Part-time course load

Student Aid considers you a part-time student if you:

  • are enrolled in less than 60% of what your school considers a full-time course load, or
  • have a disability and are enrolled in less than 40% of a full-time course load

For example, in a standard undergraduate program, one to two courses per semester is usually considered part-time. Three to five courses is usually considered full-time.

If you’re enrolled part-time at multiple schools so that your total course load adds up to full-time, you can apply for student aid as a full-time student.

Student Aid doesn’t determine course loads. Contact an advisor at your school to determine whether you’re considered a part-time student for the purposes of applying for student aid.

Program length

There is no program length limit for part-time student aid, but to continue to receive part-time Student Aid, you must pass the course(s). If there is confusion, you may be asked to provide transcripts or letters of progress from your school.

There are situations where you may be able to get student aid to repeat a part-time course, but you have to submit a request for review and provide an explanation. 

Citizenship and residency

To receive student aid for part-time studies, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or
  • have protected person status

If you are not living in and attending a school in Alberta, you may still be eligible for some funding.   

Residency is determined differently for independent and dependent students:



You are independent if you:

  • are married or common law
  • are divorced, separated, or widowed
  • have at least one dependent child
  • are 23 years old or older
  • have been out of high school for at least 4 years
  • have been available for full-time work for at least 2 years since leaving high school

All other students are considered dependent on their parents or guardians.

You are an Alberta resident if:

  • Alberta is the province in which you have most recently 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 school in Alberta

You are an Alberta resident if:

  • at least one of your parents lives in Alberta



Financial need

You must have financial need to get student aid.

Your financial need depends on these factors:

Your income

Your costs

Your family size

  • Line 15000 of your Income Tax Return from the previous year OR
  • How much you expect to make in the upcoming year (if it is lower than the previous year)

  • If you’re married or common law, your spouse/partner’s income is also considered.
  • Tuition and fees
  • Books, supplies and instruments
  • Transportation/travel
  • Childcare
  • Approved disability-related costs


  • You
  • Your spouse
  • Any dependent children


When you submit a part-time application, Student Aid uses this information to determine how much money you can get. Student Aid calculates part-time funding differently than full-time funding.

For details on income thresholds and how your financial need is calculated, see the part-time application form in applications and forms

School and program eligibility

Your school and program must be eligible for student aid.

To see if your school and program are eligible, use the school and program eligibility search tool