Glossary

A

Accumulated Income Payment

This is a payment that subscribers get from income earned on money put into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). It also includes income earned on Canada Education Savings Grants and Canada Learning Bonds.

Accrued Interest

This is interest that has accumulated on the principal of a loan but has not yet been paid.

Calculating accrued non-repayment-period interest:

To calculate the interest that has accumulated on your loan during your six-month non-repayment period, use the following formula:

principal of loan (at the end of studies) X interest rate (Prime + 2.5% or 5%) ÷ 2 = accrued non-payment-period interest period interest

Additional Canada Education Savings Grant

The Additional Canada Education Savings Grant (Additional CESG) is a matching grant of either 10% or 20% on the first $500 in annual contributions made to an eligible beneficiary's Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). (Contributions must have been made on or after January 1, 2005.) The Additional CESG is money over and above the basic Canada Education Savings Grant.

The amount of this grant depends on the net family income of the child's primary caregiver.

To find out more, visit the Additional Canada Education Savings Grant page.

Affordable Loan Payment

Under the Repayment Assistance Plan, an affordable loan payment is calculated based on family income and family size and cannot exceed 20 percent of the borrower's income.

Borrowers are eligible for repayment assistance if their affordable loan payment is less than their required payment.

Amortization Period

The amortization period (also known as the repayment period) is the length of time it will take to pay off the principal and interest of a loan. The normal repayment period for a student loan is 9.5 years or 114 monthly payments.

Appeal

This is a review or reconsideration of a student loan assessment. To ask for a review, you must submit a written request to your provincial or territorial student financial assistance office outlining the details and reasons for the appeal.

Apprenticeship

This is a program where a student works with a mentor to learn a skilled trade while gaining on-the-job work experience.

Arrears

Your loan is in arrears when you have missed one or more scheduled loan payments. If you do not make any payments on your Canada Student Loan for 270 consecutive days, you are considered to be in default.

Assessment

A borrower's provincial/territorial student financial assistance office does an assessment to determine the borrower's financial need.

Assessed Costs

This is an estimate of the total amount that a borrower's education and living expenses will cost under the standard assessment criteria for Canada Student Loans.

Education and living costs:

  • tuition, fees, books and school supplies;
  • a moderate standard-of-living allowance for shelter, food and transportation as well as other miscellaneous costs;
  • expenses for children or dependants;
  • daycare expenses; and
  • other allowable costs.
Assessed Resources

Assessed resources are the income, assets and other funds that are used to calculate a student's total expected contribution.

Assessed Financial Need

This is the difference between a borrower's assessed costs and the amount of money they will be expected to contribute. Contributions can come from savings, earnings from summer or part-time jobs and from the borrower's parents or family, if applicable.

Your assessed need can be calculated using this formula:

Education costsStudent Resources = Assessed need

Assisted Contribution

This is money put into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) that will result in a Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG).

B

Balance

The outstanding amount of a student loan still to be paid after subtracting total payments to date.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is the financial situation of a person who is unable to pay their debts and is judged to be legally insolvent. Under a bankruptcy, a person's remaining property is distributed among their creditors.

Beneficiary

This is the person named in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). The beneficiary receives the Educational Assistance Payment (EAP) from the when it's time to pay for their studies after high school.

Blood Relationship

A blood relationship is that between a parent and child. It is also the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild (or great-grandchild), or a brother and sister. Under the Income Tax Act, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins are not blood relatives. You cannot be a blood relative of yourself.

Bursary

A sum of money that does not have to be repaid. Although it is awarded based primarily on financial need, academic achievement is also considered.

C

Canada Education Savings Grant (Basic CESG)

A Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) also known as basic CESG is money paid by the Government of Canada directly into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). A CESG adds 20% to the first $2,500 in contributions put into an RESP annually for an eligible beneficiary. This can be done until the end of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 17.

To find out more, visit the Canada Education Savings Grant page.

Canada Education Savings Program

The Canada Education Savings Program includes the basic Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), Additional CESG and the Canada Learning Bond. The Program promotes the use of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) to encourage early saving for a child's post-secondary education. It also administers some provincial savings programs.

To find out more, visit Education Savings & RESPs page.

Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

Up to $2,000 in Canada Learning Bonds is available to children born after December 31, 2003 if their primary caregiver receives the National Child Benefit Supplement.

