Law 14 (Bill 96) FAQ | Day Division

Updated February 2024

Law 14 (Bill 96)

Under the Quebec Charter of the French Language (commonly known as Bill 101), only certain people holding a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) have the right to attend publicly funded English-language elementary schools or high schools in Quebec. Under Law 14 adopted by Quebec’s National Assembly in May 2022, there are new amendments to the Charter that impact English-language CEGEPs.

Law 14 (adopted by Quebec’s National Assembly in May 2022), has an impact on English-language CEGEPs, but it’s important for future and prospective students to understand what exactly is changing.

It’s a common misconception that students who don’t have a certificate of eligibility to study in English and have attended French high school are no longer allowed to apply to an English-language college. This is incorrect!

All Quebecers, regardless of their status, can still attend English-language CEGEPs. Applicants do not need to have a certificate of English eligibility to attend an English-language college. However, whether they hold a COE can mean different admission, course, and graduation requirements.

This document was originally compiled by Dawson College and made available for public use.

Who can receive a Certificate of Eligibility?

For more information on who has a Certificate of Eligibility or how to obtain one, visit the Ministry of Education’s website.

You must apply for your COE before completing your high school education, otherwise the Ministry will not grant you a certificate even if you are qualified to receive it under the law.

Important: All English CEGEPs have been granted access to the provincial government’s records to see who has eligibility, so you do not need to submit a copy of your Certificate with your application.

How does Law 14 affect English CEGEPs?

Several aspects of the law impact English CEGEPs and come into effect at different periods outlined below. They relate to:

  • Exit tests of French language skills required to graduate for those without a COE
  • The prioritization of certificate holders in admissions
  • A requirement for all students to take three program courses in French OR three French as a second language courses.

What is the impact on exit exams?

All Cegep students in the province must pass either an English Exit Exam or a French Exit Exam to receive their Diploma of Collegial Studies.

Under Law 14:

  • Students with a COE attending an English CEGEP will need to pass the English Exit Exam to graduate (no change).
  • Students without a COE attending an English CEGEP will now need to pass the French Exit Exam, whereas before they wrote the English Exit Exam. The course content of our programs has been adjusted so that students who must write the French Exit Exam can develop their French skills to an appropriate level.

This applies to students who start a program in or after Fall 2023.

What changes are coming into effect as of the Winter 2024?

As of Winter 2024, priority will be given to certificate holders during the admissions process. Priority of admission should not be interpreted as a guaranteed admission and all applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements.

What changes are coming into effect as of Fall 2024?

  • Students with a COE will have to take three program-specific or general education courses in French OR three additional French second-language courses.
  • Students without a COE will have to take three courses in French.

Note: The result is that all students will end up taking 5 courses in French in order to obtain their Diploma. This applies to students starting  a program in Fall 2024 or after. There will be multiple streams for certificate holders taking these extra French courses depending on their assessed proficiency level. The proficiency level will be based on high school French marks. Students with a high proficiency level in French will take extra program-specific or general education courses in French. Students with a weaker French proficiency will take additional French second-language courses.

Did you know that a person residing or having resided on certain Indigenous territories may be eligible for an exemption from the French Exit Exam (EUF), even if they do not have a certificate of eligibility for instruction in English? For more information, consult the exemption request form.

Instructions & exemption request form

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