The provincial and federal governments of Canada offer loans to post-secondary students who demonstrate financial need.
They also offer grants that, unlike loans, don’t need to be paid back once you finish your studies. When you apply for a Canada Student Loan, you’re automatically considered for most of these grants.
If you’re thinking of applying for student loans, explore the information available on the Government of Canada’s website to learn more. If Albertan, see Student Aid Alberta.
Information to have handy as you apply for a student loan:
- Ambrose institutional code: BPSV
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Most recent Total Income tax amount (Line 15000 of your last tax return or Notice of Assessment)
- Resources (scholarship amounts, savings, etc.)
- Living expenses estimate
- Use the Budget Calculator to determine your tuition and fees for the school year
* Keep all documentation and receipts marked and readily available. If you’re ever selected for an audit, you’ll be glad to have these documents handy.
Canada's COVID-19 Benefits for Students and Recent Graduates
Students who have received benefits related to the following federal COVID-19 support programs do not need to include them on their student aid application. These benefits will not be used as a resource.
If a student has already applied and included any of these benefits as a resource, they can login to their Alberta Student Aid account and submit a Request for Review on their application.
Maintaining Interest-Free Status
If you have a previous student loan and you’re not applying for another loan for the upcoming year, you need to fill out the necessary documentation that states you are still a full-time student. Otherwise, you’ll be required to start repaying your loans and your interest will begin to add up.
Register and apply for loans and grants through your My Alberta Digital ID. If this is your first time applying, you will first need to create an account. Returning users can use their regular login information. Check Student Aid Alberta website for application processing time: www.studentaid.alberta.ca. There is a short video demo of the online application for Alberta Student Aid.
Apply for part-time loans and/or grants at Student Aid Alberta part-time student page.
The Government of Canada has launched Skills Boost to support adults who want to return to school and upgrade their skills. See Skills Boost page.
A permanent disability is a functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at the post-secondary level or in the labour force. The disability is expected to remain for the person’s expected natural life.
Students with permanent disabilities may be eligible for government funding designed to offset education-related costs associated with their disability. Please see our Funding and Grants for Accessibility webpage for more information.
To view a listing of common disabilities and required documentation please see our New Accessibility Registration webpage.
Loans and Grants
One application is required for all funding types: provincial and federal loans and grants.
When making application to Student Aid Alberta, grants are allocated first prior to loans. So it is possible to apply for disability grants and not request or receive a student loan.
Receiving a Loan or Grant
Students who have been approved for loans will receive email correspondence to their account. This important correspondence letter will outline approved funding, disbursement dates, loan amounts, and details about the next steps. Read this letter carefully, it will assist you in completing a budget worksheet for the academic year to ensure educational, living and related costs are met.
Visit Student Aid Alberta’s Getting Your Money page to understand how it works.
Your loan agreement is called a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA). This is the legal agreement between you and your loan provider(s), including terms and conditions of:
- How you will use your loans and/or grants
- Your repayment obligations
- How your monthly payments will be calculated
Funding will be released from AB Student Aid when:
- You have submitted all required documents
- Your school confirms your registration
- Classes begin
Before you can receive your funding, you must sign your agreement(s),The Financial Aid Office can confirm approved loans up to 30-days before a scheduled loan disbursement. Students must be enrolled in full-time or part-time studies accordingly before loans can be confirmed. Loan borrowers are encouraged to complete their course registration a month prior to school semester start in order to receive loan funding in a timely manner.
Once the Registrar completes your confirmation of registration, Alberta Student Aid will be able to release your funding directly to you within 7-10 business days.
If you received both federal student loans and grants, these monies may be disbursed to you separately from the National Student Loans Service Centre. Students who are expecting a loan disbursement should always monitor their account to verify the loan has been issued.
First-time loan borrowers, and students who have not received loans for 24 months or more must complete and sign the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA). Both the Federal and Provincial MSFAAs must be received by the university before loan funding can be disbursed.
It is your responsibility to ensure your loan funding is received at the university by the fee deadline.
After receiving your loan funding, if at any point during the academic year your circumstances change, you may be required to report these changes to Student Aid Alberta as part of your loan agreement. Changes can be reported to Student Aid Alberta by submitting a Request for Reconsideration – Level 1 form.