Download your copy of the FANS Benefits Handbook here!
Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students (FANS) is designed to ensure that financial need is not a barrier to higher education. It is for students attending designated post-secondary institutions and academic programs. FANS offers a number of benefits that are intended to help offset the costs of a post-secondary education. Please remember that this program is not intended to cover all of the costs of your education.
If you need assistance contact the FANS office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-860-0680 and ask to speak to a FANS officer.
Apply to FANS as soon as you can. Application deadlines are March 1, July 15 and November 15 of every year.
You do not need to wait until you are accepted at an institution to start your application. If you think you want to attend a college or university send in an application by the deadline.
You can submit other necessary documents later — including an acceptance letter from the college or university — to allow the processing of your application to continue.
In order to receive FANS you must:
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- Be a resident of Nunavut (live in Nunavut) for at least 12 months before applying for FANS;
- Enroll in a program that is at least twelve weeks in duration at Nunavut Arctic College or another a designated post-secondary institution;
- Be a full-time student (carry at least 60% of a full course load) as defined by your institution;
- Be studying towards a certificate, diploma or degree;
- Demonstrate satisfactory progress and attendance.
The FANS program recognizes three categories of students. These are:
- Nunavut Beneficiaries: If you are a Beneficiary under the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement, you are eligible for basic and supplementary grants, which you do not have to pay back. You are also eligible for needs assessed loans.
- Nunavut Residents with Nunavut Schooling: If you are a Nunavut resident with some or all of your elementary or secondary schooling in Nunavut, you qualify for one year of a basic grant for each three years of school that you successfully completed in Nunavut, which you do not have to pay back. You are also eligible for primary, secondary and needs assessed loans.
- Nunavut Residents without Nunavut Schooling: If you are a resident of Nunavut, but have not attended school in the territory or have fewer than three years of schooling in the territory you are eligible for loans only. You are entitled to a primary loan to cover one year of post-secondary education for each three years that you have been a resident of Nunavut. You must return to live and work in Nunavut to have these loans forgiven. Secondary loans must be repaid in full.
Types of Assistance Available
The Basic Grant is to help students with the costs associated with tuition, school fees and travel costs. The Basic Grant is up to a maximum of $3428 per semester as well as the actual costs of airfare to and from your home community and the closest gateway city to your institution or to the Nunavut Arctic College campus you will be attending. This includes your spouse and dependents.
The Supplementary Grant is for Nunavut Land Claim Beneficiaries to further assist with the costs associated with tuition, travel costs and settling in a new community. This Grant is on a scale which increases with the number dependents in a household.
*Dependents are children, stepchildren or adopted children under the age of 18 OR children under the age of 21 who are attending secondary school on a full-time basis OR dependents with documented permanent disabilities.
This loan is provided to students to help with costs associated with rent, food and clothing. It is issued annually to eligible students. This loan is available to students who have lived in Nunavut for three or more years. You must return to live and work in Nunavut to have these loans forgiven.
This loan is provided to new residents of Nunavut. It is to help with the costs of living associated with rent, food and clothing. This loan must be repaid in full.
Needs Assessed Loan (NAL):
This loan is granted based on demonstrated financial need. You may apply for a NAL at an time during the school year but you cannot receive a NAL for past semesters/years of study. You must apply before the end of the current semester. A new application must be made for each instance you want to apply for a NAL.
Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities:
This grant is intended to help with the extraordinary costs associated with post-secondary studies for those with permanent disabilities. You can apply to this grant at any time during the academic year. You must provide a medical or learning ability assessment by a certified medical professional describing the manner in which your disability impacts on your ability to participate in post-secondary studies. This grant allows up to $8,000.00 for equipment and services directly related to your training or up to $1,000.00 for each full credit distance/correspondence course.
Distance/Online/Correspondence Course Reimbursements:
FANS reimburses students who have successfully completed post-secondary online distance education or correspondence courses. You must be a Nunavut resident for three years before you register for a course and you have to submit original receipts, official transcripts showing a passing grade and a statutory declaration stating that you are not in receipt of reimbursement from your employer or another source.
How FANS Works
The normal process for applying and receiving FANS benefits involves the following steps:
New Students: Submit your application to FANS before the deadline.
Continuing Students: Submit the Application to Continue before the deadline and make sure to include a copy of your transcript.
FANS will send an Acknowledgement letter – this will confirm that your application has been received and request any additional documentation that is still missing from your file.
Your missing information to FANS ASAP.
FANS Approval letter - official notification that you have been approved to receive FANS benefits.
You will need to call an airline and book your travel. See details in your approval package.
Go to School!
Once at school get your school admissions office to fill out your Student Enrollment Form.
Submit your Student Enrollment Form (SEF) – this will confirm that you are at school and ready for your payments to start. If you have a loan please send in your signed loan agreement with your SEF.
What You Can Do
Remember, you have responsibilities as a student in receipt of government funding. These include maintaining good attendance, a satisfactory academic standing, as well as ensuring that the money provided to you for post-secondary studies is paid by you to your institution.
There are some things you can do to help make sure that your application is processed quickly and to ensure that you have the financial resources in your hands when classes start:
- Submit your application and supporting documents as early as possible. Don't wait for the deadlines because that is the busiest period and delays are common.
- If you e-mail or fax your application confirm that it has been received. Fax machines in particular are prone to issues so make sure your forms get to Arviat.
- Plan to have your own money to support yourself particularly if you decide to travel to your institution early to look for housing or childcare.
- Send us your completed application forms AND your acceptance letter no later than 30 days prior to the start of your program to ensure your funds are available in time for the start of your program.
