Types of loans

U.S. students attending the University of Manitoba may apply for the following loans through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program:

  • Direct Loan - undergraduate (subsidized/unsubsidized)
  • Direct Loan - graduate & professional students (unsubsidized)
  • Grad PLUS Loan - graduate & professional students
  • Parent PLUS Loan - dependent undergraduate

NB: U.S. Pell Grants are not available to students attending foreign schools.

Eligibility

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are registered full-time in a degree program are eligible to apply (students in some half time programs may also be eligible).
  • Ineligible programs for funding:
    • Certificate, diploma or Continuing Studies programs, 
    • Nursing,
    • Medicine.

PLEASE NOTE: eligible courses for funding that are currently only being offered online due to Covid restrictions may still be eligible for funding.

Loan amounts and limits

For all students (undergraduate and graduate/professional) the U.S. Direct Loan Program has annual as well as lifetime loan limits that vary according to a student's:

  • Grade level
  • Status (dependent or independent)
  • Loan type: need-based (subsidized) or non-need based (unsubsidized and PLUS)
  • Cost of attendance (student cannot borrow more than this amount)

Annual limits - undergraduate/dependent

An undergraduate's "dependent" status is determined by information on their FAFSA. The student can borrow up to the cost of attendance or up to the specified loan limit (whichever comes first). The loan is divided into two amounts:

Base amount

  • Subsidized and/or unsubsidized (determined by the loan calculation: cost of attendance minus estimated financial contribution and financial aid received)

Unsubsidized amount

  • A standard amount of $2000 (US) is available to all dependant undergraduate students.
  • If the parent of a dependent undergraduate is denied a PLUS loan, the student is eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan amount that increases the annual loan limit.
Grade Level Base Amount Sub/Unsub Direct Loan Unsubsidized Amount Direct Loan Annual Loan Limit Additional Amount Unsubsidized Direct Loan if PLUS Loan Denied Direct Loan Limit if PLUS Denied
First Year -Freshman $3,500 $2,000 $5,500 $4,000 $9,500
Second Year - Sophomore $4,500 $2,000 $6,500 $4,000 $10,500
Third Year - Junior $5,500 $2,000 $7,500 $5,000 $12,500
Fourth Year - Senior $5,500 $2,000 $7,500 $5,000 $12,500

Annual limits - undergraduate/independent

An undergraduate's "independent" status is determined by information on their FAFSA. The student can borrow up to the cost of attendance or up to the specified loan limit (whichever comes first). The loan is divided into two amounts:

Base amount

  • Subsidized and/or unsubsidized (determined by the loan calculation: cost of attendance minus estimated financial contribution and financial aid received)

Unsubsidized amount

  • Independent undergraduate students are eligible for unsubsidized loan amounts that are based on grade level (see chart below).
Grade Level Base Amount Sub/Unsub Direct Loan Unsubsidized Amount Direct Loan Annual Direct Loan Limit
First Year - Freshman $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Second Year - Sophomore $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Third Year - Junior $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Fourth Year - Senior $5,500 $7,000 $12,500

Annual limits - graduate/professional

A graduate/professional student can borrow up to the cost of attendance or up to the specified loan limit (whichever comes first). The annual unsubsidized Direct Loan limit is $20,500.

Grade Level Annual Unsubsidized Direct Loan Limit
Graduate/Professional $20,500

Lifetime limits for U.S. Direct loans

Grade Level/Status Aggregate (lifetime) Loan Limits
Dependent Undergraduate Student $31,000
(no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)
Independent Undergraduate or Dependent Undergraduate whose parent is ineligible for PLUS $57,500
(no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)
Graduate/Professional Student $138,500
(no more than $65,500 may be subsidized)

How to apply

The application process and documentation required varies according to the type of US government loan you are applying for.

Applying for a direct loan

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the applicable academic year. University of Manitoba federal code: G06684.
  2. E-sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  3. Complete the University of Manitoba Direct Loan funding application.
  4. First-time student borrowers of Direct Loans must complete Entrance Counseling. If Entrance Counseling is not completed, loans are not disbursed.

