Financial aid for students
When you take courses with Cégep à distance, you can receive financial assistance from the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES) if you meet the eligibility conditions.
Students who are enrolled full time (or deemed to be enrolled full time) can apply to the MEES Loans and Bursaries Program. Please note that students who are enrolled in Cégep à distance attestation of college studies (ACS/AEC) programs are not eligible for a bursary and will receive financial assistance in the form of a loan only.
Part-time students (76 to 179 teaching hours, not deemed to be enrolled full time) can apply to the Loans Program for Part-Time Studies.
|July 1 to October 31||Fall|
|November 1 to April 15||Winter|
|April 16 to June 30||Summer|
For each session at Cégep à distance, you have up to six months to complete your assignments. Then you must do the final evaluation no more than three months after the grade for your last assignment is submitted by your tutor. Student financial assistance never provides more than six payments per session, however. After that, no additional financial assistance is paid, even if you apply for an extension or if you have not yet completed the final evaluation. Please take this into account when planning your studies and your budget.
Depending on their situation, some students may receive their financial assistance in a single payment at the beginning of the study period.
NOTE: If you register for more than one course at different dates, the session start date is the registration date for the first course.
The financial assistance award year ends August 31, with a possible extension of two months. This means that the August payment may include the payments for September and October. Some students may receive a higher payment in August and then nothing in September and October.
If you apply for financial assistance at the beginning of the award year, the July and/or August payments could be deposited without confirmation of your student status. During the first confirmation period (around mid-August), a new assessment will appear in your file. If you were not a full-time (or deemed full-time) student in the fall semester for the months of July and/or August, the payment(s) will be considered overpayment. The overpaid amount(s) will then be recovered on your following payments. To avoid this situation, it is recommended that you submit your application for financial assistance a few weeks before starting your courses, and not several months in advance.
NOTE: For a summer session that extends beyond October 31, the financial assistance calculation will automatically be carried out with October 31 as the end of the session. This means that students who register for the summer session after May 15 will receive financial assistance for five months only (payments in June and July and a triple payment in August). Students who register for the summer session after June 15 will receive financial assistance for four months only (one payment in July and a triple payment in August).
NOTE: If you cancel one or more courses, your student status may change. If you lose full-time student status (or deemed full-time status), you will no longer be eligible for the Loans and Bursaries Program.
We urge you to read about the Loans and Bursaries Program eligibility period and to track the number of months calculated in the eligibility period tab of your online student financial assistance file.
NOTE: The regular eligibility periods do not reflect the reality of Cégep à distance students. If you take all your DCS/DEC courses at Cégep à distance, you may reach the maximum number of months before you complete your diploma.
Confirmation of academic information
The amount initially calculated when you apply for financial assistance is provisional. A new calculation is automatically generated when your registration is confirmed by Cégep à distance. The value of the financial assistance is then adjusted based on your actual academic information.
You can apply for student financial assistance if you live in Québec and do not have sufficient financial resources to pursue your education.
The Loans and Bursaries Program for full-time students (or deemed full-time students)
To apply to the Loans and Bursaries Program, you must be enrolled in four courses, or at least 180 teaching hours, in a program that leads to a DCS/DEC or ACS/AEC. This means that you are deemed to be a full-time student.
In some cases, if you are studying part time (from 76 to 179 teaching hours) in a program that leads to a DCS/DEC or ACS/AEC, you may also have access to the Loans and Bursaries program if you meet one of the following criteria:
- You are at least 20 weeks pregnant.
- You are a single parent and live with your child who is under age 12 as of September 30 of the award year.
- You live with a child (yours or your spouse’s) who is under age 6 as of September 30 of the award year.
- You live with a child (yours or your spouse’s) with a major functional disability or serious mental disorder.
- You have a major functional disability that is recognized by Aide financière aux études.
- You are unable to pursue full-time studies for more than one month due to a serious episodic disorder resulting from permanent major mental or physical health problems confirmed by a medical certificate.
- You are a participant in the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale Réussir program
Part-time students with “end of program” status may also be eligible for the Loans and Bursaries Program.
NOTE: Students enrolled in an ACS/AEC program at Cégep à distance are not eligible for bursaries and can only receive financial assistance in the form of a loan.
You can find all the financial assistance forms on the AFE website. We strongly recommend using the AFE Online Services because the processing time for online applications is much shorter than for paper applications.
For more information
Please see our frequently asked questions. You can also get information about financial assistance from:
- A Cégep à distance resource person, from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.:
Montréal region: 514 864-6464, press 5
Other regions: 1 800 665-6400, press 5
- An Aide financière aux études resource person:
Montréal region: 514 864-3557
Québec City region: 418 643-3750
Other regions: 1 877 643-3750
- The Aide financière aux études interactive service:
Québec City region: 418 646-4505
Other regions: 1 888 345-4505
Frequently asked questions
How can I apply for financial assistance?
You can complete the online form at the Aide financière aux études website.
You can also complete the paper form, which you can print in the Forms section of the AFE website. The paper form must be mailed to the address given at the bottom of the form.
We strongly recommend using the AFE Online Services because the processing time for online applications is much shorter than for paper applications.
When should I apply for financial assistance?
We recommend completing your financial assistance application as soon as possible. You can submit it at the same time that you apply to Cégep à distance or, if you have already been admitted, as soon as you apply for courses in the new academic year.
For the Loans and Bursaries Program, the new online form becomes available in May for the following academic year (the academic year begins with the fall session) and remains available for the entire year. For the Part-Time Studies Loans Program, the online form is available around mid-June.
If you want to apply for financial assistance for studies you have already begun, your application must be filed within 60 days after the end of your last month of studies in the current award year.
When will I receive my first payment?
When you enrol in new courses, the confirmation of your student status is forwarded to Aide financière aux études. AFE then sends payment authorization to your financial institution. If you have not received your guarantee certificate, it will be issued by AFE on this first confirmation.
To receive the first payment for the current month, you must enrol (course selection confirmed and payment made) no later than the 15th of the month. If you enrol after the 15th, you will receive your first payment the next month. The number of payments will be the same, no matter what your course start date is, except in the summer session.
Status as an admitted student is not enough to trigger the first payment. You must be enrolled in the required number of courses (based on your situation) to receive your financial assistance.
When the authorization is sent to your financial institution, you can check the payment date by looking in the “Assistance award” section of your online file at AFE.
How many courses must I be enrolled in at Cégep à distance to be a full-time student?
To have full-time status, you must be enrolled in at least four courses or 180 teaching hours per session.
To have deemed full-time status, you must meet the criteria for deemed full-time status and be enrolled in at least 76 course hours, which generally means two courses per session. NOTE: If you enrol in a physical education course (30 hours), make sure you combine it with a 60- or 75-hour course.
How many courses must I be enrolled in at Cégep à distance to be a part-time student?
You must be enrolled in at least 76 course hours, which generally means two courses per session. NOTE: If you enrol in a physical education course (30 hours), make sure you combine it with a 60- or 75-hour course.
What is the Cégep à distance institutional code?
The Cégep à distance institutional code is 915001.