Eligibility and preparations
The majority of governmental student financial assistance programs are open to Undergraduate and Graduate students pursuing full-time studies. However, due to recent US Department of Education regulatory changes, Undergraduate and Graduate students enrolled in diploma and certificate programs are no longer eligible for US Government funding. However, it is still possible to apply for private loan funding.
Verify your eligibility with FSA
In order to qualify for financial aid, you must first have been accepted to the University. Only after being accepted at the University will your financial aid documents be processed.
Registration and Course Load
To be eligible for all federal loans, you must be registered in a minimum of 6 credits per semester.
International students are expected to maintain a full time course (12-15 credits per semester) load as a condition of immigration requirements. If you will be studying less than full time, you should contact the International Student Office (http://supportservices.concordia.ca/iso/) to make sure that you do not have any difficulties with Immigration Quebec or the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
As a Title IV Foreign Institution, our office must abide by the laws of Title IV Aid as mandated by the US Federal Government and meet program eligibility requirements. 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. Any course, research, internship or externship or special studies that takes place in the United States (CFR 600.52).
3. Any arrangement where a Title IV ineligible entity provides any portion of the eligible institution’s programs (CFR 600.54).
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 a student 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.
The US Department of Education will consider you independent if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
- You will be at least 24 years old by December 31st of the award year.
- You are an orphan or ward/dependent of the court, or were a ward/dependent of the court until you reached age 18.
- You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- You will be working on a master's or doctorate program at the beginning of the award year for which the FAFSA is completed.
- You will be married as of the date the FAFSA is completed.
- You have at least one child who receives more than half his or her support from you.
- You have a dependent, other than a spouse or a child, who lives with you and receives more than half of his or her support from you at the time the FAFSA is completed and through June 30th of the award year.
You are considered dependent if you do not meet any of the preceding criteria for an independent student unless the FAAO determines that you are independent on the basis of special circumstances.
All first year students at Concordia University are required to complete Entrance Counselling prior to receiving loan funds. Entrance Counselling describes the rights and obligations of borrowers and answers many questions you may have about loans. It may also be completed at StudentLoans.gov.
- If you are a Direct Loan borrower, please complete the Direct Loan Entrance Counselling.
- If you are a Graduate PLUS Loan borrower, please complete the Graduate PLUS Entrance Counselling.
- If you are a borrower of both types of loans, please complete the combined Entrance Counselling.
When you complete Entrance Counselling, the FAAO will not receive an electronic confirmation please print a confirmation. A hardcopy of the confirmation of the Entrance Counselling must be kept in your file for audit purposes.
Cost of attendance
The FAAO calculates your cost of attendance (COA) when your application is being processed in order to determine your financial need. The COA is based on tuition fees, books and living expenses for one academic year. The COA is based on the number of credits you actually intend to take.
Visit our Tuition and Fees pages for the most recently updated information about tuition and compulsory fees based on program.
Living expenses are calculated by the FAAO. Housing, food, transportation and personal expenses are included in the estimate of reasonable costs per semester. Additional costs, such as supplies and internet fees are also calculated.
Other necessary and reasonable expenditures that don't fall into the above categories, such as the purchase of a computer or a return trip home, may also be included in the calculation if approved by a Financial Aid Advisor and if you can provide proof of purchase. Once all of the costs have been assessed, the COA is calculated in Canadian dollars and then converted to US dollars based on the exchange rate of that day.
Once you have figured out what your expenses are and what you hope to borrow, you can begin outlining a budget for the year. Try to map out your finances well in advance; it's difficult to study on an empty stomach! Here are some helpful websites about financial planning:
You will need a Canadian bank account (which has debit card capability) for the deposit of any surplus in your student account. Many banks will allow you to apply for a bank account online, so you can start the process before you get to Montreal. Here are the websites of several banks with branches near Concordia: