Eligibility for Student Aid Alberta Funding

Government student loans are available based on your financial need and province/territory of residence.

Demonstrate Financial Need

Your allowable costs – your resources = financial assistance (loans and grants)
If your allowable costs outweigh your resources, you are considered in financial need.

Allowable costs

  • Tuition and mandatory fees
  • Books, supplies and instruments
  • Living costs (amount is determined by your situation)

Dependent student

  • Out of regular high school less than four years, or
  • Have not been available for full-time work for at least two years since leaving regular high school.

Independent student

  • You are 23 years or older, or
  • You have been out of high school for more than 4 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.

Your Resources

  • Savings (applies only to federal portion of loan)
  • Expected contribution ($1,500) unless you are a single parent
  • Parental contribution (dependent students only-- applies only to federal portion of loan)
  • Part-time income while in school (applies only to federal portion of loan)
  • Spouse’s income
  • GICs/stocks/bonds
  • Child support/alimony

Items not considered a resource: your home, vehicle, GST rebate or child tax credit.

Register in Full-Time Post-Secondary Courses

  • While you don’t have to be accepted to your program to apply for loans, you must be registered in a full-time course load in the program for which you applied for funding (in all semesters) before we can confirm your enrolment.
  • Minimum full-time course load = 9 credits in Fall or Winter term. Minimum full time course load for Spring/Summer sessions is as follows:
    • 3 credits in a one-month session (e.g., one 3-credit course within the month of May)
    • 6 credits in a two-month session (e.g., two 3-credit courses May through June)
    • 9 credits over the entire spring/summer period (May through August), with no study gap of 30 days or more.
  • Only post-secondary programs (certificates, diplomas, degrees) are eligible for student loans. For upgrading and ESL programs, see Alberta Works funding.

Maintain Full-Time Course Load

You must maintain your full-time status for the entire period of studies to keep your funding for the year.

Other Considerations

  • First-time loan applicants 22 and older will undergo a credit check
  • Previous student loans must be in good standing
  • Any bankruptcies must be discharged, and if a bankruptcy included student loans, the appropriate wait time must have passed.