On this page:
- Get a Verified Account
- 1. Understand what Student Aid is
- 2. Determine whether you’re a full-time or part-time student
- 3. Find out what you’re eligible for
- 4. Gather information for your application
- 5. Create your Student Aid Account
- 6. Complete your application
- 7. Submit additional forms (if required)
- 8. Wait for Student Aid to contact you
- 9. Complete your loan agreement(s)
- 10. Get your money
Get a Verified Account
You must have a verified account to access the Alberta Student Aid system.
Learn more at: Student Aid Verified Accounts
Need help verifying your account?
Contact the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre
1-855-606-2096, Option 2
1. Understand what Student Aid is
Student Aid is a government service that provides student loans, grants, scholarships, and awards to help you pay for your post-secondary education. Student aid may not cover all of your costs, so you’ll need to plan to make up the difference.
You only have to submit one application to be considered for loans and grants from both Alberta’s government and Canada’s government. Most students get money from both, which means you may get two smaller loans instead of one big one. Learn more about scholarships and awards.
- Apply early. The only way to know for sure how much money you’ll get is to apply and wait for your award letter. You should apply at least 60 days before your classes start so that you have time to figure out your finances.
- Apply every year. You can apply for student aid for up to 12 months at a time. If your period of study is longer, you need to submit another application.
Student loans are interest-free while you study. You don’t make any payments while you’re a student. Canada student loans are automatically interest free, and Alberta student loans won’t acquire interest until 12 months after you finish school.
2. Determine whether you’re a full-time or part-time student
Student aid is calculated differently for full-time and part-time students. Also, the process of applying for student aid is different.
Your school determines whether you’re full-time or part-time based on your course load, not Student Aid. At many schools, it’s possible to take fewer than the maximum amount of courses and still be considered a full-time student.
|If you’re not sure whether you are a full- or part-time student, speak with an advisor at your school.|
3. Find out what you’re eligible for
To qualify for student aid, you must:
- maintain academic progress
- meet residency or citizenship requirements
- have financial need
- be enrolled in a program approved by Student Aid
Use the Student Aid Estimator to predict roughly how much money you can get. Full-time student aid is calculated based on program type and financial need. Part-time student aid is calculated differently.
Learn more about:
There are also limits to how much money you can receive, which change depending on your program of study.
4. Gather information for your application
Have this information ready when you sit down to apply:
|Everyone needs to provide||Special circumstances|
Dependent students, provide your parents’ or guardians’ name(s), Line 15000, family size, number of children in family attending post-secondary
Married or common law students, provide your spouse’s or partner’s name, birthdate, Social Insurance Number, Line 15000, expected reduced yearly income
Students with dependent children, provide your child’s name, birthdate, monthly childcare costs (if they’re under 12)
Students enrolled at multiple schools or doing an exchange/field study, provide name of your primary school, name of your additional school, airfare costs (if applicable)
Students with disabilities, provide proof of your disability, copies of a medical letter, a learning disability assessment or documentation proving you are receiving disability assistance such as AISH, an estimate of equipment costs and an assessment fee
If you’re a full-time student, use the Student Aid Worksheet Full-Time to prepare the information you need to complete your application. This will make the application process easier.
You can also browse the Funding Guide for an overview of how student aid works and additional information about completing your application.
Helpful Tip! Never share personal information with someone you don’t know, and never allow someone else to apply for loans on your behalf.
Learn more at privacy and security.
5. Create your Student Aid Account
|Notice: You must have a verified Alberta.ca Account to login to the Alberta Student Aid system. Getting a verified account can take up to 10 days. Learn more at: Student Aid Verified Accounts.|
Full-time students need to create a Student Aid account to apply online. Use your account to access your inbox, where you’ll receive important messages from Student Aid.
For part-time students, this account is optional. You will also receive important messages by mail.
- an Alberta driver's licence, or
- an identification card.
Note: Alberta residents who legally live in Canada, but do not have a valid driver's licence, can get this ID card from Alberta Registry services.
If you have an existing Alberta Student Aid account, you can transfer to a verified account. Go to Alberta.ca Account, and follow the steps to get a verified account.
|Ensure the address on your driver’s licence or identity card is up to date before verifying your Alberta.ca Account. Making changes to these documents, and then having to restart the process of verifying your account could take 90 days or more. Learn more about updating your documents.|
6. Complete your application
The process of applying for student aid is different for full-time and part-time students:
- Full-time students submit their application online through their Student Aid account.
- Part-time students must complete the part-time application form and follow the instructions on the form to submit.
If you need help, contact Student Aid.
Securely apply online
Always protect your personal information and never reveal information such as your user ID/password associated with your Alberta Student Aid account to anyone.
For more information, see privacy and security.
7. Submit additional forms (if required)
There are some instances where you may be required to submit additional forms:
Students with disabilities
Students must provide medical documents to identify their disability as either:
- Permanent Disability
Any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication, or sensory impairment, or a functional limitation that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to pursue studies at a post-secondary level or to participate in the labour force and that is expected to remain with the person for their lifetime.