All U.S. students applying for Direct Loans must submit the University of Manitoba Direct Loan Funding Application to the UM Financial Aid and Awards Office by July 16, 2021.

After receiving all of your required documentation, you will receive an eligible loan letter to your University of Manitoba email account (unless you specify a different account to send information to).  This letter will indicate you eligible loan amount(s) and will include further rights and responsibilities that you will have to agree to prior to receiving loan funds.

Applying for a GRAD PLUS loan

Students can apply for Grad PLUS loans only if they have already applied for the maximum amount of unsubsidized Direct Loan for which they are eligible.

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the applicable academic year. University of Manitoba federal code: G06684.
  2. Complete a loan application to authorize a credit check and E-sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  3. Complete the University of Manitoba Direct Loan funding application.
  4. First-time student borrowers of Direct Loans must complete Entrance Counseling. If Entrance Counseling is not completed, loans are not disbursed.

Credit checks: should a Direct PLUS loan credit check be denied due to adverse credit history, the borrower may:

  • secure an approved endorser (who must pass the credit check), or
  • appeal the decision based on extenuating circumstances

In either of the above cases, the PLUS loan applicant (not the endorser) will be required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling. This is not the same as Entrance Counseling.

Applying for a Parent PLUS loan

Please note: The student's loan(s) and the Parent PLUS loan application(s) may be submitted concurrently.

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the applicable academic year. University of Manitoba federal code: G06684.
  2. Complete a loan application to authorize a credit check and E-sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  3. Complete the University of Manitoba Direct Loan funding application.

Credit checks: should a Direct PLUS loan credit check be denied due to adverse credit history, the borrower may:

  •     secure an approved endorser (who must pass the credit check), or
  •     appeal the decision based on extenuating circumstances

In either of the above cases, the PLUS loan applicant (not the endorser) will be required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling. This is not the same as Entrance Counseling.

Deadlines

All steps in the US Direct Loan, Parent/Grad PLUS loan application process must be completed by July 16, 2021 in order to ensure that funds are available for the fall term fee payment deadline (December 1st for students registering in the winter term).

Late applications are processed on a rolling basis and therefore there is no guarantee that funds will be disbursed by the University of Manitoba fee payment deadlines.

By US Department of Education regulations, a US loan (subsidized, unsubsidized, Parent/Grad PLUS) cannot be originated after the student’s study period end date.

Tracking the status of your application

Please contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office directly to check the status of your loan application.  Our contact information is awards2@umanitoba.ca or phone 204-474-8197.

Receiving your loan

Once you have accepted your rights and agreed to loan amounts, the FAA submits students’ loan requests to one of the US loan portals. The loan is disbursed to students’ Aurora fee accounts in approximately 10 business days. Students need to maintain their eligibility status (i.e., stated course-load on their application). To avoid over-payment, the Financial Aid and Awards Office disburses loans in following manners:

•    2 equal payments for undergraduate students:

a) 1st disbursement in September (exception for first year students - disbursed in October),

b) 2nd disbursement in January (exception for first year students – disbursed in February);

•    3 payments (amounts may not be equal) for graduate students:

a) 1st disbursement in September,

b) 2nd disbursement in January, and

c) 3rd disbursement in March.

Deferring your existing US government loan(s)

The Financial Aid and Awards Office of the University of Manitoba confirms students’ enrolment status to the National Student Loans Data System for all of the students who are currently on student aid and students who have received loans in previous years while attended another school. The enrolment reporting is completed during the first 15 days of each month. Enrolment reporting is completed based on this course-load requirement criteria:
•    Use 12 credit hours as full-time requirement per term (for undergraduate students)
•    Use 9 credit hours as ¾ time requirement per term (for undergraduate students)
•    Use 6-8 credit hours as ½ time requirement per term (for undergraduate students)
•    Less than 6 credit hours are considered less than half-time status
•    Graduate students are usually registered with full-time status (unless they declare to be part-time for any exceptional cause). Number of credit hours are irrelevant to indicate their student status.