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University of Calgary Calendar 2015-2016 Awards and Financial Assistance Government Student Loans
Government Student Loans

Student loans are available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are studying full- or part-time at a post-secondary institution.

Students submit one loan application and are considered for both federal and provincial loans and a variety of grants. Applications become available online in mid-June for any program starting on or after August 1st of the same year. Students apply for loans through their home province/territory of residence (not the province where you will be attending University). Loan applications take 4-6 weeks to process.

LOANS: are determined and awarded based on financial need. Loans remain interest free while studying full-time but must be repaid upon graduation or any break in study longer than 6 months.

GRANTS: are determined and awarded based on financial need and other criteria. Grant eligibility is automatically assessed with a student loan application. Grants do not have to be repaid.

Alberta Students:

Alberta residents who require financial assistance to pursue post-secondary education may obtain student loans by applying online through Student Aid Alberta ( Students submit one loan application and may be eligible to receive any combination of Federal loans, provincial loans and grants.

Out-of-Province Students:

Students who reside in a province other than Alberta are eligible for government student loan funding and can apply through their home province or territory of residence. Students can visit the Federal CanLearn website for a directory of provincial advanced education ministries (

Student Budgeting:

For the purposes of determining financial aid eligibility, the government uses a set standard of living costs for rent, utilities, food and clothing for each month of full-time study in the loan study period. In addition, educational expenses (tuition, fees, books and supplies) are calculated for the loan study period. Resources such as savings, part-time earnings, scholarships or bursaries, parental assistance, investment income, etc. may be used in calculating loan eligibility. Many provinces have an expected student contribution (resource) amount, regardless of actual contribution. All students are expected to have a financial plan (budget) in place for covering all necessary living and educational expenses before commencing studies. It is the students’ responsibility to plan to meet all expenses not fully covered by approved student loan funding. Visit Enrolment Services (MB 117) to access a variety of budgeting tip sheets and handbooks, or visit:

Any student who experiences an unexpected emergency expense or extenuating circumstance beyond their control that precludes them from meeting their pre-established financial plan while in studies should visit Enrolment Services (MB 117) to explore temporary emergency funding options, such as an Emergency Loan.

Part-Time Students:

The federal government offers loan and grant funding options for part-time students. Loans are interest bearing and can be approved to cover tuition, general fees, books and supplies (educational costs) only. Federal 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. Visit the Federal CanLearn website for more information (

Additionally, Alberta loan borrowers can access a provincial grant of up to $600.00 per academic term. These grants are awarded to Alberta residents on the basis of financial need, and are intended to help cover the costs of tuition, books, child care and travel if required. Students must apply using a paper loan application and must have the University of Calgary complete one section of the application before it can be submitted to Student Aid Alberta for consideration. Visit the Student Aid Alberta website for more information and to obtain a paper application (

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

Loan Disbursements:

Once approved, all students are notified of loan disbursement amounts and dates from their 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 fee deadlines.

It is University policy to remit funds from the loan to pay tuition, fees and any outstanding (past due) balance at the time of confirmation. Students receiving multiple loan disbursements for the loan study period may have current term fees remitted from the loan to cover these educational costs. Students receiving only one loan disbursement for the loan study period may have both term fees remitted from the loan. All loan borrowers are responsible for monitoring the Student Centre when expecting a loan disbursement to ensure that all tuition and fee balances are paid in full by the fee deadline. If there are excess funds applied to a student account, a refund request form is available at If there are excess funds on a student's account and the terms of the loan agreement have been breached, the credit will be refunded to the loan provider.

Students with a confirmed loan agreement prior to the published fee deadline receive an automatic 30-day fee deferral. Any outstanding balance remaining after 30 days is subject to late interest and terms in accordance with the University of Calgary fee policy (see the Tuition & General Fees section of the calendar).

Interest-free Status:

Previously borrowed full-time student loans remain interest and payment free while studying full-time, even if student does not borrow subsequent loans. 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. 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 who are studying full-time: AB, SK, BC, NFL, NB, NS, PEI (federal loans only), MB (federal loans only) 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
  2. Select the “Confirmation your Enrolment” 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 and Alberta borrowers who are studying part-time, for each academic year, interest-free status forms must be filled out at Enrolment Services (MB 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)).


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: or

U.S. Student Loans:

The University of Calgary is a Title IV Aid eligible foreign institution with the United States Department of Education and a participant in the U.S. Direct Loans program.

For more information please visit our website at or contact the U.S. Financial Aid Office at

Sallie Mae:

The University of Calgary administers Smart Option loans through Sallie Mae. For eligibility and application criteria, please contact Sallie Mae directly.

For more information please visit our website at

U.S. Veterans Affairs Funding (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 or contact the US Financial Aid Office at

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 up to $12,000.00 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:

The application deadline is April 30.


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