Undergraduate & Graduate Student Loans
Financial aid through provincial, territorial, and federal student loan programs can assist undergraduate and graduate students to obtain needed funding to pay for university. In Alberta and throughout Canada, student loans and grants are intended to supplement student and family resources, and are awarded based on financial need.
Student loans are one more option to connect you to the liberal arts education, after degree, or graduate programs you want—and deserve.
Who Can Apply for Student Loans
You are eligible to apply for a student loan if you are:
- A Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or designated as a protected person.
- Enrolled in or qualified to enroll full-time in an approved post-secondary program of studies (e.g., bachelor degree, master degree, after degree).
To learn more about how student loans work, watch this Orientation Presentation.
How to Apply for a Student Loan
You apply for a student loan through your province/territory of residence in Canada. Alberta students can apply online at www.studentaid.alberta.ca. Out-of-province students should contact their provincial/territorial student financial assistance program and follow those application procedures.
When to Apply for Student Loans
As soon as you know that you need student financial aid, apply for a student loan online as quickly as possible. If you do not receive an instant response from the Student Aid online application, it may take 4 – 6 weeks to process a student loan application. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will know what student loan funds you are eligible to receive.
You can apply for a student loan even before you register for classes. Students need to apply each year that they require funding. You are encouraged to do so when the new application becomes available in June of each year.
Receiving Your Student Loan Funds
Once your student loan application has been approved, you will receive a Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) that needs to be completed and signed. Submit your document(s) right away by taking it to a participating Canada Post Outlet. You will be required to present valid government-issued photo identification (i.e., driver’s license or passport), your Social Insurance Card, and your banking information for electronic bank deposit. Be sure to closely review and understand your loan agreement as it is a legally binding document. At the appropriate time, Concordia will electronically confirm your registration and request your tuition all in the same step.
Maintain Interest-Free Status
While you are enrolled as a full-time university student, your student loans remain interest-free. However, this interest-free status does not happen automatically. It is your responsibility to notify your lenders each academic year or semester that you return to full-time university study. To avoid problems later on, take the time to submit the appropriate paperwork to your lenders and learn about the life cycle of a student loan. Learn more
Contact your lenders:
Repaying Your Student Loan
Once you’ve completed your post-secondary education, it’s time to repay your student loans. Repaying your student loan builds a solid credit rating, and sets you on a positive path for your future. Options are available to help you develop a payment plan that works best for you. Learn how one Concordia University of Edmonton alumnus, Brett, handled student loan repayment.
The Repayment Assistance Plan, available for both Alberta and Canada student loans makes sure your monthly payment is in sync with your income and family size. You can apply anytime during your repayment period. Learn more.
Students wishing to learn more about repayment are invited to listen to a NSLSC Loan Repayment Webinar.
Life Cycle of Student Loan
Understanding the life cycle of a student loan can you help you maintain interest free status and prepare you for repayment.
Dropping Classes/Program Withdrawal
If you receive student loan funding, you must maintain full-time enrolment for your entire period of studies. If you drop below full-time status, Concordia University of Edmonton will notify your lender and your funding will be cancelled. To avoid this situation, students are encouraged to study at a higher course-load. Students are encouraged to speak with a financial aid advisor prior to dropping courses or withdrawing from a program to discuss the implications on their financial situation.
Part-time Student Loans
The Government of Canada provides student financial aid in the form of loans and grants to help part-time students across Canada access post-secondary education. The Alberta Part-Time Grant is available to Alberta residents who are going to university on a part-time basis. Up to $600 per semester is available to eligible students. To apply for part-time assistance, Alberta students must complete a paper application. Applications can take 4- 6 weeks to process so apply early.
U.S. Student Loans
Concordia University of Edmonton participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, in which U.S. citizens or eligible U.S. non-citizens may apply for federal loans directly from the U.S. Department of Education. The federal school code for Concordia University of Edmonton is G025938. There are a number of steps to take in order to have your funding in place for the start of the school year so start your planning as early as possible.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – GI Bill Benefits
As a U.S. Veteran, you may be eligible for educational benefits through numerous GI Bill programs. Concordia University of Edmonton is a VA-approved institution. Once you have been approved for VA benefits, email your VA Certificate of Eligibility to firstname.lastname@example.org. After you register for courses, the Financial Aid and Awards office will complete your VA Enrollment Certification Form. For further information regarding Veteran benefits visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Concordia Emergency Loans
From time to time students may experience an unanticipated event that can be financially distressing. Concordia University of Edmonton’s Emergency Loan Program is a short-term loan available to qualified students to help with financial emergencies. Learn more.
Aboriginal/First Nations/Métis Funding
If you are an aboriginal/First Nations/Métis student, you may be eligible for funding through your band or other agencies. You can get started by contacting the education office of your local band, the Métis Nation of Alberta or the Métis Education Foundation.