University of Calgary : Government Student Aid Plans

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Government Student Aid Plans

General Information

Definitions and Requirements:

Student Loan: A government student loan is issued with the understanding that the funds borrowed will be repaid upon completion of full-time studies. Both the Federal and Provincial governments provide student loan plans.

Alberta students:

Alberta residents who require financial assistance to pursue post-secondary education may obtain student loans through Student Aid Alberta. This department administers both Province of Alberta and Canada Student Loan Programs. Although students complete one application to be considered for both loan programs, they must be handled as two separate loans upon receipt of the funds. To be eligible for government student loans, students must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and must be registered and maintain full-time status in their program of post-secondary study. 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: www.studentaid.alberta.ca.

Out-of-province students:

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 Financing Your Education website: http://www.ucalgary.ca/studentfinance/studentloans/apply/howto/outofprov.

Eligibility:

Government student loans are normally approved when the 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. An application for a government sponsored loan is assessed according to need using this formula: (Allowable expenses) – (Resources) = Loans and Grants Assistance

Between the Canada Student Loan Program and the Alberta Students Finance Act, the maximum student 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 the following programs of study:

  • Undergraduate: $60,000
  • Graduate Studies (Masters): $75,000
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): $95,000
  • Graduate Studies (Doctoral): $95,000
  • Medicine (MD Program): $150,000
  • Law: $95,000
  • Veterinary Medicine: $95,000

All new and subsequent loan applicants are encouraged to apply online through their provincial funding office. For information and links please visit the Financing Your Education website (http://www.ucalgary.ca/studentfinance/studentloans). Paper loan applications can be obtained from Enrolment Services should they be deemed necessary by the provincial funding office. Please note that all part-time loans must be submitted via paper application.

Interest-free status:

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. Part-time students who are repaying previous Alberta student loans may reinstate their Alberta loans to interest free status.

For each academic year, interest-free status forms must be filled out at Enrolment Services (MacKimmie Library Block, room 117) if a student is not borrowing a full-time loan for that academic period.

Payment of your institution's tuition and fees, as well as repayment of any Student Emergency Loans are the first charges to be taken from your student loan funds once they have been approved and received from your Government Student Loan lender. If there are excess funds applied to a student account, a refund request form is available at http://www.ucalgary.ca/registrar/refunds. If there is a credit balance on a student's account and the terms of the loan have been breached, the credit will be refunded to the loan provider.

Grants

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 financial assistance in addition to that provided under other programs (eg. government student loans). Maintenance Grants and Canada Study Grants are available to students with dependants, female doctoral students, students with permanent disabilities and students from low income families. For more information contact Student Aid Alberta at: 1.855.606.2096 or website: http://alis.alberta.ca/ec/fo/studentsfinance/grant-type.html.

Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP)

The Repayment Assistance Plan is provided to assist students in keeping their student loan debt at a manageable level. The Repayment Assistance Plan is offered for both Canada and Alberta student loans. The plan provides students with short-term assistance if they have temporary financial challenges and long-term support if they have persistent financial challenges. Students can apply for RAP at any time during their repayment term. If students are approved for RAP on their Canada student loans, they are automatically approved for RAP on their Alberta student loans. For more information contact Student Aid Alberta at: 1.855.606.2096 or: http://studentaid.alberta.ca/repaying-your-loan/repayment-options/.

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, 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. For more information visit: http://alis.alberta.ca/et/fo/studentsfinance/elig-req.html. For budgeting information visit: http://alis.alberta.ca/pdf/cshop/StretchYourDollars.pdf.

The following is a guide to establishing a budget within the limits set by Student Aid Alberta.

Note: These figures are based on the 2012-2013 Student Aid Alberta 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 (calculated by program)
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Living at parent's home:

- $432 per month living allowance
- Tuition and fees (calculated by program)
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Married Students

Married without children:

- $2,004 per month living allowance
- Spouse's student loan payments
- Tuition and fees (calculated by program)
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Married with children:

- $2,004 per month living allowance
- $449 per month per child
- Actual child care costs
- Spouse's student loan payments
- Tuition and fees (calculated by program)
- $1,260 - $1,950 books and supplies in most faculties

Single Parent Family including first child:

- $1,710 per month living allowance
- $449 per month per additional child
- Actual child care costs
- Tuition and fees (calculated by program)
- $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 grants are awarded to Alberta residents on the basis of financial need, as determined by Student Aid Alberta, 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 visit http://studentaid.alberta.ca/before-you-apply/types-of-funding/.

Other Sources of Government Financial Aid

Northern Alberta Development Council Bursaries

The Northern Alberta Development Council Bursary program is intended to offer special bursary assistance to students who demonstrate intention to apply their education after graduation in the northern area of the Province and have been residents of Alberta for the past three years. Successful candidates are awarded a bursary of $6,000 per academic year for up to two years. Any student who receives a bursary will sign an agreement acknowledging that he/she will work in the northern area of the province for one year per year of funding: http://alis.alberta.ca/et/fo/scholarships/info.html?EK=866.

The deadline is April 30.