What Is The GSL Canada Deposit?

What Is The GSL Canada Deposit?

Written by Corrina Murdoch
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated December 2, 2021

A type of deposit referring to student loans, if you see a GSL Canada Deposit on your bank statement, it means that your loan or grant payment has arrived. An estimated 754,000 Canadians receive student loans annually, according to the government report most recently filed. 

What Is GSL Canada Deposit?

Short for Canada Government Student Loan, it shows up as the source of payment on your bank forms. The funds represent a federal umbrella program, working in conjunction with the territories and provinces. Education regulation varies based on jurisdiction, so the GSL availability is not the same throughout the country. The abbreviation is to both simplify the bank statements and ease the tracking of specific payments. 

There are subsets within the GSL umbrella, the most noteworthy of which is the national funding program. The National Student Loan Services Center (NSLSC) is the major federal lender, so it has an associated acronym. If you see CSLP GSL, it is a payment sent from this national funding source. Short for Canada Student Loans Program, it lends further specificity to the bank records. 

Who Is Eligible To Receive The GSL Canada Deposit? 

Many of the provincial and territorial governments work with the federal government to administer the funding. It increases efficiency since students only need to apply federally. The information is then supplied to the jurisdiction in which you’ll be attending school, and they can determine your eligibility. 

Not all parts of Canada offer financial support in addition to the federal programs. Some work in conjunction with the Canada GSL plan:

  • Nova Scotia
  • Manitoba
  • Alberta
  • Prince Edward Island

Others offer an integrated loan program, combining grants and loans:

  • British Columbia
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • New Brunswick

Some use separate forms of student aid, not participating in the Canada GSL Program: 

  • Quebec
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut

Yukon is somewhat of a standalone, focussing on territorial grants, yet still offering the Canada GSL payments. 

Eligibility Requirements For The GSL Canada Deposit

The province of the school isn’t the requisite criteria to qualify. The standard necessities include:

  • Being a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
  • Having active enrollment in an accredited program and institution.
  • Living in a part of the country that supports the Canada GSL program. 

Provided you meet these standards, you are eligible to apply. The actual consideration, beyond the above, comes down to income. Showing proof of need is an important step when seeking student grants. 

Are you eligible for the student loan Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP)

GSL Canada Income Threshold

To ensure that the money goes to the candidates most in need, a basic calculation determines eligibility. It takes into consideration two key metrics: income and family size. The details break down as follows: 

Number of People in HouseholdIncome Threshold For Max Grant Assistance*Income Threshold For Grant Cut-Off**
1$32,102$63,615
2$45,399$89,004
3$55,602$106,278
4$64,204$117,021
5$71,782$126,929
6$78,634$136,326
7 (or more)$84,933$144,454

*If the gross household income is less than this, then the recipient can get the highest amount.

**If the income is over this threshold, then the student does not qualify for the grant.

What Student Aid Programs Can You Apply For?

The first step in determining which student aid programs you can apply for to qualify for a GSL Canada Deposit is to determine whether you are in a territory or province that participates in the program. Even though not all jurisdictions participate in the funding arrangement, you can still apply to the programs available through your area of residence.

The application pages for loans and grants are different for each province and territory. Below is a list of each area’s website for applications: 

Navigate to the page for your province and identify the requirements to apply for financial assistance. It also details the amount that you are entitled to. Once you’ve determined that you qualify, submit your application following the on-site instructions. After you apply, the province or territory will follow up to indicate the next steps in the process. It is a single application for both the loans and grants, making it a quick procedure online. If you are unable to submit the application digitally, you can mail the documents to your area’s office. 

How Much Is The GSL Canada Deposit? 

The ultimate purpose of a GSL Canada deposit is to help those who would otherwise be unable to access education do so. As a result, multiple factors impact the funding amounts. The government wants to know your cost of living and income, in addition to the time restrictions that result from your studies. Together, these factors determine how much you can receive. There are three main categories for financing, including: 

Full-Time Students

Full-time students can qualify for a grant of up to $6,000 per year of studies. Provided you keep a full-time courseload. The $6,000 figure represents the maximum amount for which a single student can qualify during the 2022/2023 year.

Full-Time Students With Dependents

In this category, for the 2022/2023 school year, students can receive up to $3,200 per year, per dependent. This number is in addition to the full-time grant for students issued separately. This assumes that there is a financial need, determined by checking that you don’t exceed the income threshold.

Part-Time Students

For the 2022/2023 school year, part-time students can receive up to $3,600 per year of study. It is assessed based on need, with the maximum amount being low-income households with multiple dependents.

Learn how to repay your student loan debt faster. 

Is The GSL Canada Deposit Considered Taxable Income?

The GSL Canada Deposit is not considered taxable income. This means that the amount does not add to your total taxable earnings during the year, thus avoiding the risk of bumping you up an income bracket. Since it is a type of financing sourced directly from the government, it wouldn’t make sense to tax it; they could simply pay a lower grant amount. Student funding is structured to mitigate the tax burden of those in school in efforts to incentivize higher education. 

Do You Need To Repay The Canada GSL Deposit?

Since the GSL Canada program is designed to streamline the administrative processing of student financing, it consists of both your loan and grant amounts. The different types each require different handling approaches, despite both being non-taxable income. Provided you keep records of which amount comes from which source, there should be no issues with managing the money. 

The money from the grant does not require repayment. It is issued tax-free to help with the cost of tuition and the cost of living as a student. Though helpful, grants are not always sufficient to pay the full cost of studies, especially in expensive areas or if there are dependents involved. To cover the difference, there are loan programs. Any loan amount that was a part of the GSL Deposit does require repayment. However, any interest you pay on a student loan is a tax-deductible expense.

GSL Canada Deposit FAQs

What is GSL short for? 

An abbreviation for Government Student Loans, GSL is the short form for deposits issued by the Canadian federal government. They consist of grant payments, loan installments, or both. You will receive a breakdown detailing the exact amounts and their program allocation. 

Is GSL Canada Deposit tax-free? 

Yes, the GSL Canada deposit is entirely tax-free. You do not need to pay taxes on the amount, nor are there any withheld at source. It does not add to your tax bracket and any grant component of the deposit need not be repaid. 

Does OSAP fall under the GSL deposit? 

If you get a Canada GSL payment in the province of Ontario, it represents the federal component of your funding. OSAP doesn’t combine its payments with the national program. Instead, it sends a separate payment for any of the money that originates with the province. 

Do I have to repay the GSL payments?

You do not have to repay the grant portion of your GSL payment. However, you are obligated to repay any loan component of your GSL payment. If you are unsure as to the specific amounts, look at your account statements or contact the student financing program directly. There is a forgiveness period for student loans during study (and briefly thereafter) but it doesn’t last forever. 

How much can you receive through the GSL Deposit? 

The exact amount you can receive depends on whether you are full or part-time and if you have dependents. A point of reference for the 2022/2023 school year is $6,000 per year maximum. This is for a full-time student with no dependents and at the lowest income threshold. Dependents add to the amount for which you qualify. 

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Corrina Murdoch has been a dedicated freelance writer and editor for several years. With an academic background in the sciences and a penchant for mathematics, she seeks to provide readers with accurate, reliable information on important topics. Working as a print journalist for several years, Corrina expanded her reach into the digital sphere to help more people gain insight into the realm of finances. When she's not writing, you can find Corrina swimming and spending time with family.

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