Frequently Asked Questions

You may have questions about SFA that are easily answered by reading the SFA Student Handbook. 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

Designated/Accredited Educational Institutions

In order to receive SFA, you must provide proof of enrollment in an approved program at an accredited post-secondary institution.

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

Do I need to be accepted into a post-secondary program or school before applying for SFA?

No, you can apply for SFA before being accepted into a post-secondary program or institution.

Apply by your application deadline to ensure you receive SFA funding on time for your first semester. 

Academic Year Begins Application Deadline
August 1 - September 30 June 30
December 1 - January 31 October 31
All other months One calendar month prior

Late applications for full-time studies are accepted but payment is not guaranteed for the start of your program.

I'm applying for SFA, what's the difference between a Remissible and Repayable Loan?

The Remissible Loan is a monthly living allowance you may qualify for if you are ordinarily a resident of the NWT for 12 months before applying. 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. The Repayable Loan is 100% repayable and you must start making payments towards your Repayable Loan once you cease to be a full-time student, even if you return to the NWT.

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 when 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 post-secondary education, not to cover all expenses. Other options may include:

  • Applying for the Repayable Loan. This is a needs-assessed loan based on your education-related expenses
  • Exploring various Scholarships and Bursaries available to post-secondary students
  • Reviewing your school’s website for opportunities that may be available
  • If you’re an Indigenous student, contact your Indigenous organization to see if they offer top-up funding.

What's the difference between part-time and full-time studies?

Full-time studies means being enrolled in 60% or higher course load. Part-time studies is being enrolled in less than a 60% post-secondary course load. For example, if your school 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.

If you are a student with a permanent, persistent or prolonged disability, you may be considered a full-time student while being enrolled in 40% or higher course load. For example, if your school considers 15 credits per semester as a 100% course load, you would need to be enrolled in at least 6 credits (40%) to qualify for full-time SFA benefits. For more information on how to be considered a student with a permanent, persistent or prolonged disability, contact your Student Case Officer or email

Do I need to notify SFA if I drop a course?

Yes, it is important to contact the SFA Office if you drop or withdraw from a course to make sure your SFA benefits are not affected. If you drop to part-time studies during a semester, you will no longer be eligible for SFA funding. Please contact the SFA Office before dropping or withdrawing from a course to see how your funding may be affected.

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 post-secondary student. If your residency changes, you may have to seek post-secondary 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 Online unofficial transcripts are not accepted by the SFA Office.

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. Form D helps the SFA Office to confirm that you are enrolled in at least 60% of a 100% full-time post-secondary course load, indicates the program you're taking, and confirms tuition, book and fee costs for the semester. Form D can be found here.

How many trips does SFA cover per academic year?

Once your application is assessed you will be notified of your travel entitlements by letter from the SFA Office. Depending on your eligibility, you may qualify for up to two return trips from your home NWT community to the nearest approved educational institution in the NWT or as far as Edmonton, Alberta. Trips can only be used for a break in between semesters, such as the break between fall and winter semester. Travel during a semester, such as during spring break or reading week, are not eligible for SFA travel benefits.

You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements by contacting a travel agency in the NWT at least two weeks prior to your travel date. View our list of NWT travel agencies for their contact information.

I previously maxed out my semester limit for grants and loans, am I eligible?

If you are a Northern Indigenous resident you will be able to access additional Basic Grants and Supplementary Grants.

If you are a Northern Resident, schooled in the NWT, you will not be able to access additional Basic Grants. 

You will be able to access additional Remissible Loans, as long as you remain under the $60,000 loan limit. 

You must still meet all other eligibility criteria.