The money is deposited by the Government of Canada directly into a child's RESP. A family does not need to put money into the RESP for the child to receive the bond.

To find out more, visit the Canada Learning Bond page.

Canada Student Grants

Canada Student Grants help students with a financial need pay for their education by providing money that does not need to be paid back.

Canada Student Loans Program

The Canada Student Loans Program is a financial assistance program for students. It is administered by the federal government in partnership with nine participating provinces and Yukon. (Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut offer their own programs and do not participate in the Canada Student Loans Program.)

Capitalization of Interest

Interest is capitalized when unpaid accrued interest is added to the principal of a loan. This increases the total debt outstanding.

Borrowers are responsible for the interest that accumulates on a student loan during the six-month non-repayment period. The accumulated interest can be repaid immediately, or added to the principal of the student loan at the end of the non-repayment period.

Career College

A career college is a private post-secondary educational institution that has the same kind of admissions procedures and courses as a community college; however, the learning period at a career college is generally concentrated into a much shorter period of time. This enables students to graduate and enter the workforce more quickly. Career colleges can also be more expensive than public community colleges.

CÉGEP

In Quebec, high schools offer education only up to Grade 11. Most students then enter a CÉGEP (“collège d'enseignement général et professionnel” or general and vocational educational college). CÉGEP students choose either a general program to prepare for university, or a vocational program to train for a specialized career.

Certificate of Eligibility and Student Loan Agreement

Otherwise known as your student loan document, your signature on the Certificate of Eligibility and your Student Loan Agreement confirms your acceptance of the terms and conditions of your loan. To receive your funds, you must sign and date your documents, have your post-secondary educational institution complete the Confirmation of Enrolment section and drop the documents off at a designated Canada Post outlet.

College

A college is a post-secondary institution that responds to the training needs of business, industry and the public-service sector, and to the needs of secondary-school graduates and adults who are interested in a vocational education.

Confirmation of Enrolment (Schedule 2)

This is the form that both you and your post-secondary institution must complete to prove that you are enrolled in school full time.

Consolidation Agreement (Consolidated Student Loan Agreement)

This is a legal document between you and your loan holder(s). It details the arrangements regarding the repayment of your student loans.

Your Consolidation Agreement shows:

  • your outstanding student loan balance, including any non-repayment-period interest;
  • your monthly payment and due date;
  • your amortization period;
  • your interest rate and rate type (floating or fixed interest rate); and
  • the bank account from which payments will be withdrawn.

Note: You have the option to change certain payment terms before you sign and submit this document.

Consolidation

This occurs when any loans you received during your studies are brought together into one repayment plan. Loans are consolidated six months after your study end date, enabling you to make one payment toward all outstanding loans. (You will receive a Consolidation Agreement even if you have only one loan.)

Credit Check

A credit check is the examination of a person's credit history. If a borrower is 22 years of age or older and is requesting a student loan for the first time, his/her provincial or territorial student financial assistance office may contact the credit bureau and request a credit check.

Credit History

This is a record held by a credit bureau that details a person's borrowing and bill-paying habits. It also documents whether a person has ever declared bankruptcy or had a court judgment registered against them.

Credit Rating

This is a rating created by authorized credit agencies. It is based on a person's credit history.

Cumulative Amount

Cumulative amount refers to the maximum amount you can owe on your student loan at one time. For example, part-time students can hold a cumulative amount of Canada Student Loans worth up to $10,000.

D

Default

A Canada Student Loan is considered to be in default when you are behind on your payments for nine or more months and collection action is required. Defaulting on your loan can disqualify you from future student financial assistance and from repayment assistance. If your loan is in default, you will need to ask for Canada Student Loan rehabilitation to bring your loan back into good standing.

If you default on your loan, the Government of Canada, the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) and/or your financial institution will take steps to recover the debt. These steps may include: redirecting any income tax or GST/HST refunds to pay your student loan, reporting you to a credit agency, using a private collection agency to recover the funds or taking legal action.

Delinquency

The failure to make scheduled loan payments is known as delinquency.

Dependant

This is someone for whom you receive the Canada Child Tax Benefit. It is also someone for whom you claim a deduction on your federal income tax return, or over whom you have custody and control, both in law, and in fact.

Designated Institution

A designated post-secondary educational institution meets provincial and federal eligibility criteria. Students attending these schools can apply for government-sponsored student financial assistance. Contact your provincial/territorial student financial assistance office or consult the list of designated institutions for the province or territory where you wish to study.

