Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement
It’s now easier for Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan students to apply for and receive student loans and grants. Thanks to the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA), students only have to sign one loan agreement for the entire duration of their studies.
British Columbia introduced the MSFAA for the 2011–2012 school year. More provinces are expected to introduce it soon.
What is the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA)?
The MSFAA replaces previous federal and provincial loan agreements. Since it’s a multi-year agreement, it’s more efficient and easier to use. For instance, you won't have to sign a new agreement the next time you apply for student financial assistance (some exceptions apply, for example, if you take a two-year break in study).
Your responsibilities and the terms and conditions of accepting and repaying your student loans are outlined in your MSFAA. When you sign your MSFAA, you are signing two contracts: one between yourself and the Government of Canada, and one between yourself and your provincial government.
Your MSFAA doesn't specify the amount of assistance you qualify for; you'll receive a separate Notice of Assessment from your province or territory that tells you how much you'll receive in federal and provincial loans as well as any Canada Student Grants or provincial grants you may qualify for.
What do I do with my Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA)?
Your MSFAA is a legally binding agreement so review it carefully and read the terms and conditions. Make sure you check your personal information to ensure it is correct. If any information is incorrect, write the changes on the MSFAA and put your initials next to the changes. If your Social Insurance Number is incorrect, contact your provincial student-aid office because a new MSFAA will need to be issued.
Enter your bank account information in the appropriate section on the front page of your MSFAA (contact your bank or credit union if you need help) or write “VOID” across the front of a personal cheque and enclose it with your agreement.
Once you're sure that all the information is correct and you have read, understood and accepted the terms and conditions, sign your agreement. You must sign your MSFAA in order to receive funding.
- MSFAA terms and conditions for Ontario residents
- MSFAA terms and conditions for British Columbia residents
- MSFAA terms and conditions for Nova Scotia residents
- MSFAA terms and conditions for Newfoundland and Labrador residents
- MSFAA terms and conditions for Manitoba residents
- MSFAA terms and conditions for Saskatchewan residents
Take your signed MSFAA to a designated Canada Post Outlet with two pieces of appropriate identification. Canada Post will verify your identity then forward your MSFAA to the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) for processing. Don’t delay. Submit your MSFAA as soon as possible to ensure your loan is processed in time for the start of your studies.
Once your student-aid application has been accepted as complete, your MSFAA has been processed by the National Student Loans Service Centre and your enrolment has been confirmed by your school, you can relax. On or a few days after your first day of classes, your funds will be deposited electronically into your bank account and/or forwarded to your school to pay your academic fees (e.g. tuition). Contact your school directly if you want to make alternate arrangements.
What about the next time I apply for funding?
When you sign and return your MSFAA to the NSLSC, you are agreeing to accept and be responsible for all funding you receive from that date forward.
The next time you apply for student financial assistance, you won't have to sign and submit a new MSFAA (some exceptions apply, for example, if you take a two-year break in study). Just complete and submit an application through your province of residence and wait for your Notice of Assessment to come in the mail or online.
The funds you're eligible for will be deposited electronically into your bank account and/or forwarded to your school to pay your academic fees. If you want to make alternate arrangements, get in touch with your school directly.