Program Updates

Program Updates outlines the changes to the Alberta Student Aid program, systems and policies. Continue to visit this page to make sure that you are up-to-date on all changes and revisions.

The Government of Alberta is committed to supporting students. Learn more about our response to the pandemic and financial impacts for students.

2020-21 Academic Year

Alexander Rutherford Scholarship Application

The 2020-21 Alexander Rutherford High School Achievement Scholarship online application will be available in early August.

Alberta Scholarships and Awards

All scholarship and award applications will be available in early August. 

Alberta Student Aid Changes

COVID-19 Funding Allowance

You may be eligible to receive up to $3000 in additional Alberta student loans if you are facing financial hardships such as added technology costs due to the shift to remote classes, or loss of income or earnings during the COVID-19 pandemic. You must submit a Request for Review. You do not have to submit documentation or proof of additional expenses or loss of income.

Applies to:

  • Full-time students whose study periods begin on or after August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020

Academic Progress Policies – Effective March 15, 2020

Academic progress policies are amended to ensure students taking the following programs are able to progress/complete (even if they have to repeat their courses) due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Open Studies
  • Program Length +1 Limit
  • Scholastic Progress
  • Successive Short-Term Programs

Reporting Resources

The Canadian Government’s COVID-19 emergency support benefits for students and recent graduates will not be used to calculate the amount of student aid you are eligible to receive. You do not need to tell us about these resources on your application.

Alberta Student Grant for Full-Time Students

The Alberta Student Grant for Full-time Students is aimed at helping low to middle-income students who may be ineligible for Canada Student Grants. The Alberta Student Grant for Full-Time Students is available to students in study periods beginning on or after August 1, 2020.

Alberta Low-Income Grant

The Alberta Low-Income Grant will be amalgamated into the Alberta Student Grant for Full-time Students. You may still be eligible to receive this grant if your study period begins on or before July 31, 2020.

Alberta Maintenance Grant

The Alberta Maintenance Grant will be amalgamated into the Alberta Student Grant for Full-time Students. You may still be eligible to receive this grant if your study period begins on or before July 31, 2020.

Living Allowance Increased

There is an increase to the living allowances used to calculate eligibility for the 2020-21 school year. This amount is used by Alberta Student Aid as part of the calculation of your total costs.

Canada Student Loan Program Changes

There are a number of program changes that will increase eligibility for funding in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for this school year, and may have reduced part-time or summer employment opportunities.

Canada Emergency Benefits for COVID-19

The Government of Canada has put in place a number of COVID-19 emergency support benefits for students in the 2020-21 loan year:

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)
  • Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG)

Doubling of Canada Student Grants

The amounts of the following Canada Student Grants are doubled in the 2020-21 loan year.

  • Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students
  • Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Students
  • Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students with Dependants
  • Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Students with Dependants
  • Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities

There are no changes to the following grants:

  • Skills Boost Top-Up to the Canada Student Grant
  • Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities.

For more information, see the Canada Grants section:

Student and Spousal Contributions

The Canada student loan assessment for expected student and spousal contributions are waived (set to $0) for the 2020-21 loan year. There are no changes to the federal expected parental contribution.

Lifetime Loan Limits Increased

Students may receive Canada student loan funding of up to $350 per week for subsequent periods of study after their Lifetime Loan Limits have been reached.

Repayment Assistance Plan: Students with Permanent Disabilities - Effective August 1, 2020

Students with permanent disabilities who return to school after an absence of more than five years no longer have to repay in full all of their outstanding Canada Student Loans. This restriction will be retroactively removed from all accounts.

Designation Policy and Procedures

Alberta Student Aid’s Designation Policy and Procedures will now be included in the Student Aid Operational Policy Manual.

Determining Family Income

To reflect Canada Revenue Agency’s changes to the 2019 income tax return, references on resources to Line 150 have been changed to Line 15000.

Integrated Internship Terminology

The term ‘Integrated Internship’ used to describe internships, co-ops, practicums, etc. is replaced with the term ‘Work Integrated Learning’ on designations resources as it more relevant language.