Disbursement Date

The disbursement date is the earliest day the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) or a borrower's financial institution is allowed to issue their grant cheque or loan document.

Discharge

Borrowers may be legally excused (discharged) from their obligation to repay their student loans by a formal court order as a result of bankruptcy. For student loan purposes, borrowers are discharged from their repayment obligations if the bankruptcy was filed no less than seven years after the borrower's period of study end date. This period may be reduced to five years in cases of exceptional financial hardship.

Disability-Related Expenses

Disability-related expenses are uninsured expenses that a borrower may have that are directly related to his or her permanent disability. These permanent disability-related expenses may have an impact on your eligibility for the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD) or on the amount of your revised payment.

E

Expected Contribution

This is a financial contribution from a student or his/her parent(s), step-parent(s), sponsor(s), legal guardian(s), spouse or common-law partner to assist with the student's education costs.

Educational Assistance Payment (EAP)

An Educational Assistance Payment is money from a student's Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). It is used to help students pay for their education after high school. It includes only money from earnings, bonds and grants; it does not include individual contributions. The EAP counts as part of the student's (beneficiary's) income.

To qualify for an EAP, a beneficiary must be enrolled in either:

  • a qualifying educational program delivered by a post-secondary institution either on site or through distance-education (correspondence) courses; or
  • a pecified educational program. In this case, the beneficiary must be at least 16 years old.

To find out more, visit the Using Your RESP - Qualify page

Exceptional Expenses

Exceptional expenses are those that result from unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances beyond the control of the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant's spouse or common-law partner, and include expenses that are not covered by an insurance plan or a private or publicly funded program (e.g. a provincial disability support program).

F

Family Registered Education Savings Plan

A family Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) enables subscribers to name more than one beneficiary. Each beneficiary must be connected to the subscriber, either through a blood relationship or by adoption.

If the RESP was set up after 1998, the beneficiary must have been less than 21 years old when he or she was named beneficiary. (If a family RESP is transferred to a new RESP and the original beneficiary is now 21 or older, he or she can still be named a beneficiary of the new RESP.)

To find out more, visit the Choosing the Right Registered Education Savings Plans – Family Plan page.

Family Size

For dependent students, this refers to the number of people that the parents of the student support. This includes both the parents and the student applying for the loan.

For independent students, this refers to the number of people that the student supports. This includes the students and the student's spouse or common-law partner, if applicable.

Fixed Rate

A fixed rate is a stable rate of interest. If you negotiate a fixed rate with your loan providers, you will be charged the same interest rate throughout your repayment period.

The fixed interest rate for Canada Student Loans is the prime rate plus 5%.

Floating Rate

A floating (variable) rate is a rate of interest that varies over time with the prime rate. If you negotiate a floating rate with your loan providers, the interest you are charged during the repayment of your loan will increase or decrease along with the prime rate.

The floating interest rate for Canada Student Loans is the prime rate plus 2.5%.

Full-Time Student

This is a student taking at least 60 percent of a full-time course load, for a period of at least 12 consecutive weeks at a designated educational institution. A student with a permanent disability who is taking 40 percent of a full-time course load may elect to be considered a full-time student.

G

Good Standing

You are a borrower "in good standing" if you make regularly scheduled payments on your student loan and have not been restricted from receiving further student financial assistance or disqualified from repayment assistance measures.

You are "not in good standing" if you have missed nine or more payments on your loan and have been restricted from receiving further student financial assistance until you have paid all outstanding amounts. There are other types of restrictions that can be placed on a borrower's account that may result in them being characterized as not in good standing.

Grant

Grants are awarded primarily on the basis of financial need. They do not have to be paid back.

Grant Room

Grant room results when less than $2,500 is put into an RESP annually (or when less than $2,000 was put into an RESP for years prior to 2007). This is called unused Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) amounts. Grant room is made available to every eligible beneficiary every year until the end of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 17. It is also added even if an RESP has not yet been opened for an eligible beneficiary. No grant room is available for years when the beneficiary was not a resident of Canada.

Unused basic CESG amounts carry forward. This makes it possible for subscribers to “catch up” on any unused grant room if they do not put the maximum amount into the RESP in a given year.

To find out more, visit the Canada Education Savings Grant page

Gross Income

This is your income before taxes.

