COVID‑19 Financial Resources


Many Dalhousie students are facing unexpected financial challenges due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are a variety of supports available to assist you during this uncertain time. There are also strategies that can help you adjust your budget and spending in order to alleviate some current financial stress.

Dalhousie Programs

Government Programs

  • Student loans – Please note that payments on federal and provincial student loans were suspended, without accruing interest, for 6 months starting in April 2020.

  • Employment Insurance – if you qualify for EI the wait to apply has been waived and you can apply as soon as you receive your Record of Employment (ROE).

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – provides those who have lost employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and don’t qualify for EI with a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months, if they have made at least $5,000 in employment income in 2019 or the previous 12 months and meet other eligibility criteria. See their webiste for more information and to apply. Open to international students as well as Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Those requiring assistance after their CERB may be eligible for Employment Insurance or the new Canada Recovery Benefit. Visit the federal government's website After CERB: Transitioning to New Benefits for more information. 

  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) – This program is now closed. It provided financial support to post-secondary students and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19. This benefit is for students who do not qualify for the CERB or EI. From May to August 2020, the CESB provided a payment to eligible students of $1,250/month ($2,000/month if they have dependents or a disability) if they meet eligibility criteria. Open to Canadian citzens and permanent residents.

Community Supports

Banks and other bills and expenses

  • Check with your bank to see if you are eligible to defer loan or mortgage payments.
  • Check with your credit card company to see if you have insurance on your card that will pay off a percentage of your balance if you have lost employment.
  • Check with your utility companies like Nova Scotia Power and home fuel providers about changes in their policies to allow for more flexible payment timelines and grace periods for non-payment.

Adjusting your budget

  • Consider which expenses are required, which you may be able to defer, and which you might be able to eliminate, even in the short term. Visit our Managing Your Money resources for more informaton on budgeting strategies and tips for living affordably. 
  • Check out online budgeting tips and tools through the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
  • Get creative! Learn more about ways to maximize your grocery purchases with budget cooking blogs, cookbooks, and coupon apps like Flipp.

Need further advising?

Visit dal.ca/moneymatters or email awards@dal.ca for information on scholarships, student loans, or to request a virtual appointment with an advisor.