Government of Quebec Student Financial Aid (Aide Financière aux Études)
Other Canadian Federal and Provincial Student Aid Programs
Work-Study Program and Concordia Student Financial Aid
Concordia University Scholarships and Bursaries
Awards Offered by External Organizations
Students from the United States — Federal Student Aid
International Students from Other Countries
The Financial Aid and Awards Office helps students manage their financial investment in their university education. It provides advice and guidance on budget planning, scholarships, bursaries, academic awards, work-study job opportunities and government student financial aid.
It is highly recommended that students apply for Quebec Loans and Bursaries online at the Aide financière aux études website: quebec.ca/education/aide‑financiere‑aux‑etudes. All students should apply a minimum of eight weeks prior to their studies. Each student is responsible for completing his or her application form and forwarding it directly to the government. Once a student’s aid is calculated, he or she will receive a formal calculation from Aide financière aux études indicating the amount of aid he or she will be entitled to receive.
It is important to note that the Loans and Bursaries Program is based on the principle that the student and, in some cases, his or her parents, sponsor or spouse, must contribute toward the cost of the student’s education according to their respective means. In addition, the Government Loan and Bursary programs serve as a supplement to a student’s own resources. Therefore, a student should not expect that all of his/her expenses would be covered through government aid.
Financial assistance is initially granted in the form of a loan that a student must pay back at the end of his or her full-time studies. If a student is entitled to more than the maximum loan, he or she may receive additional assistance in the form of a bursary, which does not have to be paid back.
Students are eligible for consideration of government assistance if they meet the following conditions:
The Government of Quebec sets the maximums for cumulative debt loads and period of eligibility. The maximum cumulative debt load is unrelated to students’ eligibility periods; in other words, students might not be eligible for any assistance if they have accumulated a maximum debt load even if they have not used all their eligibility periods.
The maximum period of eligibility is dependent on the students’ program, level of study as well as other factors affecting their file.
In general, the maximum period of eligibility set for university students is as follows:
Note: The maximum number of months for which financial assistance can be awarded to students enrolled in university or equivalent programs is 88 (all levels combined).
Consult the Aide financière aux études website at quebec.ca/education/aide‑financiere‑aux‑etudes for funding available to part-time students.
Students in any Faculty, who are Canadian citizens or have legal status in Canada and who are Quebec residents, may be eligible for additional aid. For information on specific forms, please contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office. Further information is also available at the Office for Students with Disabilities.
Students applying for Federal and Provincial Loans (other than Quebec) must be a Canadian citizen or have legal status in Canada and be a resident or be deemed to reside in the province to which they are applying. For further information, contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office.
Students across Canada may apply for bursaries to enrol in a five‑week immersion course in French or English at accredited institutions. The aim of this program is to provide post‑secondary students with the opportunity to learn one of Canada’s official languages as their second official language and to improve their knowledge of the culture represented by that language.
Candidates whose mother tongue is neither French nor English may not receive bursaries to study English or French as their first official language. These bursaries will defray the cost of tuition, instructional materials, and room and board, but will not cover transportation costs or pocket money.
Inquiries regarding the awarding of bursaries (e.g. eligibility) should be made to the students’ provincial coordinator or territorial official, the names and addresses of which are available at the Financial Aid and Awards Office.
Students are eligible if they meet the following conditions:
a) are Canadian citizens or permanent residents at the time of application. Students studying in Canada on visas are not eligible;
b) have general post-secondary standing or can prove that they will have obtained such a status by the time they become involved in the program;
c) were enrolled as full-time students during the previous academic year.
Language assistants are students who help students with the spoken language by conveying to them the real-life aspect of the language. They carry out their duties under the supervision of second-language teachers. Full-time language assistants work for nine months (September to May 31) for an average of 25 hours per week and may earn up to $18,500. Part‑time language assistants are employed for eight months for an average of eight hours per week (September to April). The program also provides reimbursement for certain expenses.
Work‑Study is a student financial assistance program funded by Concordia University and the Government of Quebec. It is designed to assist full‑time Concordia University students (with the exception of the summer session), who are in financial need, to pursue their academic goals by providing part-time employment on campus. (Up to 20 hours per week for a maximum of 200 hours per term.)
