September 6, 2017

Loans and bursaries program: are you “independent” from your parents?

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Étudiants dans une classe.

In certain conditions, student financial assistance does not take parents’ income into account for calculating loans and bursaries. In such cases, students are said to be “independent” and the amounts granted to them as loans and bursaries are adjusted based on the students’ ability to provide for their own needs.

To be considered independent from your parents by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, one of the following situations must apply to you:

According to your marital status

You are:

  • Married;
  • In a civil union;
  • Legally or de factor separated;
  • Divorced;
  • Widowed.

According to your family situation

You are:

  • The biological or adoptive parent of a child;
  • Single and both your parents are deceased;
  • At least 20 weeks pregnant;
  • The head of a single parent family;
  • Living in a marital situation, meaning that you live with another person, are neither married nor in a civil union, and live with at least one child (yours or your spouse’s).

According to your studies

  • You are pursuing a bachelor’s degree from a Québec university;
  • You are pursuing studies in a master’s or doctoral program;
  • You have been studying at the university level in Québec for at least three years and have earned 90 credits in a single program;
  • You have a major functional disability that is recognized by student financial assistance, you have studied at the university level in Québec for at least three years and you have earned 45 credits in a single program;
  • You have not studied full-time for at least seven years since the end of your compulsory education.

Other conditions may make you eligible for independent student status, for example, the time you spent in the work force or a special family situation (e.g. living in a foster family, having to leave the family for safety reasons). All useful details are found on the website of the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur.

Remember that the Québec Ombudsman can help you if you are dissatisfied with the Department’s services, notably regarding student financial assistance. Do not hesitate to call on us. We intervene free of charge and completely confidentially.