Government student loan programs are available based on financial need and the province you live in. You do not have to be accepted into a program before you apply for government loans; however, you do need to be accepted and registered in the appropriate number of courses to receive your funding.

After graduation, or if you stop your studies or stop taking the appropriate course load, there is a six-month grace period during which your loan remains interest free. After six months, you must start paying back your loan.

Save the date

Student loan applications typically open in June. We recommend you apply before the end of July for September studies.

Application Information


Determine your province of residency, gather information and apply. You only need one application to be considered for both provincial and federal student aid funding.


After applying you will receive:

  • A student award letter
  • Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement forms (MSFAA)

Your letter lets you know the amount you’ve been awarded for the year. Follow the instructions to fill out the agreement forms and to register your student aid funding.

Loan Agreements

You must enrol in and maintain a specific course load to receive funding and to keep your loans interest free. You must be accepted to your program before you can enrol in courses.

Course Load

Check myStudentSystem to see how much money the university has requested from your student aid funding for tuition and fees. You may need to make additional payments. 

Tuition payments

Your funding is distributed in a lump sum that needs to last you through an entire term. Prepare and stick to a detailed budget so you don’t run short of funds in the middle of your studies.


If it seems like you did not receive enough to cover your expenses, you can submit an appeal for additional funding. If you receive Alberta Student Aid, submit a request for reconsideration. The process differs from other provincial loan providers.

Your loans are interest free while you study, as long as you are enrolled in the appropriate course load. 

Interest-free Status

Prepare early to repay your student loans. Depending on your province or territory, you may have to arrange payments with more than one loan provider.


NSLSC Overview of Student Loans & Grants
This National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) orientation video explains student loans and grants, the student loan funding lifecycle and whom to contact if you have questions.
illustration of woman on phone Orientation video (19 mins)
Money matters
Find more information about a range of financial topics, including budgeting, bursaries, scholarships, student loans, tuition and fees.