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University of Calgary Calendar 2013-2014 Awards and Financial Assistance Government Student Loans
Government Student Loans

General Information

Definitions and Requirements:

Student Loan: A government student loan is issued with the understanding that the funds borrowed will be repaid upon completion of full-time studies. Both the Federal and Provincial governments provide student loan plans.

Alberta students:

Alberta residents who require financial assistance to pursue post-secondary education may obtain student loans through Student Aid Alberta. This department administers both Province of Alberta and Canada Student Loan Programs. Although students complete one application to be considered for both loan programs, they must be handled as two separate loans upon receipt of the funds. To be eligible for government student loans, students must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and must be registered and maintain full-time status in their program of post-secondary study. Note: As policies and guidelines are revised frequently, students are encouraged to visit the following website for the most up-to-date information regarding government student loans, grants and bursaries offered through the Province of Alberta: www.studentaid.alberta.ca.

Out-of-province students:

Assistance is also available to students who are considered to be residents of other provinces. Non-Alberta students should contact their provincial funding office directly to obtain detailed information regarding student loans, grants and bursaries offered through their province. Links to the out-of-province government student loan websites are available from the Financing Your Education website: http://www.ucalgary.ca/studentfinance/studentloans/apply/howto/outofprov.


Government student loans are assessed based on financial need. A student’s financial resources are compared to their expenses (educational costs of full-time study and living expenses) and financial need is assessed using this formula: Allowable expenses – Resources = Loan and Grant Eligibility.

Between the Canada and Alberta Student Loan programs, the annual student loan limit for an academic year (Fall/Winter) is $13,300. For graduate students who apply for loans for a 52 week period (Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer) the annual student loan limit is $19,950.00. Provincial loans cannot be issued which would increase the total Canada and Alberta student loan indebtedness beyond the following lifetime loan limits set for the following programs of study:

  • Undergraduate: $60,000
  • Graduate Studies (Masters): $75,000
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): $95,000
  • Graduate Studies (Doctoral): $95,000
  • Medicine (MD Program): $150,000
  • Law: $95,000
  • Veterinary Medicine: $95,000

All new and subsequent loan applicants are encouraged to apply online through their provincial funding office. For information and links please visit the Financing Your Education website (http://www.ucalgary.ca/studentfinance/studentloans). Alberta paper loan applications can be obtained from Enrolment Services should they be deemed necessary by the provincial funding office. Please note that all part-time loans must be submitted via paper application.

Part-Time Students:

Alberta grant assistance is available to part-time students enrolled in approved courses and is up to $600 per four-month academic term. These grants are awarded to Alberta residents on the basis of financial need, as determined by Student Aid Alberta, and are intended to help cover the costs of tuition, books, child care, and travel if required.

The federal government offers two funding programs for part-time students. Loans for part-time students and Canada Study Grants for High Need Part-time Students are awarded on the basis of financial need and provide for tuition, fees, books, transportation, child care and incidentals. Loans are interest bearing, with repayment beginning 30 days after funds are received. A borrower may have an outstanding principal of no more than $4,000 at any one time. Canada Study Grants of up to $1,200 per loan year are available to high need students who cannot study full-time. Both programs are administered by the provincial government on behalf of the federal government. For more information visit http://studentaid.alberta.ca/before-you-apply/types-of-funding/.

For all other provinces, part-time student loans may be available. Please contact your lender for further information.


Non-repayable grants are made available to full-time students who, because of special circumstances (eg. single parents or students with disabilities), cannot be considered to have normal prospects of completing their education without financial assistance in addition to that provided under other programs (eg. government student loans). Maintenance Grants and Canada Study Grants may be available to students with dependants, female doctoral students, students with permanent disabilities and students from low income families. For more information contact Student Aid Alberta at 1.855.606.2096 or visit: http://alis.alberta.ca/ec/fo/studentsfinance/grant-type.html.

Loan Disbursements:

All students are notified of loan disbursement amounts and dates from your lender in writing. Student loan borrowers are encouraged to review this information carefully to ensure that any approved loan amounts or disbursement dates conform to the University of Calgary’s published deadlines.

Payment of your institution's tuition and fees, as well as repayment of any Student Emergency Loans are the first charges to be taken from student loan funds once they have been approved and received from your lender. If there are excess funds applied to a student account, a refund request form is available at http://www.ucalgary.ca/registrar/refunds. If there is a credit balance on a student's account and the terms of the loan agreement have been breached, the credit will be refunded to the loan provider.

Interest-free status:

Full-time student loans are interest-free during periods of full-time study. To ensure that interest-free status continues during full-time study, students must provide adequate proof of enrolment to their lenders. Students who will be borrowing full-time student loans do not need to submit interest-free documents to their lenders unless they have past loans from a separate province then that of which they are currently funded through. Part-time students who are repaying previous Alberta student loans may reinstate their Alberta loans to interest-free status. Interest-free status can only be requested for a current study period and cannot be completed retroactively.