- Persistent or Prolonged Disability
Any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication, or sensory impairment, or a functional limitation that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to pursue studies at a post-secondary level or to participate in the labour force and has lasted, or is expected to last, for a period of at least 12 months but is not expected to remain with the person for their lifetime.
The first time you apply, you must submit a Schedule 4 form that explains your disability and what supports you need.
You must also submit medical documents, which may include:
- a Disability Verification form
- copies of a medical letter
- a learning assessment
- a document proving you get federal and/or provincial disability assistance, for example, Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)
Upload these documents through your Student Aid account, or mail them to Student Aid. You won’t need to submit this information the next time you apply, unless you’re requesting a grant for disability-related equipment or assistive services, or are studying at a reduced course load.
For more information, see the Schedule 4 form or speak to a disability advisor at your school.
If you request funding for assistive services and technology or equipment, you must provide an estimate of your costs. New estimates are required each additional time you request funding.
Married or common-law students
If this is your first time applying for student aid, your spouse or partner must sign a Consent and Declaration form.
This form will be sent to your Student Aid account inbox after you’ve submitted your application. You can submit it electronically through your Student Aid account, but it must have an original signature.
Multiple schools at once
If you’re enrolled part-time at multiple schools at once and your total course load adds up to full-time, this is known as concurrent enrolment. You can apply for student aid as a full-time student.
In this case, you choose one of your schools to be your 'primary educational institution', and you complete your Student Aid application with their information. Once you’ve submitted your application online, upload a Schedule 3 form for Concurrent Enrolment/Exchange Field Study Programs, Part 1.
Include documents from each school indicating course name(s), numbers, course weight(s), study start and end dates, and costs.
You will be considered concurrently enrolled if the course weights from each institution add up to a full-time course load.
Exchange or field study
If you’re participating in an exchange or field study program you must submit the following:
- Part 2 (Exchange/Field Study) of the Schedule 3 Concurrent Enrolment/Field Study form, and
- a letter of confirmation from the home institution or an acceptance letter from the host institution (the letter should confirm start and end dates and list costs for tuition, mandatory fees and books)
Studying outside of Canada
If you’re studying outside of Canada you may want to submit a Power of Attorney form for Alberta. When you assign a Power of Attorney, you authorize someone else to act on your behalf regarding matters related to student aid.
The forms typically used by lawyers are also acceptable.
If you’re enrolled in a Commercial Aviation Training program or a Fixed Wing Training program you may be eligible for full-time student aid. You must submit a Commercial Aviation Training form.
The above referenced forms, are available in the Applications and Forms section.
8. Wait for Student Aid to contact you
If there are no issues with your application, it will take Student Aid a few days to process it. Most applicants hear back quickly. However, in some cases it can take up to 45 days.
Notice: Due to higher than average volumes, processing times may exceed 45 days.
You’ll receive one of the following in your Student Aid account inbox:
- An award letter indicating how much loan and/or grant money you’ll receive, or
- A request for information missing from your original application, or
- A rejection letter
If you believe you should receive more money, or are not sure why you were rejected, you can request a review of your account.
9. Complete your loan agreement(s)
Before we can send you the money:
- You must complete your loan agreement(s)
- Your school must confirm that you’re registered in the program you stated on your application
Your agreements should be completed at least two weeks prior to the study period end date to allow for processing time. We’ll explain all of this in your award letter.
Learn more about what happens after you’re approved for a student loan.
10. Get your money
The earliest you can get your money is one week before your classes start. Student Aid will pay tuition and mandatory fees directly to your school and deposit any remaining money into the bank account you provided.
The remaining money may not be transferred to you all at once. Instead, it may be spread out over the course of your school year. Check your disbursement schedule in your award letter or by logging into your Student Aid account.
|If you’re getting the Alberta Part-Time Grant, we’ll mail it to you as a cheque.|
Students with disabilities
Grant for assistive services and equipment
If you receive a grant for disability related assistive services and equipment, Student Aid will mail you information about the amount of your grant and its purpose.
You must submit receipts for the assistive services and equipment you buy before the end of your current study period. Use the Reconciliation Worksheet to record your purchases.
You must return any unused funds to Student Aid.
Reimbursement for a learning assessment
The Canada Student Grants program covers 100% of the cost of a Learning Assessment (a maximum of $3,500 per loan year) if the assessment confirms you have a learning disability. Students who complete a psychoeducational assessment to confirm a learning disability, but whose assessment confirms a different permanent disability, or persistent or prolonged disability are also eligible for reimbursement.
You pay for the assessment up front and Student Aid reimburses you later. The assessment must take place no earlier than 6 months before you start your studies.
You’ll need to submit your receipt to Student Aid.
Studying outside of Canada
If you’re studying outside of Canada, Student Aid cannot deposit your money into a foreign bank account. You must provide us with a Canadian bank account that you hold, or jointly hold.
You will not have access to your money until the day your program starts. Student Aid will not release your funds for tuition and books until your school confirms your registration and you start classes.