US Loans FAQ

How much US Loan funding am I eligible for?

You are eligible to borrow up to the amount of your cost of attendance minus other resources you may be receiving including scholarships. The cost of attendance for international students at UBC typically ranges from $20,000 - $40,000, including living expenses. The maximum funding also depends on your degree and year level. UBC cannot certify you for funding that exceeds either your cost of attendance OR the loan maximums set by the US Government.

To see how funding is calculated, visit the US Direct Loan funding amounts page.

Use the cost calculator to plan your first-year costs.

Do loan maximums apply to each term or each year?

The loan maximums set by the US Department of Education apply to the academic year (September - August of the following year). Therefore, if you receive the maximum amount of Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loan funding for the September - April period and then decide to take summer courses, you will not be able to receive any additional Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized loan funding for the summer.

What type of funding can I apply for?

You can apply for Direct Loans, which include Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized, Grad PLUS and Parent PLUS funding. Undergraduate students may be eligible for Direct Subsidized funding, while graduate students are only eligible for Direct Unsubsidized funding.

If you aren't eligible for Direct Loans, you can also apply for private loans through Sallie Mae and explore other funding options.

Can I get Pell Grants or Perkins Loans?

Unfortunately, no. US students attending foreign institutions are not eligible to receive these types of Federal aid per US Department of Education regulations.

When should I apply for my Direct Loan?

Apply for your loan at least a month before the start of the term to make sure your funding arrives by the first week of classes. Make sure to follow the step-by-step instructions. If your application is incomplete, it will delay your loan funding. If you apply for your loans by July 31st, we will defer your tuition payment by one month to give you extra time to manage your finances.

When will I receive my Direct Loan (Subsidized, Unsubsidized or Parent/Grad PLUS) funds?

Your Direct Loan will pay towards your tuition and student fees on the disbursement date listed in your assessment letter from UBC. If there is money left from your loan after your tuition and student fees are paid, you can receive this money through direct deposit or a cheque. This funding will be available a few business days after the disbursement date.

When will I receive my Sallie Mae Smart Option funds?

UBC does not release loan funding until the start of term. If you apply anytime before the end of July for the next winter session, you should receive your cheque in the first week of September. If you apply closer to the start of term, you will usually get your Sallie Mae Smart Option cheque about 4 weeks after you apply. These cheques are in US dollars, which means that it may take up to an additional 30 days for your Canadian bank to release the funds to you.

Can I receive my loan funding before school starts?

Loan funding is not released until school starts in September. You are expected to have some savings to cover housing deposits and other initial costs. If you apply for your loans by July 31st, we will defer your tuition payment by one month to give you extra time to manage your finances.

Can I receive loan funding for Distance Education or Co-op?

If you take a Distance Education and/or an online course as a part of a credential, you will be ineligible for US Direct Loan funding for the duration of your program. Most Co-op programs are eligible for Direct Loan funding, but you will be ineligible if you go on Co-op in the United States. In this case, you may apply for a US private loan such as Sallie Mae Smart Option.

Am I eligible for a US Loan while I'm on exchange?

US students are only eligible to receive US Loans through UBC while attending a Title IV eligible school not located within the US.

What is subsidized funding?

Subsidized funding is when the U.S. Department of Education pays for the interest on your Direct Subsidized Loan: a) while you are in school at least part-time, b) for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period), and/or c) during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

Can I use audited courses/courses not for credit towards my registration requirement?

In order for a course to count towards your loan eligibility program requirements, they must be for credit. If you decide to audit a course, please remember that you will still need to meet the requirements through additional credited courses.

Does a three-week course in the summer count towards my program registration requirement?

Summer session program registration requirements are different than Winter session requirements. In order to be loan eligible, you must have continuous registration across the entire summer session (May – August) in at least 6 credits. You can either register in a two-term (6 credits) course, or a single-term (3 credits) course in Term 1 and 2 for 12 weeks of registration.

For example, Course A runs May – mid June in Term 1 and Course B runs July – mid August in Term 2. Together these courses meet the summer session program registration requirement.

If you have questions regarding whether or not your classes will meet the loan eligibility requirements for the summer session, please contact an Enrolment Services Advisor. Advisors are available to help all UBC students.

Can I cancel my Direct Loan?

If the loan has not yet disbursed, you may reduce or cancel your loan by informing Enrolment US Loans Inquiry via If the loan has disbursed, you should contact Enrolment US Loans Inquiry via no later than 30 days from each of the disbursement date(s) provided in the letter. After 30 days, you can contact your lender to make arrangements to return some or part of the loan and reduce your overall loan debt.

Can I receive funding for Jump Start?

Yes.  If you are participating in Jumpstart and would like us to include the fee in your US loan assessment, please send an email to, including your name and student number with your request. We will include the registration fee when we calculate your cost of attendance.

How do I file my taxes in the US while I’m studying in Canada?

As a Canadian institution, UBC does not issue American tax documents (ex: Form 1098-T). However, UBC does issue a form called the T2022A through your SSC. You can use this form or provide it to your accountant for the purposes of filing your taxes in the US.  UBC also recommends that you file taxes to Canada while you are studying at UBC. You can find helpful instructions and information you will need available here.

Where do I go to get my In-School Deferment/Continuation of Interest-Free Status form filled out?

Your Enrolment Services Advisor can help you complete your In-School Deferment/Continuation of Interest-Free Status form. If you don’t have an advisor, you can bring the form in person to Enrolment Services in Brock Hall.

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