Group Registered Education Savings Plan

This is a type of Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) that combines all the money the members of the group (by age cohort) put into the RESP. This is done to maximize return on investment. In the event that one member drops out of the plan or a beneficiary does not go to school after high school, the earnings go to the remaining beneficiaries.

To find out more, visit the Choosing the Right Registered Education Savings Plans – Group plans page.

I

Income Tax

This is the mandatory tax paid on yearly earnings (e.g.earnings from wages, investments and other sources). All Canadian residents who are old enough to work must file an income tax return each year. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website for more information.

Income Thresholds
  • Low-income threshold: This is the level below which a family of a given size will have to devote a share of income to the necessities of food, shelter and clothing that is larger than that of an average family.
  • Middle-income threshold: This is a measurement of the cost of living that accounts for how much money families of various sizes will need to pay for shelter, food, household operation, child care, furnishings and equipment, clothing, transportation, health and personal care, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Individual (Non-Family) RESP

In this type of Registered Education Savings Plan, the person who opened the RESP (the subscriber) decides when and how much money to contribute. They also direct the RESP provider to make Educational Assistance Payments. In an individual RESP, there can be only one child named as the beneficiary. He or she does not have to be related to the subscriber.

To find out more, visit the Choosing the Right Registered Education Savings Plans page

Integrated Loan

In some provinces, federal and provincial loans are combined so you receive and pay back one integrated loan.

Interest Rate

This is the fee you pay to borrow money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the amount borrowed. The percentage used to calculate the interest on your loan is the interest rate. When it comes time to repay your loan, you can select a fixed interest rate or a floating interest rate.

Interest-free Status

While you are in school, the Government of Canada pays the interest on your federal student loan as long as you provide the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) with confirmation of your enrolment. If you have loans issued prior to August 1, 2000, you must advise the appropriate loan holder (i.e. your bank and/or the NSLSC).

If you get a loan for part-time studies, interest will not accumulate on that loan while you are in school; however, if you switch from full-time to part-time studies, your loan for full-time studies enters repayment status. In that event, interest will begin to accumulate, but payments will not begin for six months.

L

Living Allowance

For the purposes of the Canada Student Loans Program, this refers to the allowance set by the federal government for living costs during the study period. It includes shelter, food, local transportation and other miscellaneous costs. Living allowances vary based on the student's living situation and the province/territory where he or she will be studying.

Living Costs

For the purposes of the Canada Student Loans Program, this refers to the total amount assessed for student living allowances, return transportation and child care, and other allowable and discretionary costs. The assessment of standard living costs depends on the student's category, living situation (based on province of residence and family size), and the province or territory where he or she will be studying.

See Table 3: Student Living Allowances.

Loan

This is financial assistance that must be repaid, along with interest.

Loan Forgiveness

This is when a borrower's loan is erased so that no money is owing. The Government of Canada does not offer loan forgiveness to borrowers, with the exception of:

Loan Provider

This refers to the service provider or financial institution that supplies a student with his/her loan funds. It is possible to have more than one loan provider.

Loan Year

This is the period from August 1st of any given year to July 31st of the following year.

Lump-sum Payment

This is a payment made in addition to regular instalments. It is made to reduce the amount of the loan and the amount of interest owed.

M

Married/Common-Law Student

For the purposes of the Canada Student Loans Program, this refers to students who are married or who have been living in a situation similar to a conjugal relationship for at least one year.

Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA)

The MSFAA outlines the terms and conditions of your federal student loans. It replaces previous federal student loan agreements for full-time students. For integrated loans, the federal and provincial MSFAAs are combined into one document.

Minimum Student Contribution

This is the minimum amount students are expected to put towards their post-secondary education.

See Table 7: Student Contributions for the expected contributions for each student category.

Moderate Standard of Living

This is a measure of the costs of living for the parents of dependent students. This includes costs for various family sizes for shelter, food, household operation, child care, furnishings and equipment, clothing, transportation, health and personal care, reading material, life insurance premiums, pension contributions, charitable donations and other miscellaneous expenses.

See Table 8: Moderate Standard of Living Estimates by Family Size.

N

National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC)

While the Government of Canada funds your Canada Student Loan, it is serviced through the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). The NSLSC manages all Canada Student Loans issued on or after August 1, 2000, as well as any integrated student loans for New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador that were issued on or after August 1, 2000. It also manages all integrated student loans for Ontario and Saskatchewan issued on or after August 1, 2001, and integrated student loans for British Columbia issued on or after August 1, 2011. The NSLSC processes your loan certificate and looks after everything you might need from the Canada Student Loans Program.

