeks).
If there is a discrepancy between the income reported to our office and the income information received from Canada Revenue Agency (formerly Revenue Canada), your application will be reassessed. Unreported resources will result in an audit and possible legal action.
For repayment of your Nova Scotia student loan overawards you must first determine where your loans are held. If you need help determining where your Nova Scotia loan is held, contact the Nova Scotia Student Assistance Office and then submit your payment according to the information provided below.
Nova Scotia Student Loan Overawards:
If you've entered repayment before November 1, 2007:
The Royal Bank Atlantic Student Loan Center
PO Box 1670 CRO
If you are currently in study or you entered into repayment after November 1, 2007:
PO Box 1007
Mississauga "B" Postal Outlet
Canada Student Loan Overawards
National Student Loans Service Centre
P.O. Box 4030
Toll Free: 1-888-815-4514 (within North America)
Countries outside of North America: dial international access code + 800 2 225-2501 (toll free)
Countries outside of North America without an international access code: call the Canadian operator at 0800 096-0634, then call collect 905-306-2950
If you received a Canada Study Grant prior to August 1, 2009:
Canada Study Grant Overawards
Send a cheque or money order, payable to the Minister of Finance, to:
Department of Education
Student Assistance Office
P.O. Box 2290, Halifax Central
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3C8