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.


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).
  • Must have eligible Nova Scotia student loans (Canada Student Loans are not eligible for the Nova Scotia Loan Forgiveness Program).

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 

There is no application required for Loan Forgiveness. Student Assistance will not request any information from you by phone or in writing.

We automatically review the Nova Scotia Student Loan account of all new graduates after their schools tell us that they’ve graduated. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a letter in the mail. The letter includes the amount of your loan that will be forgiven.

If you’re not eligible, we won’t contact you. If you think you should have received Loan Forgiveness but didn’t get a letter, please contact us using the “Ask Us a Question” feature in MyPATH to request a review.

We assess Loan Forgiveness on any Nova Scotia Student Loans you have received since August 2015, based on the program criteria listed above. At the same time, we'll also check to see whether you may qualify for Debt Cap benefit for any Nova Scotia Student Loans you received during the August 2011-July 2015 academic years.

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 

If you are eligible, you will receive a letter about your assessment for the Nova Scotia Student Loan Forgiveness Program about 3-6 weeks from the date we receive graduation information from your school.

It may take up to 30 days for your school to provide us with your graduation information.

Other repayment programs

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