Undergraduate & Graduate Student Loans
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 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 amount of funding 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. Applying early also ensures your funding is in place by the start of term when fees are due.
If you are seeking financial assistance for spring and summer sessions, you are encouraged to apply early. Your course load will determine if a full-time or a part-time funding application should be submitted. Please speak to a Financial Aid Advisor for assistance.
Receiving Your Student Loan Funds
Before you can receive any student loans and/or grants, two things need to happen first:
- Sign and submit a loan agreement. If you are approved for both Alberta and Canada student loans and/or grants, you will have to submit two separate loan agreements. The Canada Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) must be completed electronically through the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) online portal. The Alberta MSFAA is a paper document. You will need to print the Alberta MSFAA, complete it and take it to a designated Canada Post outlet along with a piece of government issued photo ID and your Social Insurance Number card or letter. You will only need to sign the MSFAA’s once. Be sure to closely review and understand your loan agreement as it is a legally binding document.
- Concordia will electronically confirm your registration and request your tuition fees all in the same step. The fees due Concordia University of Edmonton are the first charge against the student loan. When funding is released, the portion that Concordia requested will come to our bank account directly. Any remaining funds will be deposited to your bank account. If the student loan awarded is less than the full amount of tuition and fees, the outstanding balance is subject to normal payment regulations (Academic Calendar, section 5.5) and deadlines (Academic Schedule, section 2.0). If you delay sending your loan agreement, Concordia’s request for tuition will not be received in a timely manner.
Maintaining 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
Life Cycle of a Student Loan – understanding the life cycle of a student loan can help you maintain interest free status and prepare you for repayment.
Contact your lenders:
Canada Student Loan Lender (National Student Loans Service Centre)
Alberta Student Loan Lender (Alberta Student Aid Service Centre)
Dropping Classes/Program Withdrawal
If you receive full-time student loan funding, you must maintain full-time enrolment. If you drop below full-time status during your loan period, Concordia University of Edmonton is obligated to notify your lender and any future funding disbursements will be cancelled. To avoid this situation, you are encouraged to take more courses than the minimum required to be considered full-time. If your funding for a future term is cancelled, you will need to reapply for that term. You may wish to speak with a financial aid advisor prior to dropping courses or withdrawing from a program to discuss the implications on your financial situation and with the Student Accounts office to clarify how this may affect your student account.
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.
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.
Students who are citizens of countries other than Canada and who are attending Concordia University of Edmonton on a study permit (student visa) are not eligible for Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial financial assistance. Applicants from other countries who require financial aid should contact officials of their own governments for financial assistance options. International students may be eligible to apply for Concordia University of Edmonton’s Entrance Awards program, scholarships and bursaries.
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.
Veterans Affairs Canada – Education and Training Benefit
The Education and Training Benefit by Veterans Affairs Canada provides qualified Veterans with funding to help them achieve their college, university or technical education goals. To learn more about the program, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada 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.