Nova Scotia Student Loan Forgiveness Program: certificates and diplomas

As of 1 August 2020, the Nova Scotia Loan Forgiveness Program can eliminate all Nova Scotia Student Loan debt for eligible borrowers who study at Nova Scotia universities and Nova Scotia Community College.

Nova Scotia students graduating from Nova Scotia certificate and diploma programs may no longer have to repay the provincial portion of their student loans.

Nova Scotia Loans issued for certificate and diploma programs on or after 1 August 2020 may be eligible for this program.

Loan Forgiveness works differently for students with a Permanent Disability and who complete an undergraduate degree.


Eligibility criteria:

  • You must graduate from a non-professional certificate or diploma program at Nova Scotia Community College or a Nova Scotia university.
  • It must be your first certificate or diploma eligible for the Loan Forgiveness Program.
  • You must complete the entire certificate or diploma within 4 years of starting it.
  • In most cases, the qualifying program can include credit transfers that are made under inter-institutional agreements (sometimes known as a Letter of Permission).

Eligible amount:

  • For a 39-week study period, up to $4,680 of loan could be forgiven per study period (year of study).
  • For a 52-week study period, up to $6,240 of loan could be forgiven per study period (year of study).

How to apply 

All students are automatically assessed for eligibility under the Nova Scotia Loan Forgiveness Program when they graduate.

Once Student Assistance receives notice from your university or Nova Scotia Community College that you have graduated, we will assess your forgiveness amount on any Nova Scotia Student Loans you have received since August 1, 2020 based on the program criteria.

You will receive a letter by mail that informs you that you've been assessed for the Nova Scotia Loan Forgiveness Program and the amount of your Nova Scotia Student Loan that will be forgiven.

If you owe any amount on your Nova Scotia Student Loan, the program will pay up to 100% of any outstanding Nova Scotia Student Loan amounts.

If you owe less on your Nova Scotia Student Loan than you receive in Loan Forgiveness (for example, if you have already paid back some of your loan) the difference will be paid toward your Canada Student Loan, if you have one. Any remaining amount will be mailed to you as a cheque.

How long it takes 

It should take 3-6 weeks from the date graduation information is submitted to receive a letter about your assessment for the Nova Scotia Loan Forgiveness Program.

Other repayment programs

If you graduated before 1 August 2019 there are repayment programs to help you with your student loans.


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