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Government Funding - Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories assists residents attending a post-secondary educational institution through the Student Financial Assistance (SFA) program.   The SFA program provides financial assistance to students who are enrolled as a full-time or part-time student. 

The Northwest Territories does not participate in the Canada Student Loans Program but does receive an alternative payment from the federal government to operate their own program.

There are two categories that residents of the Northwest Territories fall under, they are as follows:

Northern Indigenous Aboriginal Resident

Must meet one of the following criteria:

  • A member of, or eligible to become a member of, a NWT Dene Band
  • A person who, on or before December 31, 1921, resided in that part of Canada that on April 1, 1999, comprised the NWT and who is of direct aboriginal descent
  • A descendant of any person described above, or
  • A person who is enrolled, or eligible to be enrolled, as a beneficiary under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, or
  • A person who is enrolled, or is eligible to be enrolled, on the Nunavut Inuit Enrollment List, as amended, and was ordinarily resident (other than as a full-time student) in the NWT on March 31,1999, and continues to be ordinarily resident in the NWT

Northern Resident “Schooled in the NWT” or “Not Schooled in the NWT”

To be considered a “Schooled in the NWT” resident, the following criteria must be met:

  • Attended any or all of Grades 1 to 12 while resident of the NWT
  • Took an approved program of correspondence for any or all of Grades 1 to 12
  • Took an approved home-schooling program for any or all of Grades 1 to 12
  • Attended any, or all of, Grades 1 to 12 outside of the NWT and the parent who had care and control of you was actually resident or ordinarily resident, enrolled in full-time postsecondary program
  • Each grade is counted towards a semester of funding if:
    • Attended not less than 133 school days during the school year
    • If the grade was successfully completed

To be considered a “Not Schooled in the NWT” resident, the following criteria must be met:

  • Are not considered a “Northern Indigenous Aboriginal” resident or a resident “Schooled in the NWT”
  • Have exhausted all benefits as a “Northern Indigenous Aboriginal” resident or a resident “Schooled in the NWT”

There are two types of financial assistance through SFA – grants, that are not normally repayable, and loans, which can be remissible and/or repayable. The type of financial assistance available varies by student category.  

The following is a general overview of the types of assistance available for eligible residents of the Northwest Territories who are attending full-time studies: 

Basic Grant

Students that fall under the Northern Indigenous Aboriginal Resident and Northern Resident “Schooled in the NWT” categories can apply for the Basic Grant.

Eligible students may receive up to $1,925 per semester for tuition and fees and up to $400 per semester for books.  Travel benefits are paid to the student for the cost of travel for the student and dependants from their permanent residence in the NWT to the closest post-secondary educational institution offering their program.

Supplementary Grant or Remissible Loan

Students that fall under the Northern Indigenous Aboriginal Resident and Northern Resident “Schooled in the NWT” categories can apply for the Supplementary Grant or Remissible Loan.

A monthly allowance is provided to assist the student and his/her dependants with monthly living expenses such as rent, food and transportation while the student is attending school. A remissible loan may have to be repaid, if the student does not meet certain requirements.

The amount of assistance disbursed through the Supplementary Grant/Remissible Loan depends on family size, please refer to the following:

Single - $700/month of study
Single with 1 dependant - $1,100/month of study
Single with 2 dependants - $1,300/month of study
Single with 3 dependants - $1,500/month of study
(each additional dependant $50.00 /month of study)

With Spouse, no income, no dependants - $900/month of study
With Spouse, no income, 1 dependant - $1,100/month of study
With Spouse, no income, 2 dependants - $1,300/month of study
With Spouse, no income, 3 dependants - $1,500/month of study
(each additional dependant $50.00/month of study)

Spouse/common-law partner, income, no dependants - $700/month of study
Spouse/common-law partner, income, 1 dependant - $900/month of study
Spouse, income, 2 dependants - $1,100/month of study
Spouse, income, 3 dependants - $1,300/month of study
(each additional dependant $50.00/month of study)

Repayable Loan

All residents of the NWT can apply for the Repayable Loan. 

The Repayable Loan is a form of financial assistance to help with the cost of tuition, tuition fees, books, travel and monthly living expenses.  This loan must be repaid.

Eligible students can receive up to a maximum of $1,400/month of study.

Lifetime Funding and Loan Limits

All students can access up to 20 semesters of funding and up to $60,000 in student loans.  Each student category would determine the limits for the Basic Grant/Supplementary Grant or the Basic Grant/Remissible Loan.  Please contact the SFA office to request additional information in determining how many semesters a student may have.

