Nova Scotia University Student Bursary Program

For Nova Scotian students studying at Nova Scotian universities.

 Who qualifies for the Bursary reduction?

You must be a Nova Scotia student studying at a Nova Scotia university.  You can be a full-time or part-time student, in an undergraduate or graduate program, taking all of your classes on campus or via distance education, or in a co-op program.

 How much lower will my tuition be?

When tuition is charged on a full-time/part-time basis, the Bursary amount will be $1,283 for a full-time student (in 9 or more credit hours in an academic semester), split between 2 terms ($641.50/term).  When the tuition is charged on a per-course basis, the Bursary amount sill be $128.30 per 3-hour credit.

 What is the definition of a “Nova Scotia student”?

You are considered to be a Nova Scotia student if you have a student loan from the province of Nova Scotia for your current program of study.  Only Nova Scotia residents can receive student loans from the province of Nova Scotia.

If you do not have a student loan, and you entered university immediately after completing high school, you are considered a resident of the province where you last attended high school.  If you last attended high school in Nova Scotia, you are considered a Nova Scotia student (this does not apply to students on international study permits).

If you did not enter university immediately after completing high school, you are considered a resident of the province where you lived when you applied for admission to the university you are attending.  This does not apply to students on international study permits or to students receiving student loan funding from a province other than Nova Scotia; neither of these student groups would be considered Nova Scotia residents and they would therefore not be eligible for the Bursary funding.

 I didn’t get a bursary but I think I qualify.

Please contact the Student Accounts office at  If we cannot agree on your eligibility for the Bursary, please contact the NS Student Financial Assistance Office at the Department of Education (902-424-8420 in metro Halifax or 1-800-565-8420, toll-free in Canada).  The Department of Education will confirm whether you are eligible for the Bursary, and if so, will advise Acadia University to credit your account accordingly.

 I am in my second (or third or fourth or fifth…) year of studies at a Nova Scotian university.

 Although I came here from another province (or country), I have lived here more than a year.  I even have a Nova Scotia driver’s licence.  Why am I not considered a Nova Scotia student?

To be considered a Nova Scotia student, you must have been living in Nova Scotia when you applied for admission to Acadia University.  For more details, see the earlier definition of a Nova Scotia student.

 I am taking non-credit courses at university. Will I receive the Bursary?

Only credit programs qualify for the Bursary funding.

 I am a Nova Scotian student registered and paying tuition at a Nova Scotia university but I am studying abroad. Will I qualify for the Bursary?


 I am a full-time student at one university and I have a letter of permission to take a course at another university. Will I receive the Bursary from each university?

This will depend on where you are paying tuition fees.  The institution to which you pay tuition fees will issue you the Bursary.

Which semesters qualify for the Bursary?

The Bursary funding is available for qualifying registrations in the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer semesters.

 Will the Bursary affect my income tax?

Since the NS University Student Bursary is bursary income, it must be reported by the University on a T4A form (if the total T4A income for an individual exceeds $500).  It may or may not be taxable to you based on your circumstances.



External and Internal University Honorariums, Awards, Prizes, Bursaries & Scholarships, and Payments

Any funds to be paid to a registered student, whether from an internal or external source, must be first applied to the student account. If the student has a balance owing, the funds will be used to reduce the amount owing for the applicable semester; a student will not be allowed to request a release of the funds directly to themselves. If the student account is in a credit balance after the funds are applied, the student can request a refund of the credit amount in the applicable semester.

Delinquent Accounts

Student accounts are considered to be delinquent when the required fees are not paid by fee payment deadline date.

If a student loan has been signed by the Student Accounts office by the deadline date, the student account is tagged as such and is considered paid.

If the balance owing on the student account is equal to or less than an Acadia Scholarship or Bursary that has been awarded, the account is considered paid.

If the student is an RA or SRA, and the balance owing on the account is equal to or less than the covered residence and meal plan fees, the account is considered paid.

If the student account is being paid by an external sponsor, the account will be tagged as such and is considered paid.

At the beginning of each adacemic session if a student does not provide payment on the stated due date, a late payment charge of $50 will be applied to the student account. If the student does not contact the student accounts office with a legitimate reason as to why, the Manager, Student Accounts can, with the approval of the Associate Vice President Finance and Treasurer and/or any other senior administraiton personnel, deregister the student from classes until such time as payment arrangements are made.  A Late Registration Fee of $50.00 will be charged to the student account.

