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 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 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 in the top right-hand corner under your year of study. 

BT Full Time

There are some exceptions to this, especially for graduate students, engineering students, and students who are registered with Accessibility Resources 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. 

Open Studies

Some provinces will not provide loan or grant funding for students who are registered in Open Studies. Additionally, there are no Canada income grants available for Open Studies students. For information on how other provinces and territories handle Open Studies, contact your province of residency.

Typically, Alberta Student Aid will allow Alberta student loan borrowers to receive funding for a maximum of 12 months. For the 2021-2022 academic year, Alberta students will be eligible to receive more than 12 months of Open Studies funding to accommodate those affected by COVID-19. For more information, please contact the Student Service Centre

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.
  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 Agreements (MSFAAs): 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 paper 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 Agreements. 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). If you are unsure if your classes will result in a full-time credit load, please contact Alberta Student Aid directly.

If you 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 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. 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 Concurrent of Registration Worksheet and a scanned copy or photos of the front and back of your OneCard to Financial Services to be completed. 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. Please note, your funding will only be disbursed if your MSFAAs have been completed (see info about MSFAA’s in the After You Apply section). If you have applied for concurrent enrollment and are an Open Studies student, please review the Open Studies limits above.