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Government Student Aid Plans

Alberta residents who require financial assistance in order to pursue post-secondary education may obtain student loans through Alberta Students Finance. This department administers both Province of Alberta and Canada Student Loan Programs. Students complete one application to be considered for both loans. However, upon receipt of the funds, they must be handled as two separate loans. Students must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and must be registered and maintain full-time status. Note: As policies and guidelines are revised frequently, students are encouraged to visit the following website for the most up-to-date information regarding government student loans, grants and bursaries offered through the Province of Alberta: http://alis.alberta.ca.

Assistance is also available to students who are considered to be residents of other provinces. Non-Alberta students should contact their provincial funding office directly to obtain detailed information regarding student loans, grants and bursaries offered through their province. Links to the out-of-province government student loan websites are available from the Student Awards and Financial Aid website: http://www.ucalgary.ca/awards.

Financial assistance is provided only where financial resources available to students from parents, summer work, part-time earnings or other sources are insufficient to meet the estimated educational costs of full-time study.
Between the Canada Student Loan Program and the Alberta Students Finance Act, the maximum loan available for an academic year (Fall/Winter) is normally $13,300. Provincial loans cannot be issued which would increase the total Canada and Alberta student loan indebtedness beyond the following lifetime loan limits set for that program of study:

  • Undergraduate: $50,000
  • Graduate Studies (Masters): $60,000
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): $60,000
  • Graduate Studies (Doctoral): $70,000
  • Medicine (MD Program): $95,000
  • Law: $70,000
  • Vet-Med: $60,000

The Alberta Opportunities Bursary (AOB) Program is cost-shared between the Government of Alberta and the University of Calgary. High need Alberta residents studying full-time and applying for a student loan may qualify for up to $1,500 from the government portion of the AOB. Students must be in either their first or second year of post-secondary studies. For more information contact Alberta Students Finance at:  Phone: 1.800.222.6485 or website: http://alis.alberta.ca.

The Millennium Alberta Rural Incentive Bursary is valued at $1,000 annually and available to full-time students who are from rural Alberta, attending a designated post-secondary institution in Canada, enrolled full time in Year 1 or Year 2 of an undergraduate program that is at least two years in length, and is eligible for a minimum of $1,000 in student loan funding. NOTE:  Rural Alberta is defined as any community outside of Edmonton, Calgary, Sherwood Park and St. Albert.  For more information contact Alberta Students Finance at:  Phone: 1-800-222-6485 or Website: http://alis.alberta.ca.

Full-time student loans are interest free during periods of full-time university attendance. To ensure that interest-free status continues during full-time study, students must provide adequate proof of enrolment to their lenders.
Applications for student loans, part-time bursaries and part-time loans and grants may be obtained from the U of C Service Stop (MacKimmie Library Block, Room 117).
Alberta residents may apply online for student loans using the electronic student loan application available on the ALIS website under “Students Finance”: http://alis.alberta.ca.

Payment of tuition, fees and Student Emergency Loans is the first charge against student loans received from the Government Student Loan plans.


Non-repayable grants are made available to full-time students who because of special circumstances (eg. single parents or students with disabilities) cannot be considered to have normal prospects of completing their education without additional financial assistance in addition to that provided under other programs (eg. government student loans). The types of grants students may be eligible for include Maintenance Grants and Canada Study Grants (for students with dependants, female doctoral students, students with permanent disabilities and students from low income families). For more information contact Alberta Students Finance at:  Phone: 1.800.222.6485 or website: http://alis.alberta.ca

Alberta Student Loan Relief Benefit & Loan Relief Program Completion Payment

The Alberta Student Loan Relief program is provided to assist students in keeping their student loan debt at a manageable level. Alberta students are automatically considered for both the Alberta Student Loan Relief Benefit (for first-time, first-year, full-time students) and the Loan Relief Program Completion Payment (for students completing their studies). Both of these needs-based benefits are calculated based on the students total Alberta and Canada Student Loans. For more information contact Alberta Students Finance at:  Phone: 1.800.222.6485 or Website: http://alis.alberta.ca.

