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Loans Program Student Categories

When applying to the Loans Program for Part-Time Studies for financial assistance, you will be required to answer questions that relate to self-supporting criteria. Your answers will determine to which student category you belong, as well as your eligibility threshold.

Students without a parental (or sponsor’s) contribution

To belong to the category of students without a parental (or sponsor’s) contribution, one of the following situations must apply to you: 

Matrimonial self-supporting criteria

  • 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.

Family situation self-supporting criteria

  • 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 a single parent.
  • You are living maritally, i.e., with a person of the opposite sex or the same sex without being formally married or in a civil union and with at least one child (yours or your spouse’s).

Self-supporting criteria based on education

  • You have a Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent if from outside Québec.
  • You are enrolled 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 Diploma of College Studies (DCS) and have completed three years of full-time university studies outside Québec.
  • You have completed four years of studies in a single university program outside Québec.
  • You have not studied full-time for at least seven years since the end of your compulsory education.
  • You have a major functional disability that is recognized by Aide financière aux études and:
    • you have been studying at the university level in Québec for at least three years and have earned 45 credits in a single diploma program
    • you have a Diploma of College Studies (DCS) and have completed three years of university studies outside Québec
    • you have completed four years of full-time or part-time university studies outside Québec

Aide financière aux études recognizes two full-time terms as one academic year. 

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

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

Self-supporting criteria for an exceptional family situation

  • You are single and in one of the following situations:
    • 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 the family home or stop communicating with one of your parents due to serious health or safety concerns.
    • 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.
  • Your spouse cannot be located.

Otherwise, your parents or sponsor will be required to contribute to the cost of your education.

Students with a parental contribution

You belong to the category of students with a parental contribution if none of the preceding self-supporting criteria apply to you.

No other situation constitutes a self-supporting criterion, including your age or spousal status with Revenu Québec, or the sole fact that you do not live with your parents. 

Students with a sponsor's contribution

You belong to the category of students with a sponsor’s contribution if:

  • you are a naturalized Canadian citizen
  • you have permanent residency status 
  • you are a refugee or a protected person
  • your parents live outside Canada and the sponsorship period has not expired

Students with a spousal contribution

You belong to the category of students with a spousal contribution if:

  • you are married
  • you are in a civil union
  • you are living with a person of the opposite sex or the same sex without being married or in a civil union and with at least one child (yours or your spouse’s)

If you are legally or de facto separated or divorced, you do not belong to the category of students with a spousal contribution.

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