Students with outstanding accounts in excess of $600 will have a financial hold placed on their student account thus restricting them from obtaining academic marks, an official transcript, registration, participate in room draw, formally graduate or obtain from the Registrar's office a confirmation of enrolment letter for student visa purposes.

Students with outstanding accounts will be contacted by email and/or by phone requesting that they contact the student accounts office by a specific date to discuss their account. If the student fails to make contact by the specified date, the student's computer access will be disabled until such time as contact is made. Any account that is disabled due to fees will be charged a $50 reinstatement fee. 

If a student continues to ignore requests for contact the collection process will be initiated.

Interest Charged on Outstanding Accounts

Outstanding accounts are subject to interest at a rate of 1% per month (12% per year) on the last working Thursday of the month.

NSF Cheques

When a cheque is returned to the Student Accounts office as non-negotiable, there will be an additional fee of $35.00 applied to the student account and the account will be considered unpaid. If the returned cheque was used to pay tuition costs, the student's registration may be canceled, and if reinstated, a late registration fee may be charged. The student will be contacted by email and/or by phone to request repayment within 72 business hours.  Personal cheques will not be accepted for repayment unless they are certified.

Release of Student Financial Information

Student Accounts is often asked to disclose financial information on a student's account by parents and others so they can make accurate tuition payments.

University policy recognizes the financial account as belonging to the student and therefore, to protect student privacy, account information is considered confidential.  Students can choose to provide permission for a 3rd party to access their account information by completing a Release of Information document found on the HUB service portal under the Registar's office list of services.  

2021 Spring/Summer Student Loan Requirements

Spring/Summer Sessions

The 2021 Spring/Summer study sessions are as follows:

  1. May 10 -May 28
  2. May 31 - June 18
  3. June 21 - July 9
  4. July 12 - July 31


If you are taking courses over the spring/summer semester that are typically offered on-campus and are now being offered remotely within the specific term start and end dates noted above and wish to use loan funding to pay for courses you must be registered in a total of 6 credit hours over 6 continuous weeks of study.  Any gap between the study sessions will cancel your full-time status.

Online Courses

If you are taking online courses (that typically allow you 6-months to complete) over the spring/summer semester the following requirements must be met for us to process a full-time student loan:

  1. You must be registered in a total of 9 credit hours from May 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021
  2. All registered courses must be completed (grades on the system) by August 31, 2021
  3. You must be registered full-time for the fall/winter semester or have applied to graduate in October 2021
  4. You must provide the Student Accounts office with an email stating that you understand all online courses must be completed by August 31, 2021 in order to maintain your full-time status.

If for any reason you do not complete your online courses by the end of the spring/summer session (August 31, 2021) your fall & winter semester loan funding may be jeopardized.

Combination of Remote (have specific start and end dates based on the terms above) & Online Courses

If you are taking a combination of course types over the spring/summer semester the above "Online" requirements must be met for us to process a full-time student loan.

What to do now...

Once you know which courses you want to take over the spring/summer session you simply put them into your Open Acadia backpack and send an email to to let us know that they are there and that you are using loan funds to pay for them.

If registering for online courses you also need to include in your email that you understand all courses must be completed by August 31, 2021  We will tag the courses as "paid" so that your registration can move forward.  For any online course registrations, we will notify Open Acadia that you cannot begin your studies prior to May 10, 2021.

We will not be processing student loans for the spring/summer term until the start of classes on May 10, 2021.  

If you change your registration...

If you change any part of your registration once the spring/summer session begins you must send an email to immediately.  If you are no longer considered full-time we are required to let your provincial student loan office know of your registration change which can affect your future funding.

Credit Card Elimination Policy


Effective May 1, 2017, Acadia University will be discontinuing the use of credit cards for student accounts (tuition and related fees).

 Acadia University is the last university in Nova Scotia to discontinue the use of credit cards for tuition and related fees. This change aligns Acadia with industry standards and best practices. This measure is also in response to increasing Data Security Standards compliance and their related costs.

Acadia University offers a number of options to make payments on student accounts, including:

  • Internet or Telebanking*
  • Cash (Canadian and US)
  • Cheque and money order
  • Debit (in person)
  • Wire transfers
  • redemptions
  • International Payment transfer partner* (to be announced shortly)
  • Student Loans (Canadian and US)
  • 3rd party Sponsorships
  • Scholarships and Bursaries

*Note: These two types of transactions may allow for a credit card as a payment type in addition to bank accounts as a source of funds.