Student Budgeting

To determine financial need, students should estimate their living costs (rent, food, local transportation, clothing, entertainment, utilities, miscellaneous expenses, etc.); add tuition, fees, and books and supplies for the period they plan to attend (one or two terms) and deduct from total expenses all cash resources such as: savings, scholarships or bursaries, money received or to be received from parents, and any other income to be received during the period of attendance. The net result should be the amount of financial assistance needed.
The following is a guide to establishing a budget within the limits set by Alberta Students Finance.

Note: These figures are based on the 2008-2009 Alberta Students Finance budget figures and should be used only as a general guideline.

Single Students
Living away from home:
- $941 per month living allowance
- Tuition and fees
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Living at parent's home:
- $432 per month living allowance
- Tuition and fees
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Married Students
Married without children:
- $1,873 per month living allowance
- Spouse's student loan payments
- Tuition and fees
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Married with children:
- $1,873 per month living allowance
- $430 per month per child
- Actual child care costs
- Spouse's student loan payments
- Tuition and fees
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Single Parent Family including first child:
- $1,628 per month living allowance
- $430 per month per additional child
- Actual child care costs
- Tuition and fees
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Part-Time Students

Alberta grant assistance is available to part-time students enrolled in approved courses and is up to $600 per four-month academic term. These bursaries are awarded to Alberta residents on the basis of financial need, as determined by Alberta Students Finance, and are intended to help cover the costs of tuition, books, child care, and travel if required.

The federal government offers two funding programs for part-time students. Loans for part-time students and Canada Study Grants for High Need Part-time Students are awarded on the basis of financial need and provide for tuition, fees, books, transportation, child care and incidentals. Loans are interest bearing, with repayment beginning 30 days after funds are received. A borrower may have an outstanding principal of no more than $4,000 at any one time. Canada Study Grants of up to $1,200 per loan year are available to high need students who cannot study full-time. Both programs are administered by the provincial government on behalf of the federal government. For more information contact Alberta Students Finance at:  Phone: 1.800.222.6485 or Website: http://alis.alberta.ca.

Other Sources of Government Financial Aid

Northern Alberta Development Council Bursaries

The Northern Alberta Development Council Bursary program is intended to offer students (who have been residents of Alberta for the last three years), special bursary assistance where these students demonstrate that they intend to apply their education after graduation in the northern area of the Province. Successful candidates will be awarded a $3,500 bursary for one full academic year of study or, if the length of the program is less than one full academic year, students may be awarded $1,750. Any student who receives a bursary will sign an agreement acknowledging that he/she will work in the northern area of the province one year for each year of full bursary support. For more information/application forms visit: http://alis.alberta.ca/et/fo/scholarships/info.html?EK=866.

The deadline is May 15.

Federal-Provincial Official Languages in Education Program

Comprised of two bursary programs and two language assistant programs designed to assist students in acquiring fluency in Canada’s official languages, the Federal-Provincial Official Languages in Education Program is administered by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, in cooperation with the provinces/territories. Application forms, deadline dates and further information may be obtained online at: www.cmec.ca/olp.

Other Sources of Financial Assistance

University of Calgary Emergency Loan Fund

This loan fund is available to full-time students for short term, urgent financial requirements. In most cases, loans are only advanced to students who are expecting the arrival of other financial assistance and the maximum amount is normally $500. Emergency loans are issued only after the student has met with a loans advisor. Apply to the U of C Service Stop.

To supplement the emergency loan fund established by the University of Calgary, we are very grateful to First Energy Capital Corp. for their generous contributions.

Graduate Students' Association Bursaries

Open to candidates who at the time of tenure will be registered in a graduate program in the Faculty of Graduate Studies or the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. Candidates must demonstrate financial need. For more information visit: http://www.ucalgary.ca/gsa.