Loan Limits

Student Financial Assistance Act, s. 1(1)(g), 17 Reg.: Schedule 2, s. 1(1)(j), 1(1)(k), 1(1)(p) and 18(3)

Annual Loan Limits

Loan limits are the maximum amount of combined Canada and/or Alberta student loans a student is eligible to receive in an academic year. Grants may be given above these maximums to eligible students.

  • (1) The standard maximum amount a student may receive in combined Alberta and Canada student loans is $7,500 per semester.

 

1 semester

2 semesters

3 semesters

Standard Annual Loan Limit*

$7,500

$15,000

$22,500


    *The Annual Loan Limit for students in accelerated programs is $11,250 per semester.

The maximum amount a student taking commercial flight training may receive is $15,000 for each approved fixed wing flight training component. Alberta Student Aid funds a maximum of four flight training components. A student taking commercial helicopter training is treated the same as a student taking four flight training components. 

  • (2)Students in the following programs have a higher Annual Loan Limit. 

Annual Loan limits not accessed in previous study periods cannot be carried forward and accessed in subsequent study periods.

 

2 semesters

3 semesters

(a)    Dental Hygiene

Pharmacy

Master of Business Administration

Law

Other Graduate and Doctoral Programs

$22,500

$30,000

 

Provided the three semester limit for their program has not been reached in a loan year, students in any of the programs listed in section (2)(a) who apply for one semester study at a time may receive up to $11,250 in loans per semester.  

Example:

A student in any of the programs in section (2)(a) receives $11,250 on their September 2019 to December 2019 application, and receives $11,250 on their January 2020 to April 2020 application. When the student applies for funding for May 2020 to August 2020 (third semester), the student may be able to access $7,500 in loans.

 

2 semesters

3 semesters

(b)    Medicine

Dentistry

Veterinary Medicine

Chiropractic Medicine

Optometry

$22,500

$37,500

 

Provided the three semester limit for their program has not been reached in a loan year, students in any of the programs listed in section (2)(b) who apply for one semester study at a time may receive up to $11,250 in loans per semester. For the third semester, students may be able to access up to $15,000 in loans.

 

Example:

A student in any of the programs in section (2)(b) receives $11,250 on their September 2019 to December 2019 application, and receives $11,250 on their January 2020 to April 2020 application. When the student applies for funding for May 2020 to August 2020 (third semester), the student may be able to access $15,000 in loans.

  • (3) A higher Annual Loan Limit may be established upon request to cover the amount of significant unexpected increases in living or educational costs that arise during a study period and are beyond the control of the student. The higher limit under this section may be established for a student in any program, and may not exceed $7,500 in a loan year. 

This funding is allowed in cases of a natural disaster, personal safety concerns, or other unexpected situations that occur during the study period and result in a significant increase in the student’s costs during their study period. Students may be required to provide documentation to support their request.

  • (4) A higher Annual Loan Limit may be established upon request by up to $7,500 for a student in:
  1. a bachelor’s degree program or any program listed in section (2) who requires additional loans to complete the final program year; or
  2. a program listed in section (2) who has sufficient room to borrow under the Lifetime Loan Limit.

      Students may be eligible to receive additional loans under both section (3) and section (4). 

Students allowed additional funding under section (3) and/or section (4) should be aware that receiving a higher Annual Loan Limit means they will reach their Lifetime Loan Limit sooner.

Lifetime Loan Limits

Canada Lifetime Loan Limits

Canada Lifetime Loan Limits are based on the total number of weeks of studies. The standard Canada Lifetime Loan Limit is 340 weeks. This includes all weeks of study for which a student was in receipt of Canada student loans and grants and/or had interest-free status for their Canada student loans.

Exceptions:

  • the Canada Lifetime Loan Limit for students enrolled in a doctoral program of studies may be extended an additional 60 weeks to a maximum lifetime limit of 400 weeks
  • the Canada Lifetime Loan Limit for students with permanent disabilities is 520 weeks.

Alberta Lifetime Loan Limits

  • (5) The Lifetime Loan Limit refers to a student’s outstanding balance owing on their Canada and Alberta student loans (may be accumulated during more than one program of study). When the combined balance owing reaches the Lifetime Loan Limit for the student’s program*, the student is not eligible for further Alberta student loans, unless the student reduces the balance owing to below the student’s Lifetime Loan Limit.

 

Student’s Program

Lifetime Loan Limit (combined outstanding balances of Canada and Alberta loans)

Undergraduate Programs including Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree, and Journeyman Certificate

         $75,000**

Dental Hygiene

   $85,000

Pharmacy, Graduate

$100,000

Master of Business Administration, Law, Doctoral

$125,000

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Chiropractic Medicine, Optometry

$175,000

*Student’s program is defined as current program or completed program with the highest Lifetime Loan Limit.

**Of the $75,000 limit for undergraduate programs, up to $60,000 may be for either commercial flight training (maximum of $15,000 for each of four approved fixed wing training components) or for commercial helicopter training. 

Students who have reached their Alberta Lifetime Loan Limit may still receive Canada student loan and/or grant funding until federal limits are reached.

  •  (6) A higher Lifetime Loan Limit may be established upon request if a student is in a bachelor’s degree program or any program listed in section (2) and the student requires additional loans to complete the final program year. A higher Lifetime Loan Limit may only be established for a student once per program of study. 

The higher Lifetime Loan Limit established under section (6) does not impact the determination of the Lifetime Loan Limit set out in (5) for any subsequent programs of study taken by the student. 

The higher Lifetime Loan Limit that may be established is subject to Annual Loan Limits specified under sections (1), (2), (3), and (4).

The total amount of Canada student loans and Alberta student loans issued to a student is referred to as their loan aggregate balance. In some cases, the loan aggregate balance showing on a student’s electronic file requires an adjustment.

An adjustment to a student’s aggregate balance may be possible if:

  • payments have been made on Canada student loans or Alberta student loans
  • a loan disbursement(s) that was not cashed is cancelled, or
  • the loan balance shown in Alberta Student Aid records is different from the amount actually owing for another reason.

Upon request, Alberta Student Aid will confirm a student’s actual total combined Canada student loan and Alberta student loan balance owing and adjust the aggregate balance accordingly.

Conversion of Grant Overpayments to Loans

Reg.: Schedule 2, s. 14.2(3)(b)

  • (7) For the purposes of determining if a student has reached the Annual or Lifetime Loan Limit, a grant overpayment that has been converted to a direct loan is not considered part of what the student has borrowed.
  • (8) Student Aid may convert a grant overpayment to a direct loan regardless of whether Annual or Lifetime Loan Limits have already been reached.