Borrowers from the following provinces: AB, SK, BC, NFL, NB, NS, PEI, and YK may request the school to update their interest-free status electronically. To request confirmation of enrolment to update interest-free status electronically:

  1. Create an Online Services account with NSLSC/Log on to your NSLSC online account at https://nslsc.canlearn.ca/eng/default.aspx.
  2. Select the “Confirmation of Enrolment Request” link on the left hand bar.
  3. Follow the prompts/fill out all applicable information.
  4. Submit your request.

Requests will come through to the Financial Aid Office and full-time status will be verified.

For all other provinces, for each academic year, interest-free status forms must be filled out at Enrolment Services (MacKimmie Library Block, room 117). Interest-free status can only be confirmed 30 days prior to the start of a study period (with the exception of BC (interest-free status can be confirmed 26 days prior to the start of a study period) and Ontario (interest-free status can be confirmed on the first day of the study period)).

Student Budgeting:

To determine financial need, students should estimate their living costs (rent, food, local transportation, clothing, entertainment, utilities, miscellaneous expenses, etc.); add tuition, fees, books and supplies for the period they plan to attend (one or two terms) and deduct from total expenses all cash resources such as: savings, scholarships or bursaries, money received or to be received from parents, and any other income to be received during the period of attendance. The net result should be the amount of financial assistance needed. For budgeting information visit: http://alis.alberta.ca/pdf/cshop/StretchYourDollars.pdf.

The following is a guide to establishing a budget within the limits set by Student Aid Alberta.

Note: These figures are based on the 2013-2014 Student Aid Alberta budget figures and should be used only as a general guideline.

Single Students

Living away from home:

- $941 per month living allowance
- Tuition and fees (calculated by program)
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Living at parent's home:

- $432 per month living allowance
- Tuition and fees (calculated by program)
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Married Students

Married without children:

- $2,004 per month living allowance
- Spouse's student loan payments
- Tuition and fees (calculated by program)
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Married with children:

- $2,004 per month living allowance
- $449 per month per child
- Actual child care costs
- Spouse's student loan payments
- Tuition and fees (calculated by program)
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Single Parent Family including first child:

- $1,710 per month living allowance
- $449 per month per additional child
- Actual child care costs
- Tuition and fees (calculated by program)
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties


There are many consequences if a borrower fails to make payments on their provincial and/or federal loans:

  • Their credit rating is affected
  • Their loans could be sent to a collection agency
  • Any GST or income tax refunds may be automatically used to repay defaulted loans
  • Legal action may be taken

If a borrower is having difficulties repaying their student loans they should contact their lender(s) immediately. Borrowers may qualify for a repayment assistance plan to help them avoid defaulting on their loan repayment agreement.

Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP):

The Repayment Assistance Plan is provided to assist students in keeping their student loan debt at a manageable level. The Repayment Assistance Plan is offered for both Canada and Alberta student loans. The plan provides students with short-term assistance if they have temporary financial challenges and long-term support if they have persistent financial challenges. Students can apply for RAP at any time during their repayment term. If students are approved for RAP on their Canada student loans, they are automatically approved for RAP on their Alberta student loans. For more information contact the National Student Loan Service Center at 1-888-815-4514 or visit: http://studentaid.alberta.ca/repaying-your-loan/repayment-options/ or http://www.canlearn.ca/eng/after/repaymentassistance/rpp.shtml.

Other Sources of Government Financial Aid:

Northern Alberta Development Council Bursaries

The Northern Alberta Development Council Bursary program is intended to offer special bursary assistance to students who demonstrate intention to apply their education after graduation in the northern area of the Province and have been residents of Alberta for the past three years. Successful candidates are awarded a bursary of $6,000 per academic year for up to two years. Any student who receives a bursary will sign an agreement acknowledging that he/she will work in the northern area of the province for one year per year of funding: http://alis.alberta.ca/et/fo/scholarships/info.html?EK=866.

The application deadline is April 30.

US Student Loans

The University of Calgary is a fully licensed institution with the US Department of Education and a participant in the US Direct Loans program.

For more information please visit our website at www.ucalgary.ca/studentfinance or contact the US Financial Aid Office at usloans@ucalgary.ca.

GI Bill

The University of Calgary supports students with GI Bill funding through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

All programs must be approved through the Department of Veterans Affairs before a student is eligible for funding. As this process can take up to six months, VA funded students who have applied to the University of Calgary are encouraged to contact the US Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.

For more information please visit our website at www.ucalgary.ca/studentfinance or contact the US Financial Aid Office at usloans@ucalgary.ca.