Many of us aspire to get a post-secondary education, both for professional and personal reasons. However, attending these post-secondary institutions can be expensive and financially taxing – it’s not something everyone can afford to do on their own. With the help of financial aid, attending post-secondary schools can become more affordable and accessible.
We know how important it is to find a meaningful career and we want to help you get there. We can tell you if you will qualify for financial aid, how to apply, repaying your loans, the Manitoba Repayment Assistance Plan and Robertson’s approach to assisting their students in the article below.
Who is eligible for a student loan in Manitoba?
Before applying for a student loan, you have to find out if you’re eligible. Luckily the Government of Manitoba has made it easy with this list of eligibility requirements.
You may be eligible if you’re:
- A Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
- A permanent resident of a province or territory that issues Canada Student Loans.
- Able to prove you need financial aid.
- Per school term, are you a full time student, meaning, are you enrolled in at least 60 percent of a full course load.
- Enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program that runs for at least 12 weeks within a 15-week period and is offered by a designated post-secondary educational institution.
- Able to pass a credit check if you are applying for a Canada Student Loan for the first time and over the age of 22.
- Maintain satisfactory grades if you’ve already applied and received a Canada Student Loan.
- Ensure you have not exhausted your maximum lifetime limit of financial assistance, including interest-free status.
Manitoba Student Aid application tips
While applying for student aid may feel overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Take your time and read our tips to help you through the application process:
- Make sure you apply early. Applying late or too close to the deadline can be risky.
- Apply online. This is the quickest way to apply! Paper applications are possible but take longer and are not recommended.
- Register for both terms. You must be a full time student to qualify for a loan. Ensure your course load matches your application for a loan.
- Read everything. You will be sent documents by mail, some of which require a signature. If these documents do not get submitted, the application process will stop and you won’t qualify.
- Keep copies of your paperwork. Should any problems arise, having the original paperwork will make them easier to solve.
- Ask for help. Doing your own research is helpful, but speaking to someone who can inform you such as your provincial loan office can save you lots of time waiting and even money, from overdue fees, in the long run.
Repaying your government student loans
Residents of Manitoba must start repaying their student loans six months after the last day of their full-time enrolment. You will not be charged any interest during the duration of your full-time study. However, after this six-month grace period has concluded, you will be charged interest on any remaining loans.
But don’t worry! There are many processes in place to ensure you can repay your student loan in the best possible way. The government will mail instructions at least a month before you are required to begin paying back your loan.
If you’re worried about being able to repay your student loan, you can apply for the Manitoba Repayment Assistance Plan to get a reduced monthly fee and a longer repayment period.
What is the Manitoba student loan interest rate?
One great thing about being a Manitoba resident is that during your studies and even after you have completed your program, the Manitoba student loan interest rate is 0%. However, if you receive a loan from Canada Student Loans, you also have a 0% interest rate that is carried forward through the first six months you’re out of school.
Once the six-month period is up, the rate increases to a prime rate of 3.95% if you choose to repay it on a floating interest rate, or a prime rate of 3.95% + 2% should you choose to repay it on a fixed interest rate. If you’re worried about being able to repay your loan, you may be eligible for the Manitoba Repayment Assistance Plan.
How does the Manitoba Repayment Assistance Plan work?
The Manitoba Repayment Assistance Plan helps to reduce your monthly loan payment to an affordable amount, or in some cases, it even reduces it to zero. Much like student aid, the Manitoba Repayment Assistance Plan assesses your need for assistance based on several factors such as your household income and size, if you have a disability or if you’re going back to school.
You must apply for the Manitoba Repayment Assistance Plan every six months.
How Robertson helps with financial assistance
At Robertson, we understand that everyone’s situation is different which is why we offer several funding and assistance options.
Personal Payments & Payment Plans
You can receive a discount if you can pay your tuition in full by the end of the first week of your program.
Student Line of Credit
If you need assistance paying for books, supplies, or living expenses, a student line of credit may be helpful for you. You will be able to purchase these things using your line of credit and then pay them back after you graduate.
Government Student Loans
These loans are offered by the Government of Canada to help students pay for post-secondary education.
Employment Manitoba is a program that assists students who are unemployed, underemployed, low income, or low skilled. For more information, you can explore the Province of Manitoba – Training and Employment Services page or contact 1 (204) 945-0575 in Winnipeg or toll-free at 1 (866) 332-5077 to find the closest Employment Manitoba Centre to you.
Scholarships or Bursaries
Exploring your options for scholarships can be very helpful when considering financial aid options. These scholarships or bursaries often come from companies, organizations, or unions that you or your family may belong to.
Qualifying individuals may be eligible for funding through Aboriginal bands. For more information and assistance, contact your band office or speak to a Robertson Student Financial Administrator.
At Robertson, our goal is to make sure everyone has an opportunity to get funded and enrolled. We recommend that you talk with our Student Financial Administrators to see all of the options that are available to you.
Time to apply!
Now that you have all of the important information regarding Manitoba Student Aid, nothing can hold you back from embracing your future. Whether your dream is to work in community services, health care, business and administration, or technology, Robertson has a variety of different programs, you are sure to find the one that’s right for you. Explore our diploma programs and courses and kick start your career!