Determine your province/territory of residence:
You must apply for your funding through 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.
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..
School costs and period of studies – download the Cost Estimate Sheet and refer to your program of study
Alberta Student Number (Alberta residents only)
Social Insurance Number
Line 150 of last year’s income tax
Parents’ income information (dependent students only)
Online applicants who have cashed a loan before must have a previous loan certificate number and loan amount. If you did not keep a copy of your certificate(s), contact the National Student Loan Service Centre for this information.
By filling in one application form, you will be assessed for Canada and Alberta Student Loans, as well as grants and bursaries. Online Student Aid Alberta applications are processed in two to three weeks.
Refer to Student Aid Alberta's Monthly Living Allowance estimates. If your living expenses are more than listed, write a letter summarizing your monthly expenses and include appropriate documentation (child care receipts/lease agreement/mortgage statement/three-months-worth of utility bills). Scan and Upload the documents onto the E-Document upload on the Student Finance System website along with a submitted online application.
If you are not able to submit an online application, please contact Student Aid Alberta for the paper application.
Student Aid Alberta applications are available at the beginning of June for September study. If you need your loan money to pay for your tuition, you should apply before the end of July for September studies, or the end of October for January studies. You don’t have to be accepted to your program to apply for funding.
Apply each academic year
Your period of studies covers one academic year at a time. You must apply for funding for each year of your studies.
Deadline to apply
You must apply for Student Aid Alberta funding at least thirty days before the end of your yearly period of studies.
Non-Alberta Residents: School/Program Information Forms
Some provinces/territories require that a School/Program Information sheet be filled in by your school. Forward all these requests to a Student Advisor in the Office of the University Registrar.
Schedules – Student Aid Alberta
Fill in Schedule 1 if you are a 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.
Fill in Schedule 2 if you are married/common law. A couple is considered common law when:
currently living together with children of the relationship by birth or adoption living in the household, or
- after having living together for 1 year or more, whether or not there are children living in the household.
Fill in Schedule 3 if you are concurrently enrolled at more than one post-secondary institution at the same time in order to be considered a full-time student for student funding purposes or if you are in an exchange/field study program.
Fill in Schedule 4 if you are a student with a documented permanent disability and you are attending a full-time post-secondary program. You must make an appointment with a counsellor in Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).
Program cost estimates are created to help you enter accurate information on your student loan application and to help you plan your finances for the year. Cost estimates provide your:
period of studies
books & supplies.
The costs 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 accurate school costs.
Please note: Student Aid Alberta considers software to be an eligible expense; however, they do not cover the cost of personal computers or laptops.
Lifetime loan limit
$75,000 for an undergraduate student (for certificates/diplomas/bachelor degrees).
There is additional funding for graduate/professional programs.
Yearly loan limits (Student Aid Alberta)
There are legislated maximum loan limits on the amounts you may borrow in both Alberta and Canada Student Loans each year. The maximum loan limit for 2016-2017 is $7,500 per semester (a semester is a period of one to four months). If you qualify for grants, you may receive those as well as the loan maximum.
Maximum Loan Funding Per Year
Years of program + 1 limit
MacEwan University specifies the number of academic years required to complete a program of study. You are eligible to receive student loan funding for the specified number of years, plus one (e.g., if you are enrolled in a four year Bachelor of Arts program, you would be eligible for loans to complete that program in a maximum of five academic years).
- you are allowed to switch programs once, provided your lifetime loan limit will not be exceeded
- if the ‘+ 1 limit’ is not used in completing one program, it may not be carried forward to a subsequent program
- you are not eligible for loans to repeat a period of studies solely to improve grades
- if you withdraw from a period of studies, the uncompleted period of studies will be counted towards the ‘+ 1 limit’
- Students who meet the definition of a permanent disability are exempt from the Years of Program + 1 Limit (but not the Lifetime Loan Limit amount).
Student Aid Alberta has limited funding for Open Studies. You can enroll in Open Studies (transition year/qualifying year) prior to undergraduate studies or prior to graduate studies in order to satisfy relevant courses/prerequisite requirements for your program.
- Time spent in Open Studies will be used as part of your ‘Years of Program +1’
- As an Open Studies student, you are not eligible for the Canada Student Grants
- Open Studies is eligible for funding for a cumulative total of 12 months maximum
- You can break up this 12 month maximum. For example:
- three four-month periods of study prior to an undergraduate program
- one eight-month period of study prior to an undergraduate program and one four-month period of study prior to a graduate program
- You cannot exceed the 12-month maximum. If you had eight months of funding in Open Studies and subsequently apply for a 2nd period of eight months of funding, your application will be rejected.
Note: not all provinces/territories will fund Open Studies.