Student loans enable many Canadians to attend post-secondary school. There are many upsides to borrowing from the government, including interest-free status while in school, income tax deductions on repayment, repayment assistance and some of your assessment may be covered by grants (funds that you don’t have to repay).

However, student loans are still a loan and you will need to repay the money. It is preferable to draw on other resources, such as an RESP, if they are available. But if such resources are not available, student loans are a smart alternative for investing in your future.

If you…

Go to…

Are a first time borrower

Using a student loan for the first time

Have previously taken out a loan

Applying for and managing your student loan

Just graduated

Student loan repayment


Wait. Are you a(n)…

  • nursing student in either NESA or the After-Degree program?
    • Although you apply for admission through the University of Lethbridge, you must apply for your loans as a Lethbridge College student until you move over to the university – then you will apply for your loans with the U of L as your institution.
  • apprentice?
  • international student?
    • At this time, there are no government student loans available for international students. We do not participate in the U.S. Student Loan Program. However, you may be eligible for certain Lethbridge College awards and scholarships, but do not rely on these to fund your education as they are limited in number and value.

Grant funding

Post Secondary

All loan applicants are considered for grants based on their province/federal government eligibility thresholds. Students who want to avoid and can afford to avoid debt can enter just $1 into the 'requested assistance' field and be assessed for grants only.

Academic Upgrading and ESL

Alberta Works and Canada/Alberta Works provide grant funding to eligible learners in eligible programs. Eligible programs at Lethbridge College are:

You may be eligible for grant funding if you meet the following conditions (note: ESL students must be Canadian citizens):

  • are a current resident of Alberta
  • demonstrate financial need based on Alberta government standards
  • lack the skills training needed to find sustainable employment
  • have been out of the regular (K-12) school system for at least 12 consecutive months
  • are legally entitled to work in Canada

Applying for Alberta Works (Foundational Learning) Grant Funding

  1. See an Academic Advisor (if Academic Upgrading is your goal) or visit the English training folks.
  2. Apply to your program ( $100) and confirm your seat (this requires a $300 tuition deposit).
  3. Apply for funding online. Be sure to select the application that fits your plan – full-time vs part-time.
  4. Print your Declaration and Acknowledgement form (Section 9) and the Direct Deposit form.
  5. Bring the forms to the Financial Aid office (PA1130) - we will complete a Training Provider Information form and send it in with the forms referred to above.

If you have difficulty, please call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992 or 1-780-644-9992 for assistance.

To inquire about the status of a funding application, contact the Learner Income Support office in Edmonton at 1-800-222-6485 or toll-free at 1-780-427-3722.

Applications take up to 10 weeks to process, after which a funding decision letter will be mailed to you with the following information:

  • The funding that will be provided or the reason funding has been denied.
  • How and when to expect the funds.
  • Notice of right to appeal the decision.

Please note that the funder will NOT cover the medical/dental coverage offered by the college. You must either opt out or pay for that yourself.

Alberta Works Grant funding quick facts

  • You may be eligible for up to 30 months of funding across program streams (program limits apply).
  • You are expected to maintain acceptable progress. If you withdraw or fail to attend, your funding will be terminated.
  • Potential applicants who are employed and would like to leave employment for educational purposes must seek out a Human Services Authorized Official for an Employability Assessment.
  • If you require a reduced course-load due to a disability, you must seek out a Human Services Authorized Official for an Employability Assessment.