Applications open in early June for studies beginning on or after August 1. Determine your province/territory of residency, gather information for your application and then follow the steps to apply through your province’s funding agency.

Eligibility for Canada student loans and grants is automatically assessed when you apply for a provincial/territorial loan.

Determine your province/territory of residence

If you are an independent student, you are considered to be a resident of Alberta if:

  • Alberta is the last province you have lived in for 12 consecutive months while not a full-time post-secondary student, or
  • You are attending a school in Alberta and have never lived in any Canadian province for 12 months in a row. In this case, attach a letter to your application to explain your residency situation.
Independent student
  • You are 23 years or older, or
  • You have been out of high school for more than four years, or
  • You have been available for full-time work for two or more years since you left high school, or
  • You are married or common law, or
  • You are divorced, separated, or widowed, or
  • You are single with dependent children.

If you are a dependent student, you are considered to be a resident of Alberta if your parent(s) live in Alberta at the time you apply.

Dependent student
  • You have been out of regular high school less than four years, or
  • You have not been available for full-time work for at least two years since leaving regular high school.
Residents of Alberta apply for student loans through Alberta Student Aid.
Alberta Student Aid
Other Provinces
Residents of other provinces apply through their provincial funding agency.

Information for your student loan application

  • Apply early. If you need your loan money to pay tuition, you should apply before the end of July for September studies, or the end of October for January studies.
  • Check deadlines with your provincial funding agency. Student Aid Alberta must receive your application at least 30 days before the end of your study period.

Most provinces have a different application for part-time or full-time students—as well as different eligibility requirements, deadlines and repayment processes. Determine the number of courses you are taking each term before you apply for funding.

Learn more about course load

  • Student loans are awarded based on financial need.
    • For full-time funding, you are considered in financial need if your allowable costs outweigh your resources. You calculate costs and resources as part of your application.
    • For part-time funding, the calculation is based on pre-determined family income thresholds. You are only considered for funding if your household income and assets are less than the amounts outlined in the threshold tables.
  • Only post-secondary programs (degrees, diplomas, certificates) are eligible for student loans. Any courses you take must lead to a Ministry-approved certificate, diploma or degree.
  • Limited funding is available for part-time Open Studies through Alberta Student Aid. Check with your province/territory for rules related to funding Open Studies courses (or a transition year/qualifiying year).
  • Open Studies students are not eligible for Canada Student Grants.

Your province/territory may require slightly different information. To complete an application through Alberta Student Aid, you need the following:

  • Your Social Insurance Number
  • Your Alberta Student Number (ASN)
  • Confirmation of identity:
    • a verified MyAlberta Digital ID, or
    • marks from two high school diploma courses completed in Alberta, an approved Master Student Financial Assistance Agreements (MSFAA) number or a cashed full-time Alberta student loan certificate number.
  • Line 15000 of last year’s Income Tax Return
  • Your parents’ income information if you are a dependent student
  • Income information for your spouse or partner—if applicable

Some provinces/territories require a program information form completed by your school. Forward these requests to a Financial Aid Advisor in the Office of the University Registrar.

You need to be enrolled in classes before we can complete any part of the application for you. Waitlisted classes do not count. When you submit your request, be sure to let us know which terms your application is for.

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You are eligible to receive student aid funding for a specific number of years depending on your program of study (degree, diploma or certificate). Check with your provincial funding agency for time limits.

  • You are allowed to switch programs once, provided your lifetime loan amount limit will not be exceeded.
  • You are not eligible for student aid funding to repeat a period of studies solely to improve grades.

Open Studies

  • Open Studies is eligible for part-time Alberta Student Aid funding for a maximum of 12 months. You can break up this 12-month maximum.
  • Alberta Student Aid counts time spent in Open Studies as part of your degree, diploma or certificate program time limit.

Your Year of Study indicates where you are in your program and does not necessarily match the number of years you have been attending. It is based on how many credits you have earned, including transfer credit, if applicable.

You can find your Year of Study in myStudentSystem.

  1. Log in to
  2. Launch myStudentSystem from the Quick Links menu
  3. From your student homepage, select Academic Records.
The landing page of the Academic Records section in myStudentSystem indicates your year of study.

You need to select the start and end date of the period of studies your loan covers.

Full-time students

For regular Fall and Winter term courses as well as most Spring/Summer courses, the student loan system will have the correct dates available for you to select when you apply for your student loan. Make sure you select the correct major (including “Not Declared”) before selecting your study dates.

If your courses follow non-standard timelines, which most often happens in the Spring/Summer term, or if you do not see your start and end dates in the list, contact a Financial Aid Advisor in the Office of the University Registrar.

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Part-time students

On part-time loan applications for Alberta Student Aid, the study dates, courses and costs must be filled in by a Financial Aid Advisor. You need to be enrolled in your classes before we can complete any part of the application for you. Waitlisted classes do not count.

You can talk to an advisor in person or via email. Be sure to let us know which term the application is for.

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Program cost estimates are created to help you enter accurate information on a student loan application and to help you plan finances for the year.

The cost estimates reflect 100 per cent enrolment in your program. If you plan on enrolling in a lesser course load, contact a Financial Aid Advisor in the Office of the University Registrar for help with your cost estimate.

Download the Cost Estimate Sheet

To complete full-time funding applications you must estimate your living expenses. Check with your provincial funding agency for cost of living estimates and confirm allowable expenses. If you are applying through Alberta Student Aid, use the Monthly Living Allowances guide.

Student aid funding for part-time studies does not include a living allowance.

Provincial/territorial funding agencies

Follow the guidelines supplied by your provincial/territorial funding agency for the entire loan cycle—application, funds disbursement, interest-free maintenance and repayment.

Money matters
Find more information about a range of financial topics, including budgeting, bursaries, scholarships, student loans, tuition and fees.