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 Applications are Now Available. When applying, ensure the Student Loan application forms are the new 2017-2018 year’s forms. 
Please note: Tuition will not be deducted from your student loan. How to pay your tuition at ACAD on or before the deadline published in the calendar. Before you apply – be certain to read the following information:

Have your Alberta College of Art + Design Student ID Number available when applying for your student loan on-line. You can find your student ID on webService.

Loans submitted prior to the beginning of the semester will be confirmed by ACAD. It will then take up to 7 working days before the government can deposit the funds into your bank account.  Student loan monies will not be released by the government (into your bank account) before the start date of the school term.

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 on-line.  

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 agreement

First Time Receiving Student Loans:  If approved for student loan funding, you will receive one or both (Federally/Provincially) Master Student Financial Assistance Agreements.  These documents will be mailed or emailed to you – depending on what you indicate as your preference when you apply.  This/these form(s) must be signed by the student, completed with the banking information and taken to one the post offices in the list mailed/emailed out with agreement(s) as soon as possible. 

If you do not submit this/these completed/signed Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement(s) to one of the post offices in the list provided, you will not receive your student loan funding.  It will take approximately 10 days for the government to receive your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreements from the post office and up to seven working days before funds can be deposited into your bank. 

Note:  The deadline for Alberta Student Loan applications is 30 days prior to the end of the study period.

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