Student loans

Find information on student loans and other forms of funding.

Alberta students attending ACAD may be eligible for financial aid through provincial or federal student loan programs.

>>> Check out this informative video on student loans and grants

Government loans have several unique features because they are designed specifically for students:

  • Loans are interest-free as long as you remain a full-time student and keep your provincial student loans issuer apprised of this.
  • As well, you may qualify for provincial and/or federal grants!
  • Students who are not Alberta residents may be eligible for financial aid (provincial or federal student loan programs) through their home province.

Alberta student loan information

Electronic Student Loan Applications are now OPEN.

When applying, ensure the Student Loan application forms are the new 2018/2019 forms.

>>> How to apply for student loans

>>> Costs of Education + living

 Please call Alberta Student Aid Service Centre toll-free anywhere in North America for more information at 1-855-606-2096 and choose Option #1.

Students with a documented permanent disability are exempt from the program length plus one year limit, but are still subject to the lifetime loan limits.

Academic progress for student loans

Students are eligible for funding for the specified number of years in the program of study plus one year.  Example:  ACAD Undergraduate Students are eligible for student loans for a maximum of five years.  If the program length plus one year limit is not used in completing one program, it may not be carried forward to a subsequent program.  Student applying for student loans are expected to progress in their programs and complete program requirements at a predictable rate.

Information for completing your student loan application

First Year Studies: 
Program: Bachelor of Fine Arts AND Specialization: First Year Studies AND that you are in the 1st Year of a 4 year program.

Direct Entry Students/BFA Students:

Program: Bachelor of Fine Arts and Specialization: What Program You Are Accepted Into AND what year are in, example: 2nd Year of a 4-year program.

If the information you complete on your student loan application is not the same as what the Admissions/Registrar’s Office has listed regarding your Program/Specialization/Year, your student loan will not be processed/confirmed by ACAD - and, you will have to cancel your student loan (by phone with AB Student Loans) and re-apply online.

Minimum course load

Students must be registered in a minimum of 9 credit courseload to be eligible to have their student loan confirmed. The Student Loan Office will be notified regarding students who drop below nine credits during the school year.

Semester dates

Semester dates will automatically pop up. Tuition fees, mandatory fees, books + supplies will pop up “shaded” automatically and type that amount in as required.

Master Student Financial Assistance Agreements (MSFAA)

Before students can receive any student loan and/or grant funding (first time), they must complete their loan agreements(s). Loan agreements are called “Master Student Financial Assistance Agreements” (MSFAAs).

There are separate loan agreements for Alberta student loans and Canada student loans.

  • Students who are approved for Alberta loans and grants will only receive an Alberta MSFAA.
  • Students who are approved for Canada student loans and grants will only need to complete the Canada MSFAA.
  • Students approved for both Alberta and Canada loans and grants will have to sign both loans agreements.

MSFAA Alberta Loan Agreement

First-time students need to print and complete their Alberta loan agreement before funding will be disbursed to the student. For more information on completing the Alberta MSFAA, visit:

Completing Your Alberta Student Loan Agreement

MSFAA Canada Loan Agreement

The Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP) is an electronic MSFAA process which requires students to submit their Canada loan agreement electronically through the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) website. Students will need their name, social insurance number, and Canada MSFAA number (provided in their Student Aid Inbox and in an email from the NSLSC). For a screen-by-screen walk-through of the electronic MFSAA process on the NSLSC website, visit:

Electronic MSFAA: Customer Experience

For more information on MSFAAs, visit:

Loan Agreements

Bank loans

If you don’t qualify for a government student loan, many banks offer personal student loans or student lines of credit. Unlike government student loans, these loans are based on general credit granting criteria.

Contact your bank for more information.

Emergency student loans

ACAD administers an emergency student loan program for students experiencing extenuating financial circumstances. These are short-term loans that must be repaid in full within 30 days of receipt and are only issued for basic needs and supplies.

Students who find themselves in temporary financial difficulties and wish to be considered for an emergency loan must meet with the Registrar or designate.

Grant programs for students with disabilities

Students with documented disabilities, such as a learning disability, ADHD, mental health disorders, or others may be eligible to receive supplemental grant funding. These grants, available through the Student Loan/supplemental application (e.g. a Schedule 4 in Alberta, which can be found here.), are linked to the Student Loan application. In some instances, grants may replace a portion of student loans, decreasing the amount of debt a student will carry from year to year.

In some instances, and based on the supplemental application, grants can be issued to provide funds for supportive learning services, such as tutoring, academic strategy, note taking, supportive software and other goods and services.

For details on grant programs, please email the Learning Assistance Office or call us at 403.338.5513


As a borrower, you are responsible for repaying your student loan; principal and interest, Your lender will notify you of the terms, payments and conditions of your student loan within six months after you stop being a full-time student. Please notify your lenders if any of your contact information changes.

You have a six month grace period before you are required to start making payments after you cease being a full-time student.

  • Alberta student loans - Student Aid Alberta will not charge interest on your loans for the first six months before you begin repaying. This means you will have six months of interest-free Alberta student loans with no payments required
  • Canada student loans - Interest on your Canada student loan starts accumulating just after you stop studying full-time. You'll start making payments six months later.

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. 

>>> Check out the student loan repayment webinar


ACAD Financial Aid + Student Awards Office:

Phone: 403.338.5506