Student Loans

Scholarships and Grants

A number of programs exist to assist students that need financial assistance to go to school. These loans can either be obtained from the private institutions or through government programs.

The level of assistance and the eligibility requirements will depend not only on the student’s personal circumstances but also on the country of origin. Sadly, not every country has resources to offer and manage student loan schemes.

  Student Loan in Canada

Canada has both the national student loan and the provincial student loan programs. A student is required to submit application to the provincial student loan scheme to be considered in the national student loan program.

Among other requirements, the student must submit evidence of enrolment every year that the student continues to be in school. The loan is interest free until the course of study is completed or additional evidence of continue education is presented to the loan providers.

Canad created the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to assist students pay for the cost of higher eduction. The OSAP program provides  a mix of grants and loans available for students. The OSAP is a program by Province of Ontario designed with the sole aim of helping to ensure all qualified students have the opportunity to pursue a postsecondary education in Ontario by providing financial support for educational costs and basic living expenses to students who do not have the resources to meet these costs. It is however not designed to be a replacement of the financial responsibility of parents but to assist both parents and students meet the financial challenges of paying for higher education.

For more information on how to apply for student loan in Canada, visit the government website

If you want to apply to OSAP, please visit the OSAP website

Student Loan in UK

In UK, the student does not need evidence of enrolment to a post secondary education to apply. However, the student must provide evidence of citizenship, example International passport. In addition to other eligibility criteria, the following  additional requirements apply:

  • The school must be in UK
  • The course of study must be the first higher education  that the student is undertaking unless if the student changed the course of study
  • If applying for a part time course, the student must provide evidence that the student can complete equivalent of 25% full time course each year
  • The student must not be over 60 years

For more information on how to apply for student loan in UK, visit student finance website

Student Loan in USA

In USA, students can apply to private lenders or to the USA state department.  Interestingly the ministry of education is directly involved in the  program ton ensure that students get the best interest rate and also to provide a central database where a student can manage all loans collected while attending different post secondary schools.

The student loan scheme in USA is a little more complicated. There are four types of loans that can be used to fund education:

  • Direct Subsidized loans for Undergraduates students
    • Given to undergraduate students to help pay for school expenses
    • Given to students with demonstrable financial need
    • No interest  charged while the student is still in active enrolment
  • Direct Subsidized loans for Undergraduates students
    • No grace period
    • Interest is charged even while the student is still in active enrollment
    • Not based on financial need
  • Direct Unsubsidized loans for All students
    • Not based on financial need
    • No grace period
    • Interest is charged even while the student is still in active enrolment
  • Direct Plus loans for parents and Graduate students
    • The parents can borrow much more to help pay for their kids expenses
    • Payments starts immediately as there is no grace period
    • The borrower is responsible for paying the loan
    • Interest rate is fixed
    • Graduate students can also borrow under this scheme

As indicated above, depending on the type of loan in US, interests on student loans are not waved while the student is at school. However, the student can elect to contribute part of the interests while still studying. This will help bring down the debt at the end of the school program.

For more information on student loan programs in USA, visit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as the FAFSA). The Fafsa application  form must be  prepared annually by current and prospective college students . There are others student loan websites  in USA

To estimate the interest rate click here.


If you have an idea how it works in your country, reply to this post

Other student loan resources

Student loan for International students