Non-repayment Period

For Canada Student Loans, this is the six-month period after you graduate or leave school when loan payments don't have to be made; however, interest on your loan builds up during this period.

O

Other Allowable Costs

These are any costs, other than the standard costs, that are taken into account when determining the amount of assistance to be awarded under the Canada Student Loans Program. Other allowable costs are assessed on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate authority, on receipt of supporting documentation. Such costs may include spousal or child support payments, or child care expenses for dependants with permanent disabilities.

Overaward

This is money that was given but is over the maximum allowable amount for a student loan. This may be due to:

  • a reassessment of your original application;
  • an audit of your file;
  • a sudden withdrawal from full-time or part-time studies;
  • a reduction of your course load;
  • early completion of your studies; or
  • an error made at the time of the initial assessment.

A student who receives an overaward will be notified in writing of the amount and must arrange repayment terms so that the amount is not deducted when the student's next loan application is assessed.

P

Parental Contribution

This is the amount that parents, step-parents, sponsors or legal guardians of single dependent students are expected to contribute towards the costs of the students' education, based on financial ability. Parental contributions vary according to family income, size and allowable deductions.

Part-time Student

A part-time student is one who is taking 20 to 59 percent of a full course load (or 20 to 39 percent of a full course load in the case of a student with a permanent disability) at a designated educational institution.

Period of Study Start/End Date

Your period of study is the length of time that you are enrolled, either full time or part time, in a designated educational institution throughout a school year. Both the start date and end date are indicated on your loan document.

Permanent Disability

This is a functional limitation, caused by a physical or mental impairment, that is expected to remain for the person's entire life. A permanent disability restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in either post-secondary studies or the labour force.

Post-Secondary Education

Post-secondary education refers to:

  • apprenticeships;
  • trades programs;
  • college programs;
  • CÉGEP or other non-university certificate or diploma programs; and
  • university degrees (bachelor's degrees; university certificates or diplomas; degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or optometry; master's degrees; and earned doctorates).
Power of Attorney

A power of attorney gives someone the authority to act on another person's behalf. For the purposes of the Canada Student Loans Program, a student may wish to, or be required to, give power of attorney to another person if they are not able to manage their own student loans.

Prerequisite

A prerequisite is something required as a precondition.

Primary Caregiver

This is the parent who has primary responsibility for a child and who receives the Canada Child Tax Benefit in the child's name. This person's signature and Social Insurance Number is required when they apply for the Canada Learning Bond and the Additional Canada Education Savings Grant.

To find out more, visit the Additional Canada Education Savings Grant and Canada Learning Bond pages.

Prime Rate

The prime rate is the rate used as a base to calculate the interest applied to a Canada Student Loan. It is calculated using the rates declared by the five largest Canadian financial institutions as their prime rate. The five institutions are: the Bank of Montreal, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Royal Bank of Canada and TD Canada Trust.

The Canada Student Loans Program calculates its prime rate by eliminating both the highest and the lowest of these five bank rates and taking the average of the remaining three.

Principal

The principal is the amount of the student loan that you borrowed, or the amount still owing, excluding interest charges.

Province of Residence

Your province of residence is the province or territory where you have most recently lived for at least 12 consecutive months without having been a full-time student at a post-secondary institution.

Q

Qualifying Educational Program

This is a post-secondary program that lasts at least three weeks in a row. It must also require a student to spend 10 hours or more each week attending classes or doing program-related work. Qualifying educational programs include apprenticeships, and programs offered by a trade school, CEGEP, college or university.

To find out more, visit the Using Your RESP - Qualify page

R

Reassessment

This is a second assessment of a student loan application or award.

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a special savings plan, like a savings account that helps you save money for a child's education after high school. RESPs allow your savings to grow tax-free. RESPs also make it possible to receive extra money through the government's basic Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), Additional CESG, the Canada Learning Bond and provincial savings programs.

To find out more, visit the RESP page.

Registered Education Savings Plan Provider

This is a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union that offers RESPs to the public. It can also be a person or organization, such as a group plan dealer or a certified financial planner.

To find out more, visit the Choosing an Registered Education Savings Plans Provider page.

