Alberta government redirects funding to improve supports for low-income and Aboriginal students and apprentices.
To increase access and reduce financial barriers for Alberta’s post-secondary students and apprentices, student aid (scholarships, grants and awards) and student loans will be increased.
“Student aid plays an important role in helping students access post-secondary education— that’s why we are making significant changes to help post-secondary students, apprentices, Aboriginal and low-income learners further their education. Alberta is facing a challenging fiscal situation and it crucial that we refocus these funds to have a bigger impact on the accessibility of education for Albertans.”
Don Scott, Minister of Innovation and Advanced EducationAs part of a large package of student loan enhancements, living allowances and loan limits will be increased to better reflect increased living and educational costs. For the first time, apprentices will also be eligible for Alberta student loans.
A significant portion of these enhancements will be made possible by repurposing funding previously provided for the Completion Incentive Grant. As it is provided at the end of studies, the Completion Incentive Grant does not reduce financial barriers or increase access to post-secondary education.
Repurposing the Completion Incentive Grant ($35 million) will increase access and reduce financial barriers by:
- doubling the Alberta Low-Income Grant;
- increasing funding to Aboriginal learners through the Northern Alberta Development Council;
- increasing student loan limits;
- increasing standard monthly living allowances to better reflect actual costs of living; and
- increasing semester limits to $7,500 per semester.
Highlights for apprentices include:
- access to student loans and grants; and,
- $9 million in awards and scholarships.
- a new First Period Apprentice Award to encourage more first year apprentices to transition from on-the-job training to technical training.
- more funding for Aboriginal apprentice awards.