How to Apply

Deadlines & Timelines

The deadline to apply for a student loan is typically four to six weeks before your end-of-study date, but it is always recommended to apply for your loans early to ensure you have your funding when you need it. Please check with your province/territory of residency for exact deadlines.

For Alberta student loan borrowers, the deadline to apply for a full or part-time loan is 30 days before your end-of-study date. For example, if you are registered full-time in fall and winter, your deadline to apply would be towards the end of March.

Most provinces and territories process your student loan application four to six weeks after submission, but online applications are often processed quicker.


Full-time vs. Part-time

In order to select the correct application process, you first need to determine whether you are a full-time or part-time student.

For Alberta loan borrowers, the full-time and part-time applications are very different. The full-time student loan is available through your Alberta Student Aid portal and is typically assessed very quickly. The part-time application is a PDF that will need to be signed by the University of Alberta and can take up to 6 weeks to be assessed. See the sections below for more details.

For most undergraduate students, full-time is nine credits or three courses per semester - anything less is considered part-time. You can also find your registration status in your Bear Tracks account under Manage Classes > Academic Information.

BT Full Time

There are some exceptions to this, especially for graduate students, engineering students, and students who are registered with Academic Accommodations at the University of Alberta. If you are unsure of your registration status, please contact the Student Service Centre

If you are enrolled part-time at two different institutions but together those classes equal full-time enrollment, you may be eligible to apply for a full-time student loan using a special status called concurrent enrollment. Find more information in the Concurrent Enrollment section below. 


Applying for Spring & Summer Loans

This information applies to Alberta students only. For information on how other provinces and territories handle spring/summer loans, please contact your province of residence or Student Service Centre

To apply for a student loan for the spring and/or summer terms, you will first need to:

  1. Register in classes. You can apply for loans as soon as you are registered in your classes (registration typically opens yearly in February). Spring and summer terms are shorter and so is the deadline to apply for student loans. It is very important that you apply for your spring/summer loans early!
  2. Determine if you are full-time or part-time. Full-time vs. part-time status works a little bit differently during spring/summer than it does during the fall and winter Generally, full-time for spring and/or summer terms is classified as nine or more hours per week that you are in class.
    1. If your registration status in your Bear Tracks account in Manage Classes > Academic Information shows as Full-Time (circled in orange) then you can apply for a full-time loan!
    2. If your registration status in your Bear Tracks account in Manage Classes > Academic Information shows as part-time, we recommend that you contact the Student Service Centre. In some cases, you may still be considered full-time, so please just be in touch! BT status
  3. Once you know your registration status, follow the applicable process in the applicable section above or watch the Student Loan 101 video!
  4. The deadline to apply for a student loan for an Alberta borrower is 30 days before the end of study date for your spring and/or summer classes. That deadline can sneak up quickly, so apply early!

Open Studies

Some provinces/territories will not provide loan or grant funding for students who are registered in Open Studies. For information on how other provinces and territories handle Open Studies, contact your province of residency. Please note that Open Studies is not eligible for the full-time grant called the Canada Student Grant for Full-time Students (see the section on grant funding for further information).

Alberta student loan borrowers are eligible to apply for student loan funding while registered in Open Studies. At the University of Alberta, Open Studies students are generally only allowed to register part-time, and as such will need to apply using the part-time loan application (see the section below for more information). Please note that the Fresh Start and Transition Year Programs are considered Open Studies.


Applying for Full-Time Loans

You will need to apply for a student loan for each year you need one. If you are planning to continue full-time studies while no longer needing a student loan, review the interest-free status section on our After You Apply webpage.

  1. Register in Classes: Log in to Bear Tracks to get started. Make sure you are registered full-time in the terms for which you are applying for funding. I.e. If you are applying for a full-time loan for Fall and Winter, you will need to be registered full-time in Fall and Winter.
  2. Submit Your Application: Alberta applicants can apply online through your Alberta Student Aid account. If you are a Canadian applicant outside of Alberta, contact your provincial loan provider
  3. Track Your Portals: Alberta applicants should watch for important documents in your Alberta Student Aid inbox, such as:
  • Notice of Award Letter: This document will detail how much money you are eligible to receive and approximately when you will receive it.
  • Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement and the Alberta Student Aid Agreement: Your funding will not be disbursed until these are completed.

Applying for Part-Time Loans

This information applies to Alberta students only. For information on how other provinces and territories handle part-time loans, please contact your province of residence. 

You must apply for part-time student loans using the PDF application form from Alberta Student Aid.

  1. Fill out pages 1-4 of the application fully; do not complete page 5 at this point.
  2. Upload pages 1-4 to the Student Service Centre (if you’re an undergraduate student, including Open Studies) or email them to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (if you’re a graduate student). They will complete page 3 and return the application to you via email. 
  3. Print page 5 and sign and date. If applicable, have your partner sign and date.
  4. Scan page 5 and attach it to the rest of your completed application.
  5. Log in to your Alberta Student Aid account. Upload the completed application, including pages 3 and 5, using the e-document upload feature.
  6. Keep an eye on your Alberta Student Aid inbox for updates on your part-time loan. Once your loan is processed, you will receive instructions on how to complete your final paperwork, including part-time Master Student Loan Agreement(s). You will not receive your funding until you complete these documents. 

Concurrent Student Loans

Please note that concurrent student loans are applicable to Alberta student loan borrowers only.

If you are enrolled part-time at two different institutions, but together those classes equal full-time enrollment, you may be eligible to apply for a full-time student loan using a special status called concurrent enrollment. Solely being registered at two different institutions does not make you eligible for concurrent enrollment - the classes must add up to the equivalent amount of credits needed to be considered full-time (9 credits per semester). Alberta Student Aid will complete the calculation and determine if you are full-time based on the application and documents detailed below. The University of Alberta is not able to confirm your concurrent enrollment until the following steps have been completed. 

If you are registered in Open Studies at Athabasca University and looking to apply for student loan funding, please contact Athabasca University directly.

If you are unsure if your classes will result in a full-time credit load, please contact Alberta Student Aid directly. If you have contacted Alberta Student Aid and they have confirmed you are eligible for concurrent enrollment, follow the steps below to apply for a full-time student loan:

  1. Apply online through Alberta Student Aid. In the Educational Information section of the loan only put the costs and dates for your ‘home’ institution (this will likely be the University of Alberta).
  2. Submit your student loan application.
  3. Complete Part 1 of the Schedule 3 document. You will need to screenshot or download proof of the information requested (course name / weight, start / end dates, and costs) for both institutions. For your University of Alberta courses you can download this information on Bear Tracks
  4. Upload the Schedule 3 and all of the documents from the University of Alberta and your secondary institution using the Electronic Document Upload feature on the welcome screen of your Alberta Student Aid portal. Once your application and the additional documents have been submitted, it can take up to six weeks to be assessed. During these 6 weeks, Alberta Student Aid will determine if you are considered full-time and assess your eligibility for student loan/grant funding. After your loan is assessed, you will receive a notice in your Alberta Student Aid inbox, along with a form called the “Confirmation of Registration Worksheet''. Please send the Confirmation of Registration Worksheet and a scanned copy or photos of the front and back of your OneCard to student.payment@ualberta.ca. 
  5. Financial Services will send the form back to you once they have filled it out and you will need to upload the completed worksheet to your Alberta Student Aid account. 

Your student loan will be confirmed once this worksheet is uploaded and processed, and your funding will be released 1-2 weeks after the loan has been confirmed.