Program Eligibility

Reg.: Schedule 2, s. 9

Designation of Institutions and Programs

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 in the Designation for Student Loans and Grants Chapter.

Designation status is not an endorsement of institution or program quality, and institutions cannot advertise their designation status for recruitment purposes.

The designation status allows students to be eligible to apply for student aid for that program. Check your School and Program Eligibility.

The following programs are not eligible for designation status:

  • Programs that are not accredited towards a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree credential, including but not limited to:
    • Personal or professional development programs, foreign language courses, hobby, self-interest, or ‘Continuing Education’. 
    • Programs that are less than 12 weeks in total length – the program length is specified by the educational institution.
    • Adult foundational programs including:
      • Academic upgrading or high school equivalency (grades 10 to 12)
      • Basic skills including literacy and numeracy (grades 1 to 6) and adult basic education (grades 7 to 9)
      • Occupational training which is greater than two weeks but less than twelve weeks
      • English as a Second Language (ESL)
      • Integrated Foundational Pathways (IFP)
      • Transitional Vocational Program
      • Integrated training
    • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
  • Post-secondary programs that are related to regulated professions and which have not been accredited or approved by the appropriate professional regulatory organization.
  • Additional practical or professional training or exams provided by professional regulatory bodies/organizations/associations, that prepare individuals to become accredited/approved/validated for the practice of a regulated (e.g., medical residency, law articling, accounting designation, etc.)

Students with questions about funding options for these programs may:

For more details on designation policies and processes, see the Designation for Student Loans and Grants.

Open Studies

Students who are not enrolled in a specific program of study, and are enrolled in studies referred to as 'open studies' or 'qualifying year' may be eligible to apply for or receive funding when:

  • the student enters studies following an undergraduate degree, in order to satisfy prerequisite requirements for a specific graduate program, or

  • the student cannot enter into an undergraduate program major, and is enrolled in the relevant program courses.

Definition as of December 22, 2021.

Work Integrated Learning

Students may be eligible for student loans and grants when enrolled in a program that has an approved work integrated learning component (includes internships, co-ops, practicums, etc.) so long as the work integrated component is integrated into a designated program of study. 

A work integrated learning component is considered integrated when:

  • students must complete the work-integrated learning component to receive their degree, diploma or certificate, and

  • the educational institution considers students to be enrolled during the work integrated learning component.

Exchange/Field Study

Students participating in an exchange or field study program must complete Part 2 (Exchange/Field Study) of the Schedule 3 form and provide a letter of confirmation from the home institution or an acceptance letter from the host institution. The letter should confirm the actual start and end dates of the exchange or field study program and list costs for tuition, mandatory fees and book costs.

Students should see the Out-of-Country Travel section for costs that may be considered for attending studies abroad.

Brokered Programs

A brokered program is a ministry-approved program from one educational institution offered at a host educational institution for a limited period of time.

A brokering agreement is made between the two educational institutions:

  • the credentialing educational institution that owns the program and grants the credential, and
  • the host educational institution that temporarily offers the program and is where the student is attending.

Students enrolled in brokered programs must indicate the host institution as their educational institution when applying for funding.

Apprenticeship Education

Registered Alberta apprentices enrolled in classroom instruction as part of an apprenticeship program, and students enrolled in approved pre-employment programs are eligible for Alberta student loans and grants.

Registered Alberta apprentices enrolled in classroom instruction as part of an apprenticeship program, and students enrolled in approved pre-employment programs are not eligible for Canada student loans or grants.

Note: Apprentices interested in receiving the Canada Apprentice Loan, Canada Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, Canada Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women and Canada Apprenticeship Completion Grant must apply for them separately through the Government of Canada.