Students are eligible to participate in the Work-Study Program if they meet the following criteria:
Further information can be found at concordia.ca/students/financial/employment/work-study.
Students who are blocked from registering for an upcoming term because of an overdue student account balance may apply for a tuition deferral which would provide them the ability to register for courses.
Eligibility for a tuition deferral is based upon the following conditions:
If students receive approval for a tuition deferral, they will still be responsible for late fees and interest on their outstanding loan balance. The purpose of applying for a tuition deferral is to allow students participating in a government loan/bursary program the opportunity to register for the upcoming term.
Students must meet with a financial aid advisor to apply for a tuition deferral.
Funds are available at the Financial Aid and Awards Office for students experiencing financial difficulties. Such advances are issued to undergraduate and graduate, full-time and part-time students at Concordia University whose funding is from a government student aid program that is disbursed by the University’s Financial Aid. Students must see a financial aid advisor for further information on eligibility requirements and conditions.
Students experiencing an unanticipated emergency, and who can demonstrate exceptional or unexpected circumstances which are creating considerable financial hardship for them and which require an urgent financial response, should visit the Financial Aid and Awards Office to discuss emergency financial assistance.
Two types of awards are available to undergraduate students through the Financial Aid and Awards Office: scholarships and bursaries. Entrance scholarships and entrance bursaries are available to newly admitted students entering university programs for the first time. In‑course scholarships and in‑course bursaries are available to returning students who have completed at least one year of studies at Concordia University. In all cases, scholarships are awarded on the basis of scholastic achievement and, in some cases, consideration is given to the involvement in university life or other non-academic criteria. Bursaries are awarded based on financial need and acceptable academic standing, and sometimes additional criteria may apply.
Unless otherwise stated, awards are granted to full-time students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Unless expressly authorized by the University Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards Committee, award recipients may hold only one of the following types of awards in a given academic year: Concordia entrance scholarships, Concordia in-course scholarships, or Concordia in-course bursaries. For additional information on all undergraduate awards, consult the Financial Aid and Awards Office (FAAO) website at concordia.ca/faao.
Recipients are recommended to the Undergraduate Scholarship and Awards Committee by the Faculties during admission processing on the basis of academic achievement during the first three semesters of Cegep or equivalent. For a complete list, consult the FAAO website.
In-course scholarships are awarded by the Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards Committee to full-time students (unless otherwise indicated) who have completed at least 24 credits at Concordia. Recipients are selected on the basis of the previous year’s assessment GPA as calculated by the Office of the Registrar. Unless otherwise indicated, no application is required. For a complete list, consult the FAAO website.
Entrance bursaries are available to students entering university studies for the first time. An application form must be submitted online along with various supporting documents. Eligibility is determined following a financial needs test, a review of the candidate’s academic ranking as assigned during admission application processing, and a holistic appreciation of the applicant’s personal statements on the entrance bursary application form. Students who have received a tuition waiver from the University are not eligible to apply for an entrance bursary. For a complete list of available entrance bursaries, consult the FAAO website.
In‑course bursaries are awarded on the basis of financial need and satisfactory academic standing following committee review of the bursary application. Eligibility is determined following a financial needs test, a review of the candidate’s academic standing, and a holistic appreciation of the applicant’s personal statements on the in-course bursary application form. Students who have received a tuition waiver from the University are not eligible to apply for an in-course bursary. For a complete list, consult the FAAO website.
Awards sponsored and administered by external associations, companies, foundations, societies, and clubs, are listed from time to time on the FAAO website and bulletin boards. In general, applications must be submitted to the organization administering the award, unless otherwise indicated.
Citizens of the United States and certain eligible non‑citizens studying at Concordia may be eligible for financial aid through the U.S. Department of Education in the form of a Federal Direct Loan. Financing may also be available through alternative non-governmental sources such as Sallie Mae. Only students enrolled in degree programs are eligible to receive U.S. Government student loan funding. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in diploma and certificate programs are not eligible for U.S. Government funding at Concordia.