Credit cards will continue to be accepted for certain components of a student’s life: application fees, admission confirmation deposits, residence deposits, Bookstore, and Registrar’s Office services. The University will also still accept credit card for ancillary functions: non-credit (Open Acadia) courses, summer camp registrations and Box Office transactions. Donations to the University can still occur via credit card.

For a complete list of student account transactions for which a credit card will no longer be accepted, please see: How To Pay site

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Why is Acadia University discontinuing the use of credit cards for payments on student accounts?

Acadia is the last university in Nova Scotia to implement this change. Most universities in Canada do not accept credit cards for tuition and related fees. This change aligns Acadia to industry standards and best practices.  This measure is also in response to increasing Data Security Standards compliance and their related costs.  The cost of credit cards as a payment option plus the cost of Data Security Standards compliance is too significant to be maintained as an option.

  1. What are my payment options going to be?

Acadia University continues to offer a variety of convenient payment options for our students:

  • 24/7 online banking (“Acadia University” is registered as a payee with every major Canadian bank and regional credit union) *
  • telephone banking
  • direct transfer of funds (recommended for international students)
  • payment by mail with cheque, money order, or bank draft 
  • payment in person with debit, cash, cheque, money order, or bank draft
  • payment via Canada Student Loan

* Note :  Many banks allow for a credit card to be used rather than a bank account as a source of funds.

For further instructions concerning payment options and details on all of these options, including step-by-step instructions for online banking, are available on the Student Accounts website at:   How To Pay

  1. What is happening at other universities?

Most Canadian universities have already discontinued their usage due to the high costs. Several other universities including Mount Allison have never accepted credit card payments. Acadia is the last university in Nova Scotia to make this change.

  1. What can I use my credit cards to pay?

Credit cards will continue to be accepted for many other services such as application fees, confirmation and residence deposits, Registrar’s Office services and Bookstore purchases.

As a general rule, if the charge is associated with your student account, you will not be able to use a credit card. For a complete list please see How To Pay

  1. Why was I able to pay my application deposit by credit card but not my tuition fees?

It’s really about balancing convenience and cost. The Acadia University application process is a convenient online process for payment of deposits by students applying from across the province, the country, and around the world. To coordinate payments by any other method during the application process would actually be more expensive for the University. The use of credit cards for application fees is a standard for the industry.

  1. What if my student loan has not come in by the time the tuition payment is due?

Students who get their loan document signed by Student Accounts on or before the payment due date will not have late charges applied to their accounts. However, if the loans do not cover the fees in total, students are required to pay the balance by the due date or late fees will apply. 

  1. Many international students don’t have accounts with Canadian banks. What is being done to help them?

International students can pay through wire transfer or a new online international payment service that Acadia will be introducing for this purpose. Because transactions are direct, there is no risk of payments falling short due to fluctuating exchange rates and unexpected bank fees. Notifications will be sent to the campus community when this service is available.

  1. What else has Acadia done to make payment convenient for students?

The University provides a 24/7 online banking option through all the major financial institutions in Canada. This allows students to avoid line-ups and to pay at a time of day that is convenient for them.

However, if you currently use online banking where “Acadia University” is not set up as a payee, please advise us at (902) 585-1297 or and we will gladly arrange to become a payee with that institution.

  1. What other initiatives has Acadia taken to help students through this change?

The Student Accounts Office is in the process of creating an online service centre through the Acadia University Hub – .  Hub Services will allow students to request a refund cheque online, upload external scholarship and sponsorship documentation, request Axe Cash and commuter meal plan purchases. 

Acadia University will be adding Pay Stations around campus through the summer.  At these stations students will initially have the ability to purchase Axe Cash and Meal Memberships by using a bank card.   Through an automatic upload process, the purchased items will be available immediately for use.   These services may also be purchased through an online weblink, providing parents with the ability to add funds and plans as well.  The online weblink will also provide the ability to monitor the usage and remaining value.  It is hoped that print credits and other services will be added to these pay stations.

The Student Accounts office will work with students’ individual and unique situations through this transition period. We realize that there will be a need for flexibility in the upcoming year as students and families adjust to this new process.  If you wish to discuss your situation, please contact us at (902) 585-1297 or