Introduction to Designation

Student Financial Assistance Act, s. 8 Reg.: Schedule 2, s. 9

Designation is a status assigned to an approved post-secondary program that allows eligible students to apply for Canada and Alberta student loans and grants for that specific program. The designation status is assigned when an eligible program has met all required Canada and Alberta designation criteria as referenced in the policies that follow in this chapter. Designation status is not an endorsement of institution or program quality, and institutions cannot advertise their designation status for recruitment purposes.

‘Program’ and ‘specialization’ terminology is used interchangeably throughout this chapter. ‘Program’ refers to a program of study such as ‘Bachelor of Science’.  ‘Specialization’ is a major or specific area of study under that program; thus, the specialization of the program ‘Bachelor of Science’ might be ‘Biology’. Not all programs or educational institutions will have programs with specializations; however, specializations are more commonly seen at public post-secondary institutions. Where a program has more than one specialization, the program designation requirements apply at the specialization level.