Student Category

The Loans and Bursaries Program is contributive in nature, which means that students and, if applicable, their parents, sponsor or spouse must contribute to the cost of their education. Contributors are identified based on your situation. When you apply for financial assistance, you are required to answer questions relating to self-support criteria that are based on marital status, family situation, studies, work experience and exceptional family situations. Your answers will determine if a parental, spousal or sponsor’s contribution is required.

Students without a parental (or sponsor’s) contribution

In order to be deemed a student without a parental or sponsor’s contribution, one of the following situations must apply to you, failing which your parents or sponsor will be expected to contribute to the cost of your education.

Self-support criteria according to marital status

  • You are married.
  • You are in a civil union.
  • You are legally or de facto separated.
  • You are divorced.
  • You are a widow or widower.

Self-support criteria according to family situation

  • You are or have been the biological or adoptive parent of a child.
  • You are single and both your parents are deceased.
  • You are at least 20 weeks pregnant.
  • You are the head of a single parent family.
  • You are living in a marital situation, meaning that you live with another person of the same or opposite sex, are neither married nor in a civil union, and live with at least one child (yours or your spouse’s).

Self-support criteria for studies in Québec

  • You have a bachelor’s degree from a Québec university.
  • You are pursuing studies in a master’s or doctoral program.
  • You have a Diploma of Advanced Studies I in Music or another diploma issued by the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec after three years of study.
  • You have been studying at the university level in Québec for at least three years and have earned 90 credits in a single program.
  • You have a major functional disability that is recognized by Aide financière aux études, you have studied at the university level in Québec for at least three years and you have earned 45 credits in a single program.
  • You have not studied full-time for at least seven years since the end of your compulsory education.

To be recognized by AFE, one academic year must comprise at least two periods of full-time studies.

Self-support criteria for studies outside Québec

  • You have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.
  • You are pursuing studies in a master’s or doctoral program.
  • You hold a Diploma of College Studies (DCS) and have completed three years of full-time university studies.
  • You have completed four years of full-time studies in a single university program.
  • You have a major functional disability that is recognized by Aide financière aux études, you hold a Diploma of College Studies (DCS) and you have completed three years of full-time or part-time university studies.
  • You have a major functional disability that is recognized by Aide financière aux études and you have completed four years of full-time or part-time university studies.

To be recognized by AFE, one academic year must comprise at least two periods of full-time studies.

Self-support criteria based on time in the labour market

If you have interrupted your studies for at least 24 months, you can be deemed a student without a parental or sponsor’s contribution if one of the following situations applies to you:

  • You have held a paid job or received employment insurance or income replacement benefits (CNESST, SAAQ, Retraite Québec, etc.).
  • You supported yourself while not living with your parents or sponsor during that period of time.

If both situations apply to you, the periods must be consecutive.

Self-support criteria for an exceptional family situation

  • You are single and one of the following situations applies to you:
    • You live in a foster home.
    • You have been placed in the custody of a guardian.
    • Your family circumstances have worsened and you had to leave your family or cease communicating with one of your parents for severe health or safety reasons.
    • Your parents or sponsor cannot be located.
    • You live or will live in a halfway house during the award year for which you applied for financial assistance.
    • Your parents or sponsor live in a specialized residence.
    • You are a naturalized Canadian or a permanent resident, refugee or protected person and your spouse or parents do not live in Canada.
    • You receive support from your parents pursuant to a court order.
  • Your spouse cannot be located.

In order for Aide financière aux études to recognize an exceptional family situation, you need to fill out the Declaration of Exceptional Family Situation form and submit it with your application for financial assistance or, if your situation changes during the award year, submit it then. On the other hand, for the situation that your parents or spouse do not live in Canada, you have to fill out the form Declaration of Student Whose Parents or Spouse Do Not Reside in Canada.

Students with a parental contribution

You are deemed a student with a parental contribution if none of the above-mentioned self-support criteria apply to you. No other situation (your age, your de facto spouse’s status with Revenu Québec or the fact that you do not live with your parents, for example) constitutes a self-support criterion.

Students with a sponsor’s contribution

You are deemed a student with a sponsor’s contribution if you are a naturalized Canadian, a permanent resident, a refugee or a protected person, your parents live outside Canada, and the sponsorship term has not expired.

Students with a spousal contribution

You are deemed a student with a spousal contribution if one of the following situations applies to you:

  • You are married.
  • You are in a civil union.
  • You live with another person of the same or opposite sex, are neither married nor in a civil union, and live with at least one child (yours or your spouse’s).

Clarification: If you are legally separated, de facto separated, or divorced, you are not deemed a student with a spousal contribution.

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