Effective July 1, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education requires all schools disbursing U.S. Government loans to do so through the U.S. Government’s William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. This means that the U.S. Government will be electronically disbursing student loan funding directly to schools without the participation of any third parties (i.e. banks or financial institutions). Under the Direct Loan program, the lender is the United States Department of Education.
Students who would like to participate in the Federal Student Aid Program are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office in the spring. The loan application process at Concordia University is “borrower initiated.” This means that for each academic year, students must begin the loan process by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application, a Master Promissory Note and a Concordia University U.S. Direct Loan Application form. The Concordia University U.S. Direct Loan Application form is available on Concordia’s Financial Aid and Awards website. Students must forward all application documents to the Financial Aid and Awards Office, as they are not received through electronic means. For the FAFSA form, Concordia’s school code is 00836500.
Students must be enrolled on a full-time (12 credits or more) or half-time (6 credits or more) basis in order to qualify for aid through the U.S. Department of Education.
All programs offered to Direct Loan recipients must meet the U.S. Department of Education’s program eligibility requirements, as outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations. In the case of foreign institutions, for recipients of Direct Loan funding, this means that the version of the program into which the student is accepted will not include the following:
1. Any use of a telecommunications course, correspondence course or direct assessment (CFR 600.51 [d]);
2. Has no written arrangements, within the meaning of 34 CFR 668.5, with institutions or organizations located in the United States for those institutions or organizations to provide a portion of an eligible program, as defined under 34 CFR 668.8, except for written arrangements for no more than 25 per cent of the courses required by the program to be provided by eligible institutions located in the United States;
3. Does not permit students to complete an eligible program by enrolling in courses offered in the United States, except that it may permit students to complete up to 25 per cent of the program by:
(a) Enrolling in the coursework, research, work, or special studies offered by an eligible institution in the United States; or
(b) Participating in an internship or externship provided by an ineligible organization as described in 34 CFR 668.5(h)(2).
As such, students receiving Title IV aid must register for on-campus courses only throughout their academic career at Concordia in order to be considered enrolled in an eligible program. Should students register in any ineligible course as outlined above, they are automatically considered to be in an ineligible program and will immediately become ineligible for Title IV funds. There is no appeal process for this requirement. Students are encouraged to discuss their study plans with a Financial Aid advisor before registering.
Students are required to make satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of their degree. For the purposes of Title IV funding, satisfactory academic progress is determined by qualitative measure (grade point average) and quantitative measure (completion rate). Federal regulations require that the University tracks the academic progress of all student loan recipients from the first date of enrolment at Concordia University, whether or not loans were received at that time. Credits transferred from all other credit sources will be considered as attempted and completed credits in the evaluation of the completion rate standards, but these courses do not affect the calculation of a student’s GPA.
To achieve satisfactory academic progress as per the U.S. Department of Education, students must:
In order to be eligible for U.S. loans, students must meet Concordia University’s institutional requirements for minimum satisfactory performance. These are defined in the Undergraduate and the Graduate Calendars under each Faculty’s section. Note that students must maintain a minimum assessment GPA of 2.00 in all undergraduate Faculties and 3.00 for graduate Faculties.
Students who fail to meet the minimum 2.00 assessment grade point average standard, or fail to complete at least two-thirds of cumulative credits attempted, will immediately lose eligibility for U.S. Government funding. No government financial aid will be disbursed unless the student is removed from Student Loan Denied status.
150% Rule: If students are first‑time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that they can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. In cases where this limit applies, students may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of their current program. This is called their “maximum eligibility period.” For example, if they are enrolled in a four‑year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which they can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150% of four years = six years).
Because their maximum eligibility period is based on the length of their current program of study, their maximum eligibility period can change if they change to a program that has a different length. Also, if they receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans they received for the earlier program will generally count toward their new maximum eligibility period. Certain types of enrolment may cause them to become responsible for the interest that accrues on their Direct Subsidized Loans when the U.S. Department of Education usually would have paid it.
