Government Student Loans

Student loans are offered by the Canadian and US governments to help students pay for their post-secondary education.

Am I eligible?

Eligibility for student loans is based on many factors, including:

  • Income and assets
  • Tuition, mandatory fees, and book costs
  • Living expenses

What kind of loans can I apply for?

For more information about loans you may be eligible for, read more about your student type below:

Dual Citizens

If you are a Canadian student (including permanent residents and protected persons) you can apply for loans through your home province or territory.

If you are a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, you may be able to apply for loans through both the US and Canadian governments.

Students from BC

If you are a BC resident in full- or part-time graduate or undergraduate studies at UBC, government student loan assistance is available to you.

How do I apply for full-time students loans?

  1. Apply online through StudentAid BC (SABC) to be considered for both federal and provincial loans and grants
  2. Check the Course Load Guide to make sure you're taking enough credits to be eligible for a loan
  3. Complete your online student loan application at least two months before classes start to receive your funding before tuition is due.
  4. Submit Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) in timely manner if you are applying for student loan for the first time.  Late submission can delay your loan being confirmed before tuition is due.

How does interest work?

Interest begins to accrue on your student loan the day after your interest-free period ends. Payments are not mandatory until you've been out of school for 6 months. This is known as your non-repayment period.

If you return to school with a full-time student loan at a designated post-secondary institution before your grace period ends, the interest that had been building since your last study end-date will be eliminated and you will be in interest-free status for your new study term.

If you return full-time to school at a designated post-secondary institution, but do not plan on applying for full time loans, you will need to apply for interest free status through your loan provider in order for your loans to be in interest free status.

Being in interest-free status means you are in a 'funded term' whether you have new loans or not, so if you withdraw or have an unsuccessful term, it may affect your eligibility for further assistance.

B.C. residency requirement

Students are classified either as Dependent (Group A) or Independent (Group B) to determine residency and financial need.  Students entering the J.D. Program will normally be Independent students.

Dependent (Group A)
Students are considered to be dependent on a financial sponsor, such as their parent(s), unless they meet at least one of the criteria for independent status as defined below.

Independent (Group B)
Students are considered independent if they meet at least one of the following criteria:​

  • Are married on the first day of classes, or are separated, divorced, widowed, a parent or a single parent.
  • Have been out of secondary school for four years (48 months) as of the first day of classes.
  • Have spent two periods of 12 consecutive months each in the full-time labor force (a minimum of 32 hours per week) while not concurrently being a full-time student receiving funding through the Canada Student Loans Program.
  • Have no parents (e.g. the student’s parents have died or disappeared).
  • Have been declared a ward of the court.

    Have cohabited with a person, in a marriage-like relationship, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months as of the first day of classes. 

How much loan money will I receive?

The amount of funding you receive depends on the financial information you submit in your online application.

After you submit your application, StudentAid BC (SABC) will send you an assessment. This will tell you how much funding you're eligible for and when you'll receive it.

Maximum loan funding

Study period length

Single students

Students with dependents

34 weeks (Winter Session)



17 weeks (1 term only)






Grant funding

Some students who apply for student loans will be eligible for grant funding, which does not have to be repaid. Your eligibility is based on your application.  Further information on grants is available at StudentAidBC.

Students from other provinces

If you are from a province or territory other than BC, you're eligible to receive government student loan assistance by applying through your home province.

What is my home province?

Your home province is generally the province where you lived before attending UBC, depending on whether you are a dependent or an independent student.  Students entering the J.D. Program will normally be Independent students.

Dependent students 

Your home province is the last province in which the parent(s) or sponsor lived for 12 consecutive months, as of the start of the student’s study period.

Independent students

Independent students establish residency in their own right by living in one province for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, as of the start of study period, excluding time spent as a full-time student at a post-secondary institution.

Apply for a student loan through your province

Loans for part-time students

StudentAidBC offers funding for students in part-time studies in BC. Out of province students need to apply through their home province. Part-time students are not eligible for the UBC bursary or work study programs.

Should I apply for part-time funding?

Part-time funding is best for students who:

  • Need support for educational expenses like tuition, books, and transportation
  • Have to pay for child care while attending school

  • Have permanent disabilities (some students with disabilities qualify for full-time loans by appealing to study at a reduced course load).

Part-time funding does not cover living costs. If you need additional financial support for living costs, please contact the Law Enrolment Services Advisors to discuss your financial plan.

Am I a part-time student?

To determine whether you are a part-time student, check the Course Load Guide. If you are registered in between 20% and 59% of the full-time load listed for your program, you are considered a part-time student.

How do I apply and receive funding? 

  1. Download the application form from StudentAid BC or your home province (link to Students from other provinces page), fill it out and submit it to the Advising Center in Brock Hall. 
  2. You will receive an assessment that will outline the funding you'll receive, and when you'll receive it
  3. Your loan document will be sent to you after your enrolment has been confirmed by UBC

What if I have previous part-time loans?

If you have a previous part-time Canada Student Loan and you are returning to either part- or full-time study, you do not need to begin repayment. But you must inform your lender that you are returning to study. Please review the information for students with previous loans.