Post-Secondary Students
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How to Pay for School

Most people use a combination of resources to pay for school. Check out the options in the table below.

Explore Your Funding Options

Option Explore...


  • The provincial and federal governments may also contribute to your RESP.

  • Use your RRSP to fund your studies, tax-free.
Earnings from: 
  • a part-time job while in school
  • working while not in school (summer job)

  • apprenticeship programs

  • co-op, intern and practicum programs

  • Make money and gain valuable experience.

  • Earn while you learn.

  • Get hands-on experience in your field.
Scholarships and Bursaries:
  • Don’t count yourself out if your grades aren’t the best—many scholarships look at other achievements, like athletics and citizenship.

  • This is money for school you don’t have to pay back.

  • $1,000 scholarship for working in an internship program with a non-profit or volunteer organization.
Loans for Full- or Part-time Studies:
  • You don’t have to pay back student aid loans until you’re finished school.

  • You only need to submit one application for both Student Aid Alberta and Canada student loans and grants programs.

  • You usually pay interest on these while you’re in school.

  • May be an alternative if you're unable to get student aid.
Grants for Full- or Part-Time Studies:
  • Student Aid Alberta: Alberta Government grants

  • Canada student grants

    • Students from Low-Income Families

    • Students from Middle Income Families

    • Students with Dependents

    • Persons with Permanent Disabilities

    • Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities

  • Your Student Aid application is automatically assessed for grant eligibility.

  • $250 for each month of study

  • $100 for each month of study

  • $200 for each month of study for each child under 12

  • $2,000 for each loan year to help meet your education and living costs due to your permanent disability

  • Up to $8,000 for each loan year for exceptional education related costs due to your permanent disability
Studying Abroad:
  • Sign up for an exchange or study abroad program through your school.

  • Attend a foreign affiliate of an Alberta post-secondary school
Funding for Training: Funding for
  • short-term training
  • upgrading
  • English as a second language

What’s Your Story?

Three students, three very different funding options.

Carlos, is going to school to become an architectural technologist. His first step was to prepare a budget. He has $2,000 in the bank from a part-time job during high school and another $1,500 from his summer job. His parents have also saved $2,000 for his education.

Next he figured out his expenses. He has his tuition and books covered, but no other money for the eight months of school. Since he’s living at home, his living expenses are low. He has applied for several scholarships but if he doesn’t get one, he’ll take on a part-time job and hope to make ends meet. He has until two months before the end of his program year to apply for student aid if he needs it.

Mikko 25, is from a small town in northern Alberta. She decided to move to Edmonton to continue her education. After high school, she worked for four years and saved $12,000, so she did not qualify for student aid in her first year of school.

By her second year, her savings were used up and she financed the rest of her education with a combination of student loans and grants, income from a summer job and help from her family.



Darwin's home is in southern Alberta and he is moving to attend school. As a First Nations student, he qualifies for funding from his band and has also been awarded two scholarships. Darwin will typically have to apply annually to his band office for all 4 years of his degree program. The scholarships are also only for his first year. Darwin is researching scholarships and bursaries for next year.

For more stories, click here.

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