If your Educational Costs or Resources are re-assessed after you receive a portion of your funding, you may be told you have an overaward. An overaward is the amount of loan or grant you would not have received if this information had been considered as part of a previous assessment. Overawards can occur if your resources increase or if your costs decrease after you receive funding.

Examples of overaward situations

Example 1 More Resources: You are awarded a large scholarship after you receive the first portion of your funding. Your loan and grant amounts are re-assessed with this new information. It is determined that your funding was higher than it would have been if your scholarship had been taken into account. You now have an overaward.

Example 2 Decreased Costs: After you receive the first portion of your funding, you drop a course. Later, it is determined that you received more funding than you were eligible to receive for your new course load. You now have an overaward.

Example 3 Unreported Income: Last year you received student assistance for your school expenses, based on the information you submitted in your application. This year, in order to apply for assistance again, you submit your tax return for last year. When your new application is assessed, it’s determined that the income you actually received last year was more than the income you reported to us in your application for last year. As a result, you got more funding than you should have last year and, as a result, you have an overaward this year.

I have an overaward. What happens now?

  • You can repay an overaward when it occurs.
  • Overaward amounts from a previous study period can be deducted from your funding amounts in a future study period. This could make it difficult for you to afford to complete your school program.
  • Unreported resources that are discovered later can also result in an audit and possible legal action.
  • Overaward amounts can result in non-repayable Grants being converted into repayable Loans, if your revised assessment means you no longer qualified for those Grants. This is called a grant-to-loan conversion.
  • Overawards under $1,000 are not deducted from your future Student Assistance funding ($500 for programs 24 weeks long or less.)

What can I do to prevent/correct an overaward?

The Nova Scotia Student Assistance continually improves its processes to make accurate assessments and to minimize overawards. However, there are some things you can do to avoid an overaward situation:

  • Report any extra income as soon as you know you will receive it.
  • Report your income accurately.
  • Let us know immediately if you withdraw from courses or from school.

You can repay an overward at any time. If we determine that you were awarded more funding than you actually needed, it is recommended that you repay the overaward amount as soon as possible. Paying the overaward means you will continue to receive the full amounts you are eligible for in future study-periods and you will not have to leave school because you can’t afford to continue. To repay an overaward, contact the service provider for that loan.