Student loans

Government student assistance programs (student loans) are available to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, protected persons and American citizens.


Intro to loans; role of the school vs. lender

The Financial Aid team supports the administration and confirmation process for all government loans and grants across Canada and the US. We facilitate the process by communicating your enrolment status to your lender. The application process, assessment, and disbursement of funds is supported by the lender.

Please note: The University of Calgary doesn't request funds on behalf of students. Students receive the full amount of their disbursement(s) to their personal bank account and are responsible for ensuring their fees are paid by the posted fee payment deadlines.

Loans vs. grants

You will submit one application through your province to be assessed for federal and provincial loans and grants.

Loans

are funds that have to be returned to the lender once you are no longer in school.

Grants

are funds that do not have to be returned to the lender.

Student loan frequently asked questions

The Government Student Loans program is available to Canadian Permanent Residents, Citizens and Protected persons (as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act).

You will apply for funding through your province of residence. When you apply through your province, you are automatically assessed for provincial as well as federal loans and grants.
The general "rule of thumb" is the last province a student lived in for at least 12 months without attending a post-secondary institution is your province of residence.
E.g. A student who has moved from Ontario in August 2019 to attend UCalgary starting in September 2019 is to apply for student loans from Ontario.

If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact your province of residence to confirm with them.

If you are applying through Quebec or Ontario, you are not eligible for funding.

All other provinces usually fund Open Studies.

However, if you are applying through Alberta, you are only eligible to be assessed for 12 consecutive months of funding irrespective of your course registration status.

You'll notice courses are weighted differently for Fall/Winter terms vs. Spring/Summer terms. Please note that this may differ from the course load requirement for other offices on campus including UPass. 

  1. One course (per three units)

    Course load percentage: 20%

    Enrolment status: Part-time

  2. Two courses (per three units)

    Course load percentage: 40%

    Enrolment status: Part-time

  3. Three courses (per three units)

    Course load percentage: 60%

    Enrolment status: Full-time

  4. Four courses (per three units)

    Course load percentage: 80%

    Enrolment status: Full-time

  5. Five+ courses (per three units)

    Course load percentage: 100%

    Enrolment status: Full-time

  1. One course (per three units)

    Course load percentage: 40%

    Enrolment status: Part-time

  2. Two courses (per three units)

    Course load percentage: 60%

    Enrolment status: Full-time

  3. Three courses (per three units)

    Course load percentage: 80%

    Enrolment status: Full-time

  4. Four+ courses (per three units)

    Course load percentage: 100%

    Enrolment status: Full-time

As a part-time student, you would be eligible to receive loan funding to only cover your tuition and mandatory fees, and books/equipment. As a full-time student, in addition to your education costs, you will be assessed for average living costs based on your province which includes rent, food, clothing, transportation.

For students studying with dependents, you will also be assessed for child care costs irrespective of your course load.

If a change in your registration impacts your enrolment status (e.g. full-time to part-time), you may no longer be eligible for funding and any undisbursed funding will be canceled. The institution is obligated to update your lender with changes in your registration and this is done through an automated process that runs once a week after the course add/drop deadline up until after the withdraw deadline for courses.

We strongly advise you to contact an Enrolment Services Advisor and your lender if you are considering dropping courses.

Undergraduate students

Use the standardized first and last day of the month for your application.

  1. Fall term only

    Start date: September 1
    End date: December 31

  2. Winter term only

    Start date: January 1
    End date: April 30

  3. Fall and winter terms

    Start date: September 1
    End date: April 30

  4. Spring term only

    Start date: May 1
    End date: June 30

  5. Summer term only

    Start date: July 1
    End date: August 31

  6. Spring and summer terms

    Start date: May 1
    End date: August 31

When applying for student loans or interest free status, you can apply for a maximum of 52 weeks of funding based on your admit term. Alternatively, you can apply using dates that are less than 52 weeks but ensure you use standardized session start and end dates.

E.g. If you were admitted in winter 2019, you can apply from Jan. 1, 2019 till Dec. 31, 2019, you can also apply using Sept. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2019 but you cannot apply using Sept. 1, 2019 – Aug. 31, 2020.

As a medicine student, each program year has unique dates that you will use to apply for funding. Please refer to the table below to find your loan application dates based on your year of study.

  1. Year of study (one)

    Start date: August 1
    End date: March 31

  2. Year of study (two)

    Start date: April 1
    End date: February 28

  3. Year of study (three)

    Application one
    Start date: April 1
    End date: February 28

    Application two
    Start date: September 1
    End date: April 30

When you complete the application, you'll be asked to provide personal information including:

  • your name
  • date of birth
  • marital status
  • citizenship status 
  • Alberta Student Number (ASN)
  • address and contact information
  • school name
  • program
  • year of study
  • study period date

You'll be asked to provide personal financial information including

  • RESPs
  • scholarships/bursaries
  • non-registered investments
  • Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada/Band Funds

If you're married/common-law you'll be asked to provide financial information for your spouse. If you're considered a dependent student, you'll be asked to provide your parent/guardian's financial information.

This can vary by province, but the general rule is application can take up to four to six weeks to process, so it's important to apply early.

Please refer to the Government Student Aid tab under "My Financials" section of your Student Centre (my.ucalgary.ca) for more information about the status your application. You can find more help on using your student portal by accessing the how-to-guides.

If you applied for funding through a Canadian lender, you'll receive all funds in your personal bank account and are responsible for making subsequent payments towards your fees and residence etc. by the posted deadlines.

If you have applied for U.S. student loans, the university will request for funds on your behalf.

Student loans flow chart

View flow chart (PDF)

Student loans flow chart