What You Contribute

Student aid is meant to supplement, not replace, your own resources. The amount of student aid you are eligible to receive may not cover all your costs.

If you discover there will be a gap in the amount of funding you need and what you are eligible to receive, you are responsible to make up the difference. How you plan to make up the difference is up to you. Some students work part-time, others find ways to reduce their living costs (e.g. living with roommates). Whatever you choose to do, it's important to plan ahead.

To determine how much funding you are eligible to receive, we ask you about your financial resources. This is money that we expect you to use towards the cost of your education.

Monthly Resources

You DO NOT have to tell us about:

  • Savings
  • Registered Investments (RRSPs, TFSAs, or LIRAs) 
  • Salary, Part-time Earnings, Tips
  • Canada or Alberta Child Benefit
  • CPP Children’s Benefits
  • GST/Income Tax Refunds
  • Workers' Compensation Benefits (WCB)
  • Stipends from Assistantships

Tell us about:

  • Voluntary Contributions from Parents (including RESPs) 
    • Divide the total contribution for the year by the number of months you will be in school 
  • Alimony and/or Child Support you receive 
  • Employment Insurance 
  • Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) 
  • Alberta Works Income Support Benefits
  • Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada/Band Funds 
  • Income from Other Sources
    • Retirement Pensions, net rental property income, business income 

Additional Resource Information

Tell us about:

  • Non-Registered Investments 
    • Mutual Funds, GICs, stocks, bonds, ETFs in non-registered accounts 

  • Scholarships/Bursaries/Fellowships 

  • Annual Resources Targeted To Your Education Costs 
    • Gifts or contributions from individuals other than your parent(s)

Flat Rate Contribution

You are expected to contribute to the cost of your education. Student Aid automatically applies a $1,500 contribution when we calculate your eligibility for funding.

There is no expected contribution if you are:

  • a single parent, or 
  • receiving Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), or 
  • receiving Alberta Works Income Support Benefits. 

You can request to have the $1500 expected contribution waived if you are receiving Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits or if received Income Support anytime during the 4 months prior to your period of study start date. Login to your account to submit a Request for Review.

What You Contribute - Canada Student Loans Assessment

The resources used by Canada student loans to calculate your eligibility are slightly different from the resources used by Alberta Student Aid.

To receive Canada loans and grants, you must be eligible to receive at least $1 using the Canada student loan assessment.

Canada Student Loan Assessment Resources

Used as a Resource:

  • Spouse/Partner Income
  • Parental Contribution based on income 
  • Scholarships/Bursaries/Fellowships
    • $1,800 exempt

Not Used as a Resource: 

  • Income Support for you or your spouse/partner
  • Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada/Band Funds 
  • Income from Other Sources
    • Retirement pensions, net rental property income, business income 
  • Child Support/Alimony you receive

Student Contribution – Canada Student Loans

The Canada student loan assessment calculates a minimum contribution from you. The amount is based on family income (Line 150 of 2018 income tax form or Expected Reduced Yearly Income) and family size. 

Use the Income Threshold Chart below to determine your minimum contribution. If your family income is:

  • at or below the threshold amount, you will contribute $1,500.
  • more than the threshold amount, you will contribute an additional 15% of your income above the threshold, to a maximum of $3,000 per year. 

Income Threshold Chart (CAD$)

Family Size Family Income
(Line 150 of 2018 Tax Form or
 Expected Reduced Yearly Income) 
1 person 31,243
2 persons 44,184
3 persons 54,114
4 persons 62,485
5 persons 69,861
6 persons 76,529
7 persons or more 82,660


There is no expected contribution if you:

  • have a dependent, or
  • have a permanent disability, or
  • are a current or former Youth in Government Care (foster or kinship care), or
  • have declared Indigenous Status

The Canada Student Loans Program also considers scholarships and bursaries, and contributions from parents and spouses/partners to help determine your eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants.

Family Contributions

If you are a dependent student, or you are married or common-law, Canada student loans may calculate an expected contribution from your parents or spouse/partner. 

Changes to Income
If your parent or spouse/partner expects their annual income from all sources (work, government, or other) to be lower than the Total Income they reported on line 150 of their 2018 income tax form, you can enter an expected reduced yearly income.

Parental Contribution

If you are a dependent student receiving funding based on the Canada student loan assessment, you can estimate what your parents are expected to contribute using the online calculator:

Spouse/Common-Law Contribution

If you are married or common-law, an expected contribution from your spouse/partner will be included in the Canada student loan assessment. The contribution is based on your family income (Line 150 of 2018 income tax return or Expected Reduced Yearly Income) and your family size. If the family income is at or below the threshold amount (see chart above), no contribution is expected. If the family income is above the threshold amount, the expected contribution is calculated at 10% of your family's income above the threshold amount.

No contribution is expected from spouses/partners who are full-time students, in receipt of:

  • Alberta Works Income Support Benefits,
  • Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH),
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits or Employment Insurance (EI Benefits).