Loans and Grants
Student Aid Alberta
Funding post-secondary education should never be a barrier for any Albertan who has the desire and ability to pursue post-secondary. Student Aid Alberta is the Alberta Government program that offers loans and grants.
Government student aid covers the basic costs of education: tuition, fees, books, supplies and basic living costs. Some benefits are
- Student loans are interest-free while you are in school and you are not required to make payments while you’re in school.
- You don't have to begin repaying your student loans with interest until six months after you leave your studies.
When you apply to Student Aid Alberta, you will automatically be considered for loans and grants from both the Alberta and Canadian governments. Grants are available for eligible students with high financial need or special circumstances. Grants usually don’t have to be repaid unless you withdraw from studies or your eligibility changes.
The following Alberta and Canada student grants are available to eligible students:
- Alberta Maintenance Grant – for student aid recipients caring for small children
- Alberta Part-Time Grant – for part-time students
- Alberta Completion Incentive Grant – for student aid recipients completing their program of study
- Canada Student Grant for Low and Middle Income Students
- Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities
- Canada Student Grant for Students with Dependents
For more information on Canada Student Loans and Grants visit canlearn.ca.
Student Lines of Credit
A student line of credit from your bank may be an alternative if you are unable to receive student aid or can’t get enough funding from Student Aid Alberta for your studies, e.g. if you’re studying abroad. If you don’t have a job or a credit history, you may need someone, a parent or family member, to co-sign the loan.
Student lines of credit are different from student aid:
- You are not eligible to be considered for grant funding.
- You are required to make monthly interest payments on student line of credit loans while you’re in school.
- Interest starts to accrue from the day the money is accessed (taken out of the bank).
What’s Your Story?
Two students, two different loan and grant situations
||Carlos, is going to technical school to become an architectural technologist. 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. His tuition and books are covered but Carlos has no other money for the first year, 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 apply for student aid.|
||Without government student aid, Naomi, 23, would probably not be going to college. Her parents can’t afford to help pay for her education, so Naomi is relying on summer jobs, student aid, and a scholarship to get her through a four-year program. She’s going to graduate almost $10,000 in debt. |
Depending on how long she wants to take to pay back her loan her payments could range from $115 a month for 9 years to about $250 a month for 4 years. She won't be able to buy a car and get her own apartment right after graduation if she wants to pay off her loan quicker. It’s not an ideal situation, but Naomi believes her education and her future are worth investing in.
For more stories, click here.