Study Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities

Residents of the NWT who have a permanent disability can apply for the Study Grant to assist with the cost of:

  • A tutor
  • An interpreter – oral, sign, note taker
  • A reader
  • Transportation – to and from school daily depending on circumstance
  • Attendant Care (while in school)
  • Special equipment – such as a Braille writer, alternative keyboard and alternate formats such as large or Braille print or voice activated program
  • One-time medical assessment – 75% of the cost up to a maximum of $1,000

Eligible student may receive up to $8,000 per academic year in addition to the other types of assistance they qualify for under the SFA program. 

Eligible students can also study at 40% of a 100% full course load to be considered a full-time student.

This assistance is not repayable but students must continue to be eligible for funding to receive it.

General Eligibility

  • Must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
  • Must be considered "Ordinarily Resident ", of the NWT for at least 12 continuous months before the start of their program
  • Previous SFA loan payments must be up to date and must not have any outstanding debts with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) 
  • Must submit all required documents 
  • Must apply with the correct application by an applicable deadline

Eligibility as a full-time student

  • Must be enrolled as follows to be considered eligible for SFA:
    • 40% of a 100% full course load if you have a permanent disability; or
    • 60% of a 100% full course load
  • Must provide proof of enrollment in a NWT approved program and postsecondary institution, which will lead to a license, certificate, diploma, undergrad, masters or doctoral degree
  • Each semester of studies must be at least 12 continuous weeks long, but no longer than 26 continuous weeks
  • Must submit an official transcript from the last time SFA was advanced, indicating you successfully completed the required percentage of a full course load as noted previously
  • An  audited course cannot be considered as part of the course load 
  • A course that is repeated which has already been funded by SFA cannot be considered as part of the course load,  unless a better mark is required to continue

Deadlines for Full-time Students

Students must submit an Application for Full-time Student Financial Assistance on a yearly basis and by their applicable deadline.

Deadlines for Full-time Students

Academic Year Begins

Application Deadline Is

January

November 15

August 16 to September 30

July 15

All Other Months

One Calendar Month Prior


Loan Repayment

Students must begin repaying their students loans six months after ceasing to be a full-time student.  During the six month interest free period, the GNWT will not charge interest on any outstanding loan(s).

 

The following is a general overview of the types of assistance available for eligible residents of the Northwest Territories who are attending part-time studies: 

Course Reimbursement

Residents of the NWT can apply for course reimbursement if the:

  • Courses were taken through distance learning at public postsecondary institutions
  • Courses were taken at an institution on a part-time basis

The following expenses are covered up to a maximum of $500 per course to a lifetime reimbursement of $5,000:

  • Tuition costs
  • Admission or enrollment fees
  • Postage
  • Required textbooks
  • Child care expenses, and
  • Internet fees

The reimbursement rate is based on household income.

Eligible students must submit an Application for Course Reimbursement, Income Tax Notice of Assessment, official transcript and a receipt within one year of starting the course(s).

Study Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities

Residents of the NWT who have a permanent disability can apply for the Study Grant  up to $1,000 per course.  This would replace Course Reimbursement.

General Eligibility

  • Must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
  • Must be considered "Ordinarily Resident ", of the NWT for at least 12 continuous months before the start of their program
  • Previous SFA loan payments must be up to date and must not have any outstanding debts with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) 
  • Must submit all required documents 
  • Must apply with the correct application by an applicable deadline

Eligibility as a full-time student

  • Must have been considered “ordinarily resident” while taking the course and up until the completion of the course
  • Must be attending a NWT approved program at a recognized postsecondary school
  • Considered  a part-time student or are taking distance learning full-time at a public institution
  • Studies must be leading to a license, certificate, diploma, undergraduate, masters or doctoral degree
  • Must be enrolled in:
    • Less than 40% of a 100% full course load if you have a permanent disability; or
    • Less than 60% of a 100% full course load

Contact Information

Student Financial Assistance Program
Income Security Programs
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
Box 1320
Yellowknife, NT  X1A 2L9

Telephone     1-867-873-7190 or 1-800-661-0793 (toll free)
Fax    1-867-873-0336 or 1-800-661-0893 (toll free)

Website    www.nwtsfa.gov.nt.ca
E-mail    nwtsfa@gov.nt.ca