Rehabilitation

Student loan rehabilitation gives the borrower the opportunity to bring a defaulted student loan out of collection and back into good standing.

Required Payment

Under the Repayment Assistance Plan, a required payment is the monthly amount needed to ensure that a borrower's student loans are completely paid off within 10 or 15 years of leaving school, depending on which stage of the Plan the borrower is applying for.

Borrowers are eligible for the Repayment Assistance Plan if their affordable loan payment is less than their required payment.

S

Single Dependent Student

Single dependent students are those who are considered to be financially dependent on parents, guardians, sponsors or other supporting relatives. These students:

  • have never been married or in a common-law relationship;
  • have never been a single parent with legal custody and financial responsibility for supporting children; and
  • are either pursuing post-secondary education within four years of leaving high school or have not been in the labour force full time for two years.
Single Independent Student

Single independent students are those who are considered to be financially independent of their parents, guardians or sponsors. This may be because they:

  • do not have any parents, guardians, sponsors or other supporting relatives;
  • have been out of high school for four years;
  • have been in the labour force full time for two years; or
  • were previously identified as a married/common-law student or a single-parent student but no longer meet that criteria.
Single-parent Student

This is a student who is responsible for supporting a child or children and who has legal and physical custody. In addition, a single-parent student is one who is not currently married or in a common-law relationship, is separated or divorced from a spouse or common-law partner, or is widowed.

Student Financial Assistance

Student financial assistance includes student loans, grants, bursaries, work-study programs or any other type of financial payment that helps students pay for post-secondary education. It also includes giving students interest-free status when they are going to school full-time or part-time.

Student Living At Home

For the purposes of the Canada Student Loans Program, this refers to single students who live with their parents during the study period, or married/common-law students who live with their spouses or common-law partners during the study period.

A single student who goes to school within 25 kilometres of his or her parents' home is considered to be a single dependent student living at home.

Student Living Away from Home

For the purposes of the Canada Student Loans Program, this refers to dependent and independent single students who do not live in their parents' home during the study period. It also refers to married and common-law students who live away from their spouses or common-law partners during the study period. To be considered a student who is living away from home, the student must be attending a post-secondary educational institution that is more than 25 kilometres from their home, and public transportation must be unavailable.

Subscriber

A subscriber is someone who opens a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). He or she can put money into the RESP on behalf of the person (usually a child) named as the beneficiary.

'

T

T4A

This Canada Revenue Agency form is an official document for tax purposes. It shows how much a student has received in scholarships, bursaries, awards and prizes from January to December of any given year. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website for more information on T4A forms.

Tax Credit

An income tax credit directly reduces the amount of income tax paid by reducing the taxable amount due. Students who are repaying their Canada Student Loans or integrated loans receive a tax credit on all interest paid during their repayment period.

Total Monthly Allowance

For the purposes of the Canada Student Loans Program, this refers to the total allowance for food, shelter, miscellaneous expenses and local transportation.

See Table 3: Student Living Allowances.

Trade

A trade is an occupation or craft that requires manual or mechanical skill.

Tuition

This is the amount students must pay post-secondary institutions for instructional services. Other expenses, such as student fees and the cost of books and supplies, are usually extra.

U

Unassisted Contribution

This is a contribution made to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) that will not result in a Canada Education Savings Grant.

Under-served rural or remote community

Family doctors, residents in family medicine and nurses who work in under-served rural or remote communities could be eligible for partial forgiveness of their Canada Student Loan.

An under-served rural or remote community is a municipality (as determined by Statistics Canada) that is located outside of:

  • census metropolitan areas;
  • census agglomerations (geographic units) with an urban core population of 50 000 or more; and
  • provincial capitals.

You can verify if a community is designated as such by using our postal code lookup tool.

University

This is a post-secondary institution that specializes in many branches of advanced learning and grants degrees in various faculties.

W

Withdrawal

For the purposes of the Canada Student Loans Program, this is when a student withdraws from a program of study or ceases to attend classes. A school will report a student as withdrawn from full-time studies if he or she is taking less than 60 percent of a full-time course load (or 40 percent of a full-time course load if the student has a permanent disability).

In the case of part-time studies, a student will be reported as withdrawn if he or she fails to maintain 20 to 59 percent of a full course load (or 20 to 39 percent of a full course load if the student has a permanent disability).

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