There are a couple of ways you can check to determine if your academic institution and program is post-secondary. One is to check National Master List of Designated Educational Institutions to see if the institution is designated as a post-secondary institution in the province or territory where it operates. Once you are sure your institution is a designated post-secondary institution, check to ensure that your program is also post-secondary.
If your program is a Nunavut-based program you can check the Master Designation List which is published annually and lists the programs that have been designated in the territory and therefore eligible for financial assistance through the FANS program.
"Post-Secondary" is defined in Nunavut as:
- Studies delivered at a recognized post-secondary institution;
- Programs that are at least twelve weeks in duration;
- Minimum of 60% of the academic program content is at the post-secondary level.
If your program is at an institution outside of Nunavut you will have to check with the Ministry or Department responsible in that province or territory for designation. Normally this is a Department of Education.
- Learn about other funding options at www.canlearn.ca.
- Find out which Nunavut-based programs qualify for FANS with the Master Designation List.
- If your school is outside of Nunavut, check to see if it qualifies for FANS in the National Master List of Designated Educational Institutions.
- Inform yourself about FANS with the Summary Policy Manual.
FANS Appeals Process
The FANS program does its best to ensure that all applications are reviewed fairly, impartially and in accordance with the Student Financial Assistance Act and Regulations. Despite these best efforts it is possible for administrative errors to occur. If you have reason to believe that FANS policies were misapplied to your application or personal circumstances you are encouraged to appeal decisions made by the FANS program by following the appeal procedures. These procedures are in place to ensure a timely, consistent and fair review of your application and documentation. Attempts to bypass this procedure will only result in further delays.
You cannot appeal decisions regarding to the following:
- Whether an academic institution or program is designated as post-secondary;
- If you have missed a deadline for submission of applications;
- The repayment/remission of principal or interest of loans.
The Appeal Period
Once you have been notified you have thirty (30) days to submit a written appeal. If you are notified by letter the thirty (30) days begins ten (10) days after the letter was mailed. If you are notified by e-mail, the 30 days begin 2 days after the e-mail was transmitted. If you are notified by telephone which includes leaving a message, the 30 days begin the day the call was made.
Before making a formal appeal, check with a FANS Officer. Many issues can be resolved by discussing the matter and ensuring that both parties understand what is at issue. A change in family status or a student's information does not need to go through an appeal, and may be handled by a FANS Officer.
The second step in the appeal process is to submit a written appeal letter by email or post outlining your reasons for appeal to FANS@gov.nu.ca. A written appeal will be handled by the Manager of FANS who will review your file and will potentially contact you for additional information if the need arises. Once the Manager receives your appeal they will have five (5) business days to determine the outcome and notify the applicant of the status of their appeal.
The third step in the appeal process is when the Manager will forward the appeal and any relevant documentation to the Director of Career Development who will again conduct a review. The Director of Career Development will have five (5) business days to review, determine the outcome of the appeal and to notify the applicant.
The final step in the appeal process is when the applicant is still dissatisfied and at that point the Director of Career Development will forward the appeal and any relevant documentation to the Department of Family Services so that the Minister of Family Services may be provided with the information necessary to determine the outcome.
For more information and guidance, call the FANS Toll-Free line: 1-877-860-0680.
The Government of Nunavut recognizes academic excellence of Nunavut residents. The following scholarships are awarded to FANS recipients who are enrolled as a full-time student. Students must submit their transcripts to the FANS office for assessment. Scholarship awards are in the form of direct deposit.
Scholarships are not awarded until the the fall term following the academic year in which the student qualified for a scholarship. You must be receiving FANS support to receive a scholarship.
Grade 12 Scholarships – $500
If you graduated from a Nunavut secondary school and have an 80% or higher average in Grade 12 you are eligible for a $500 scholarship.
Undergraduate Scholarship – $750
If you received an “A” average in any of the undergraduate degree years, you are eligible for a $750 scholarship at the end of each year. In your final year of the undergraduate degree if you are continuing on to a Master’s degree, you will be eligible for $1000 instead of $750. You must be a Nunavut resident for the period of study in which this scholarship applies.
Master’s Scholarship – $1,000
If you received an “A” average in the 4th year of undergraduate degree and continue on to do a Master’s degree, you are eligible for a $1000 scholarship at the beginning of the 1st year of the Master’s degree. If at the end of the 1st year and any subsequent years of the Master’s degree you received an “A” average you would be eligible for an additional $1000. In your final year of the Master’s degree if you are continuing on to a Doctoral degree, you will be eligible for $1500 instead of $1000. Students who are eligible for a supplementary grant must receive a “B” average. You must be a Nunavut resident for the period of study in which this scholarship applies.
Doctorate Scholarship – $1,500
If you received an “A” average in the last year of a Master’s degree and continue on to do a Doctoral degree, you are eligible for a $1500 scholarship at the beginning of the 1st year of the Doctoral degree. If at the end of the 1st year and any subsequent years of the Doctoral degree you receive an “A” average you would be eligible for an additional $1500. Students who are eligible for a supplementary grant must receive a “B” average. You must be a Nunavut resident for the period of study in which this scholarship applies.
The best way to contact FANS is by email. This ensures that there is a paper trail for all communication between you and FANS. If you need to send documents to the FANS office please scan and email them. If you do not have access to a scanner, you may take photos of your documents and email them to our office.
The FANS office now uses an electronic notification system:
- FANS will no longer send out paper copies by mail
- Please ensure you provide us with your correct email address so there are no delays in receiving your documents
- If your email address changes, please let the FANS know right away
- Check your ”junk” folder to make sure our email to you did not end up there
If you decide to fax any documents to the FANS office please make sure to follow up to see if we have received your fax. The fax machine may be busy and often faxes do not come through.
Last update: June 2019
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