Student loans can be complicated, but we’re here to help! Student Connect can assist you with your loan application and advise you on how to manage your loans and pay for your education.
Student loans are administered by the provincial and federal governments. When you apply for your provincial loans, you will be simultaneously assessed for federal funding.
Student loans are interest-free and payment-free during the period of study, followed by a six-month grace period, and are repayable after that time. See the repayment section below for more details.
Note: Some of the information on this page is specific to Alberta students. In some cases you may need to refer to your provincial lending authority (if different) for more information. If you are not sure which province you should apply to for loans, see the Residency and Dependency section.
Full-time vs part-time
If you are planning to be enrolled full-time, you must apply for full-time student loans.
If you are planning to be enrolled part-time, you must apply for part-time student loans. Note that most of the information below pertains to full-time loans. See the Part-Time Loans section for more information.
Master Student Financial Aid Agreement
This information applies to Alberta students only. For information on how other provinces and territories handle MSFAAs, see Out of Province.
If it is your first time applying for a student loan you will need to complete documents called the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreements or MSFAAs. You will only need to sign the MSFAAs once.
You will need to complete an Alberta MSFAA if you are receiving Alberta funding and a Canada MSFAA if you are receive Canada funding. This means you may need to complete one or two MSFAA’s dependent on your student loan assessment.
You will receive an email when the MSFAAs are available in your Alberta Student Aid inbox. You will also find complete instructions on how to complete the MSFAAs in this inbox. If you are not able to log into your Alberta Student Aid account, you will need to contact Student Aid Alberta directly at 1-855-606-2096.
- Canada MSFAAs must be completed electronically through the National Student Loan Service Centre portal (NSLSC) online portal.
- Alberta MSFAAs are a paper document and can not be completed electronically. You will need to download the MSFAA, fill it in and take it to a Canada Post outlet with a piece of government issued photo ID and your SIN card.
Your loan will not be disbursed until you have completed these documents.
Married and common-law applicants
If you are married or common-law, your spouse will need to complete a Consent and Declaration form. This form can be accessed online via the Student Aid Alberta web portal. The completed form must be sent to Student Aid Alberta) before funding will be released. Your spouse will only need to sign this form once. You can mail this form directly to Student Aid
Alberta, submit it online, or bring it to Student Connect and we will mail it for you.
In most cases, you will receive your funds approximately 10 business days after your MSFAAs have been processed. If you apply during the summer for fall semester, the funds will likely be disbursed in the last week of August or first week of September. Half of your loan amount will be disbursed in the fall term; the other half will be disbursed in the winter term.
Your funds will first be applied to your tuition fees. Any remaining loan funds will be then deposited into your bank account. If your loans do not fully cover your tuition fees, you are responsible for paying the balance.
Alberta students: for more information, see Getting Your Money on the Student Aid Alberta website.
When you graduate or cease full-time studies, your Alberta Student Loan will be payment-free and interest-free for six months, and your Canada Student Loan will be payment free for six months but will begin to accrue interest immediately. (For details about other provinces, see Out of Province.)
You can begin repayment before the repayment period begins, if you wish.
The repayment period for your Canada and Alberta student loans will begin on the first day of the seventh month after you stop being a full-time student.
If you have both Canada and Alberta student loans, you will need to make two payments: one to the Student Aid Alberta Service Centre and one to the National Student Loan Service Centre.
Before you enter the repayment period, you will receive a Student Loan Consolidation letter from each lender, which will detail the balance owing on your student loans, the amount of your monthly payment, your payment dates, and the terms of the loan. This letter will need to be signed and returned to the address on the form.
Repayment Assistance Plan
If you have Canada Student Loans and Alberta Student Loans
If you are not applying for new funding in the upcoming academic year, you may keep your existing loans in interest-free status by requesting electronic confirmations of enrollment through the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) website. To use the portal you will need to take the following steps:
- Visit canlearn.ca
- Select NSLSC Online Services
- Log in or create an account
- Select “Confirm Your Enrollment”
- Complete the required sections
By requesting your confirmation of enrollment through this portal, you will place your previous Canada and Alberta Student Loans into interest-free status.
Other loan types
If you only have an Alberta Student Loan, or you only have a part-time Alberta Student Loan, or you are in the Post-Graduate Medical Education (PGME) program (not Dental), you must complete a Confirmation of Registration (Form B) to apply for interest-free status. This form is available at Student Connect or Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for graduate students.
You will then be required to mailed or fax the Confirmation of Registration (Form B) to the Student Aid Alberta Service Centre (the address will be on the front of the form). You should then call the Student Aid Alberta Service Centre after you have sent to form to ensure that it has been received and processed.
Other provincial loans
If you have loans from a province outside Alberta, you will need to contact your provincial funding authority to determine if you are eligible for interest-free status and how to apply for it.