This fall, for the first time,
part-time students at Quebec universities, including Concordia, will be
able to get student loans. The policy has been law for about 10 years,
but has not been implemented until this year.
To qualify, a student must be enrolled in a registered program, taking
between six and 11 credits per semester. Graduate students are also eligible.
The loans cover educational expenses (tuition and student fees) and child
care. A fixed amount is set aside for child care expenses, $350 per child
per semester. To quality, the student must be earning less than $35,000
The loans must be repaid, but as with loans to full-time students, repayment
doesnt begin until graduation. The loan and repayment schedule are
adjusted if the student goes from full-time to part-time status. If he
or she goes from part-time to full-time, however, the loans incurred as
a part-time student are forgiven.
Brenda Brisson, Coordinator of Client Services for Financial Aid and Awards,
says that about 50 per cent of full-time students at Concordia are on
some form of student aid, and she expects part-time students to take advantage
of the loans when they hear about them. Concordia has a high proportion
of part-time to full-time students, about 45 per cent part-time and 55
per cent full-time.
There is printed information in the Financial Aid waiting room; students
can also access the information on the touch screens set up around campus.
Applications can be made on the Web, via links on the Financial Aid Web
site. The Ministry of Education asks the university to verify the accuracy
of the information before approving the loan.
Its relatively easy to apply, because theres not a lot
of documentation involved, Brisson said. This might not solve
all the problems that part-time students may have, but it will certainly
help. Until now, part-timers have had very few sources of assistance.