Frequently Asked Questions
You may have questions about SFA that are easily answered by reading the SFA Student Handbook found in the Program Information Tab. Some questions can be answered from the list of FAQs below. If you have any questions or need specific details about your SFA file, call the SFA Office toll-free at 1-800-661-0793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Designated/Accredited Educational Institutions
In order to receive SFA, you must provide proof of enrollment in an approved program at an accredited postsecondary institution, which will lead to a license, certificate, diploma, undergrad, masters or doctoral degree.
To find out if your college or university is approved, please refer to the Master List of Designated Educational Institutions. Still have questions? Contact the SFA Office toll-free by calling 1-800-661-0793 or email email@example.com.
Do I need to be accepted into a postsecondary program or school before applying for SFA?
No, you can apply for SFA any time, even before being accepted into a postsecondary program or school. Apply on time to make sure you receive funding for the start of classes. Deadlines for applications can be found in Section 5 of the SFA Policy and Procedures Manual found here.
Applications and Forms
I'm applying for SFA, what's the difference between a Remissible and Repayable Loan?
The Remissible Loan is a monthly living allowance that you may qualify for if you completed primary or secondary schooling in the NWT (grades 1-12). The Remissible Loan may be forgiven if you return to the NWT once you cease full-time studies. The Repayable Loan is a needs-assessed loan based on education-related expenses. Accessing the Repayable Loan also means you will be required to make payments towards your debt once you cease to be a full-time student.
What else do I need to hand in when I submit the application for funding?
Nothing! The SFA Office will contact you after assessing your application if further documents are required.
The Remissible Loan or Supplementary Grant living allowance aren't enough to cover my education-related costs, what else can I do?
SFA is intended to supplement the cost of obtaining a postsecondary education, not to cover all costs. However, if your education-related expenses are exceptionally high, you may apply for the Repayable Loan. You can explore various Scholarships and Bursaries available to postsecondary students, or check out your school's website for opportunities that may be available to you. If you're an Indigenous Aboriginal student, contact your Aboriginal Organization to see if they offer top-up funding.
What's the difference between part-time and full-time studies?
Part-time studies is being enrolled in less than a 60% postsecondary course load. Full-time studies is being enrolled in 60% or higher course load. For example, if your educational institution considers 15 credits per semester as a 100% course load, you would need to be enrolled in at least 9 credits (60%) to qualify for full-time SFA benefits.
Do I need to notify SFA if I drop a course?
Yes, it is important to contact the SFA Office if you drop a course to make sure your SFA benefits are not affected by dropping or withdrawing from a course. If you drop to part-time studies during a semester, your SFA funding will change. Please contact the SFA Office after dropping or withdrawing from a course.
If I don't return to the NWT over summer between academic years, am I still allowed to access SFA?
Yes, generally summer breaks are from May to August of each year. If you choose not to return to the NWT for summer, your residency will not necessarily be affected. Your residency may change if you are outside of the NWT for 12 or more continuous months without being considered a full-time postsecondary student. If your residency changes, you may have to seek postsecondary funding from other provinces or territories.
How much money will I receive?
Funding rates can be found here, but may vary depending on your eligibility.
Do I need to hand in official transcripts or are online copies accepted?
Yes, you need to submit official transcripts, however, they do not have to be original copies. Transcripts can be faxed to 1-800-661-0893 toll-free, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Online unofficial transcripts are not accepted by the SFA Office under any circumstance.
Is one Form D (Student Enrolment Form - SEF) enough to cover both Fall and Winter semesters?
No, in order to continue to receive funding from SFA you and your school must complete and submit a Form D for each semester. The Form D helps the SFA Office to confirm that you are enrolled in at least 60% of a 100% full-time postsecondary course load, indicates the program you're taking, and confirms tuition, book and fee costs for the semester. Form D's can be found here.
How many trips does SFA cover per academic year?
You will be notified of your travel entitlements by letter from the SFA Office. Depending on your eligibility, you may qualify for one or two return trips from your home NWT community to the nearest approved educational institution that offers your program. Or, you may not qualify for travel benefits at all.
There is a list of NWT travel agencies and their contact information at the bottom of the SFA Contact Page.