Student Loans

There are various ways to go about paying for your education at the University of Alberta. Depending on your financial situation, you may want to consider student loans as a source to assist you in paying for your education. Canadian student loans help post-secondary students pay for their education and are only available for Canadian citizens, permanent residents, landed immigrants or convention refugees.

Loan Application by Province

The first step in applying for student loans is to determine which province you are an official resident of. To help determine your provincial residency status, you must first determine if you are a dependent or an independent student.

Dependent students:

  • Out of high school for less than four years

Independent students:

You are considered an independent student if one or more of the following apply to you:

  • Out of high school for more than four complete years
  • 23 or older
  • Married or common-law relationship status
  • Orphaned
  • A parent
  • You have been available to the work force and have not been a full-time post-secondary student for two periods of 12 consecutive months

Based on being a dependent or independent student, please use the criteria below to determine your provincial residency:

Residency for Dependent Students

  • You are considered a resident of the province where your parent, guardian or sponsor has lived for at least 12 consecutive months prior to you starting school.
  • If one parent works in another province, you are a resident of the province where the family home is kept.
  • If your parents are separated or divorced, your province of residence is with the parent of which you generally live with, or from whom the main financial support is received.
  • If your parents move to another province, but you stay in Alberta, for example, to continue your post-secondary education then Alberta will continue to be your province of residence.
  • If your parents live out of the country, then your province of residence is the province in which they last resided or maintained a family home for at least 12 consecutive months before going abroad.
  • If you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, landed immigrant or convention refugee, but your parents have not lived in Canada, you may not be eligible for provincial funding. However, you will be eligible for federal funding. You should apply through the province in which you currently live.

Residency for Independent Students

Single or Single Parent

You are considered a resident of the province in which you have most recently lived in for the last 12 consecutive months, prior to being a full-time student.

Married or Common Law

You are considered a resident of the province where a working spouse has been employed for 12 months before the start of the academic year or the of the province where you had residency prior to marriage. If you and your spouse are both enrolled and applying for assistance, it's desirable that one province support both individuals (usually the province where both are enrolled) provided it is one of the provinces where one of the couple lives.

Residency for Permanent Residents

You are considered a resident of the province you settled in or the province in which the most time has been spent. If you have not been available to the labour market of your province for 12 consecutive months, you may only be eligible for federal funding. Apply through the province you currently live in. If you are without established provincial residency, you should contact Student Aid Alberta for eligible funding information.

Province-Specific Situations

  • Alberta: If you are from another province, but you completed an undergraduate degree in Alberta and then stay for graduate or professional studies, you will be considered an Alberta resident.
  • Saskatchewan: If you have been going to school for four consecutive years you will become a resident of Saskatchewan in the fifth consecutive year of post-secondary study.
  • Ontario: Residency can be based on a common-law, same-sex relationship. It may also be based on the amount of time the partner has lived in Ontario. However, the partner must have lived in Ontario for at least 12 consecutive months up to the start of the current study period, during which time they must not have been enrolled in full-time post-secondary studies.

You must be out of high school for at least five years to have independent status.

Begin Your Loan Application

Please select your province of residency for further information on student loan application, signing and disbursement processes.

Interest-Free Status

Students who received past student loans, but are not receiving loans in the upcoming academic year:

If you are a full time student who has Canada Student Loans, and you are not applying for new funding, you may keep your existing loans in interest-free status by requesting electronic confirmations of enrollment through the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) website:

  1. Visit
  2. Select NSLSC Online Services
  3. Log in or create an account
  4. Select Confirm Your Enrollment
  5. Complete the required sections
If you need to provide a paper confirmation of enrollment because either you are a part-time student, have no Canada Student Loan debt (only provincial debt), or are funded by a province that requires a separate form, please contact Student Connect.