Determine Eligibility

Full-time or Part-time Students

Eligibility for a student loan is different for full-time and part-time students.

Student Aid Alberta considers you a full-time student if you are:

  • Registered in at least 60% of what your institution considers a full course load. Only post-secondary courses can be used to determine your eligibility.
  • A student with a permanent disability approved to study at a reduced course load. 

Check with a student advisor or a disability advisor at your post-secondary institution about how many courses you need to take to be considered either a full-time or part-time student.

Learn more about student aid eligibility and funding for part-time studies.

Determine Your Eligibility

Before you apply for a loan, you need to make sure you’re eligible. 

Basic Eligibility Criteria

To receive student aid, you must meet all of these basic eligibility criteria:

  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or have protected person status under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • be a resident of Alberta
  • be enrolled as a full-time student taking a minimum 60% of a full course load (40% of a full course load if you are a  student with a permanent disability)
  • be enrolled in an eligible program at an approved post-secondary institution
  • have financial need
  • maintain passing grades in at least 60% of a full course load

Students with a study permit are not eligible for financial assistance from Student Aid Alberta.

Other factors may also affect your eligibility, including your credit rating or if you have student loans that are not in good standing.

Alberta Residency Requirement

To receive student aid, you must be a resident of Alberta according to the criteria below. Residency will rules differ according to whether you are considered a dependent or independent student.

For Dependent Students

  • You are considered a resident if at least one parent lives in Alberta

For Independent Students:

  • You are considered a resident if Alberta is the last province in which you have lived for 12 consecutive months while not a full-time post-secondary student, or
  • You have never lived in any other Canadian province for 12 consecutive months and are attending a post-secondary institution in Alberta.

You must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • are 22 years or older, or
  • have been out of high school for four years or more, or
  • have been available for full time work for two or more years since leaving high school, or
  • are married or common law, or
  • are divorced, separated or widowed, or
  • have at least one dependent child of your own

Financial Need

Student Aid Alberta and the Canada Student Loans Program calculate your eligibility using a Financial Need formula that compares your costs with your resources. The formula is:

Your assessed Financial Need is then compared with the student aid Loan Limits allowed for your study period. The lesser of these two amounts is what you are eligible to receive.