Parents' Obligations & Role

For many students, this is their first opportunity to use a government service and to borrow money. Students who apply for student assistance are borrowing funds in their own name. It is the student alone who makes an agreement with government to use and repay these funds according to their own obligations.

Applying for student assistance and managing loans and grants is a detailed, but not difficult process. We offer many supports to help students navigate the process. While you'll want to help your child apply, and to make the right decisions, we strongly recommend that you allow the student to apply and manage their loan application themselves.

Here's why:

  • Although some students receive financial help from parents or other family members, they themselves are solely responsible for repaying this debt when they leave school. It's important that they understand their responsibilities and the implications of borrowing money on their financial future.
  • We are unable to disclose a student's application details to parents, unless the student gives their expressed permission for us to share that information with another individual.
  • A Single Dependent student doesn't need a credit history or any assets to secure their government student loans. However, borrowing and responsibly repaying a student loan can be an excellent way for a young person to begin to establish a good credit history.

Parental Contribution

As long as a student's status is Single Dependent they will be assessed a Parental Contribution amount. Regardless of whether you choose to help your child pay for school, our assessment will assume you are contributing to their school expenses and their assistance amounts will reflect that assumption. The parents' credit history is not considered when we assess a student for loans and grants.

Parents/Step-Parent's Income Tax Information

The Parental Contribution for Single Dependent students is determined using information from the parent's or step-parent's income tax return for the previous tax year. You should enter this information yourself while the student is completing their application. You may also be asked to supply a copy of your income tax return as verification of the family's total income.

In the case of separated, divorced or single-parents:

  • If the custodial parent remarries or enters into a common law relationship before the student’s thirteenth birthday, the step-parents information is required.
  • Only the children residing with the parent and step parent are considered on the assessment of a family's expenses.
  • Alimony and child maintenance payments may be allowed as an exceptional expense that reduces a parent's ability to contribute to their child's education.