Before You Apply

Eligibility

In Canada, student loans are only available to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and protected persons (refugees). If you are a resident of America, please visit our Government Student Loans for United States (US) Citizens webpage.


Provincial Residency

You must apply for loans from the province / territory in which you are deemed a resident, which depends on whether you are a dependent or independent student. Provincial / territorial residency for student loans is determined differently than the residency requirements used to provide you with a provincial drivers licence or provincial health care card. Provincial residency for student loans is not necessarily determined by your current address or even how long you have lived in a province.

Visit the Alberta Student Aid Eligibility webpage for information on how to determine residency and whether you are a dependent or independent student.


Family Income & Loan Eligibility

Visit the website of your province / territory student assistance program for more information on how family income will impact your eligibility to receive funding. 

For dependent Alberta student loan borrowers, family income alone will not impact your ability to receive loan funding. However, your parents gross income will be used to determine eligibility for grant funding. 

If a student or family member did not file taxes for the previous year, an estimate of total income for that year may be accepted. Visit the Alberta Student Aid Alberta Grants webpage for more information.

While your parent’s gross income will not impact your eligibility for Alberta Student Loans, other resources are considered on the student loan assessment, including spousal income, voluntary contributions from your parents and/or RRSPs. Learn more on the Alberta Student Aid What You Contribute webpage


Value of Your Funding

Student loans are intended to help cover the cost of your education, plus living expenses where applicable. However, the total amount of loan funding you receive will depend on several factors, including the cost of your program, loan limits, and other eligibility factors. Many provinces provide information on their website to help you determine your eligibility.

For Alberta student loan borrowers, the maximum amount of funding you can receive depends on the program you are registered in. Visit the Alberta Student Aid Loan Limits webpage for more information on the maximum limit available for your program.


Grant Funding

When you apply for a student loan, you are also automatically applying for grant funding; there is no separate application to apply for grant funding. Grant funding does not need to be paid back as long as you remain a full-time student, but is often not enough to cover all of your expenses, thus many students will have a mix of student loan and grant funding.

You can find more information about these grants on the Alberta Student Aid Canada Grants webpage. If you think you may qualify for a grant for students with permanent disabilities, please visit the University of Alberta Accessibility Resources webpage.


Applying for Grant Funding Only

Some provinces / territories may allow you to apply for grant funding without taking out a student loan. If you would like to apply for grant funding only, please watch our instructional video below or talk to your provincial loan borrower for more information. 


Create Your Student Loan Accounts

The best way to stay on top of your student loan(s) is to create accounts for your student loan portals. It is important to turn on your notifications so you are alerted when there is information in your inbox. Please be sure to register for the portal specific to your province / territory of residence. Do not ignore notifications that you receive from these portals. You will only receive communications in your inboxes when there is important information or information that needs your attention. Feel free to contact the Student Service Centre if you have questions about any communications you receive.

Alberta Student Aid Account

This account will be used to apply for full-time Canada and Alberta student loans, upload required documents needed for your application (i.e. consent and declaration), complete your Alberta Master Student Financial Aid Agreements (MSFAAs), and view past applications. You will need to log in to this portal everytime you would like to apply for a new student loan.

If you have trouble logging into this account, please contact Alberta Student Aid directly.

National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) Account

While you do not apply for loans through this portal, it will have lots of important information about your Canada Student Loans, including the current status of your loan (i.e. in good standing, in repayment, in default). You will also be able to determine how much federal funding you have received over your lifetime, repayment details, make payments towards your Canada Student Loans, and submit your federal MSFAA as well as applications for the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP).

This portal becomes more important once you enter repayment, but it is a good idea to log in once a semester or when you receive a notification to keep track of your loans. 

If you have trouble logging into this account, please contact the NSLSC directly.

Alberta Student Aid MyLoan Account

While you do not apply for loans through this portal, it will have lots of important information about your Alberta Student Loans, including the current status of your loan (i.e. in good standing, in repayment, in default). You will also be able to determine how much provincial funding you have received over your lifetime, repayment details, and make payments towards your Alberta Student Loans. 

This portal becomes more important once you enter repayment, but it is a good idea to log in once a semester or when you receive a notification to keep track of your loans. 

If you have trouble logging into this account, please contact Alberta Student Aid directly.