Students may be reinstated for financial aid purposes after having been placed on Student Loan Denied status in one of the following ways:
Students may appeal their Student Loan Denied status if it can be determined that an unusual or extraordinary situation affected their academic progress. An example of an unusual or extraordinary situation would be a death in the family or a serious illness. Appeals must be:
This policy applies only to eligible U.S. and eligible non‑U.S. citizens receiving Title IV funds, specifically the Federal Direct loans. Title IV funds are awarded to students under the assumption that they will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When students withdraw from all their courses, for any reason including medical withdrawals, they may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that they were originally scheduled to receive. If students withdraw from all their courses prior to completing more than 60% of a term, they may be required to repay a portion of the federal financial aid that they received for that term. In addition, students may also owe the University any loan funds returned on their behalf. A pro rata schedule is used to determine the amount of federal student aid funds they will have earned at the time of the withdrawal. Federal aid includes Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), Parent Plus Loans and Graduate Plus Loans.
The return of funds is based upon the concept that students earn their financial aid in proportion to the amount of time in which they are enrolled. Under this reasoning, students who withdraw in the second week of classes have earned less of their financial aid than students who withdraw in the seventh week. Once 60% of the term is completed, students are considered to have earned all of their financial aid and will not be required to return any funds.
The students' withdrawal date is either:
If a student ceases attendance (drops or withdraws) from all his or her Title IV eligible courses in a payment period, or period of enrolment, the student must be considered a withdrawal for Title IV purposes.
Students must immediately inform the Financial Aid and Awards Office of their withdrawal by email to email@example.com.
The Financial Aid and Awards Office (FAAO) then determines the return of Title IV funds percentage. Institutions are required to determine the percentage of Title IV aid “earned” by students and to return the unearned portion to the appropriate aid program. Regulations require schools to perform calculations within 30 days from the date the school determines the students’ complete withdrawal. The school must return the funds within 45 days of the calculation.
The return of Title IV funds policy follows these steps:
The FAAO will determine:
a) The total amount of Title IV aid disbursed (not aid that could have been disbursed) for the term in which the students withdrew. The student’s Title IV aid is counted as aid disbursed in the calculation if it has been applied to the students’ account on or before the date the students withdrew.
b) The total amount of Title IV aid disbursed plus the Title IV aid that could have been disbursed for the term in which the students withdrew.
The FAAO will calculate the percentage of Title IV aid earned as follows:
The number of calendar days completed by the students divided by the total number of calendar days in the term in which the students withdrew. The total number of calendar days in a term shall exclude any scheduled breaks of more than five days.
Days Attended ÷ Days in Enrolment Period = Percentage Completed
If the calculated percentage exceeds 60%, then students have “earned” all the Title IV aid for the enrolment period.
The FAAO will calculate the amount of Title IV earned as follows:
The percentage of Title IV aid earned (Step 2) multiplied by the total amount of Title IV aid disbursed or that could have been disbursed for the term in which the students withdrew (Step 1-B).
Total Disbursed Aid - Earned Aid = Unearned Aid to be Returned
If the aid already disbursed is less than the earned aid, the FAAO will calculate a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement.
Return of the Title IV Aid, based on the type of aid disbursed, in the following order:
Loans must be repaid by the loan borrower (student/parent) as outlined in the terms of the borrower’s promissory note. The students’ grace period for loan repayments for Federal Unsubsidized and Subsidized Direct Loans will begin on the day of the withdrawal from the University. Students should contact the lender if they have questions regarding their grace period or repayment status.
The FAAO’s responsibilities in regard to the Return of Title IV Funds policy include:
The students’ responsibilities in regard to the Return of Title IV Funds policy include:
The procedures and policies listed above are subject to change without advance notice.
International students may be eligible for financial assistance in the form of scholarships, bursaries and part‑time employment on campus via the Work-Study program. Further information on undergraduate scholarships and bursaries, and the Work-Study program, can be found at concordia.ca/faao and concordia.ca/students/financial/employment/work-study.
International students from countries other than the United States who may require government student financial aid should contact their home country’s Department of Education for possible educational financing support opportunities.
The Canadian International Development Agency offers training assistance to most developing countries with which Canada has a co-operative agreement; however, students must be nominated by their own government. For further information, contact the Scholarship Committee, Human Resources Directorate, Canadian International Development Agency, 200 Promenade du Portage, Hull, Quebec K1A 0G4.
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