Part-Time Eligibility

Part-Time Enrolment

Reg.: Schedule 2, ss. 1(1)(m)

Part-time student aid is intended for students registered in post-secondary studies at designated institutions, studying at less than 60% of a full-course load (or 40% if the student has a documented permanent disability). Students studying at less than 20% of a full-course load are not eligible for federal part-time funding but may be eligible for the Alberta Part-Time Grant. For further information, see Types of Part-Time Student Aid.

Students with a documented permanent disability enrolled in a least 20% and less than 40% of a full-course load are considered part-time, while those enrolled in at least 40% and less than 60% of a full-course load may apply for either part-time or full-time assistance. See the Permanent Disability chapter for further information.

Residency

Reg.: Schedule 2, ss. 1(2) and 1(3)

Students are considered to be residents of Alberta if Alberta is the last province/territory they lived in for 12 consecutive months. The time spent as a full-time post-secondary student in Alberta does not count towards the length of time required to establish residency in Alberta.

If a student has spent time outside of Alberta doing volunteer activities, this time does not count against the student’s Alberta residency.

The intent of residency rules is to establish to which province or territory each student should apply for student aid. A student who is a resident of more than one province or territory must not, for a given study period, apply to more than one province or territory for student aid funding.

Once a student is considered an Alberta resident, the student may continue to apply for and receive Alberta Student Aid funding during each subsequent consecutive year in which the student remains continuously enrolled. This is the case whether the student is in the same or in a different program and whether in the same or in a different educational institution. If a student in this situation were to have a 12 month break in studies, the student’s residency must be re-established before a new application can be processed.

Residency for Married and Common-Law Students

A student is considered an Alberta resident if their spouse/partner meets the residency requirements.

When married or common-law students both require student aid, it is preferable for one province/territory to fund both of them. They may both apply for student aid to the province/territory in which they are attending studies, as long as it is a province/territory in which one of them has established residency.

If the couple (both students) are attending an institution in a third province/territory of which neither is a resident, each will be considered a resident of his or her original province/territory unless a mutual agreement among the provinces/territories is reached. Students in this situation may contact the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre to discuss this further.

Residency for Students from Border Communities

Students residing in border communities are considered to be residents of the province/territory to which their home postal code belongs.

Residency for Students Who Do Not Meet Any Province’s Residency Criteria

Any part-time student who does not meet any Canadian province or territory’s residency criteria may be considered an Alberta resident as long as the student is:

  • attending an Alberta educational institution, and
  • residing in Alberta during the study period.

A student with protected person status, who is living in Alberta on the date of which their program begins and has not established residency in another province or territory, can be considered a resident of Alberta.

Determining the province/territory of residence can be challenging and occasionally requires submission of a residency résumé (Missing Information Request for Residency) form or discussions between provinces/territories. Students with complex residency scenarios may benefit from speaking with the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre.

The Alberta Part-Time Grant has an additional residency requirement. If a student does not live in and attend an institution in Alberta, the student is not eligible for the Alberta Part-Time Grant but may still receive federal part-time funding through Alberta Student Aid.

Program Eligibility

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 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. To check if your program has designation status, use the School and Program Eligibility Search.

If an educational institution delivers a program full-time, students who attend the program part-time may receive Canada loans and grants and/or the Alberta Part-Time Grant.

If an educational institution delivers the program on a part-time basis only, the program cannot be designated for Canada loans and grants. Students who attend such a program may receive the Alberta Part-Time Grant only. 

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

Determining Family Income

There is an income threshold associated with each type of Alberta or Canada part-time funding. Eligibility for each type of funding is dependent on the student’s family income.

When the student initially applies, the Line 15000 (formerly Line 150) amount(s) provided on the student’s Application for Financial Assistance for Part-Time Post-Secondary Studies will help determine the student’s eligibility for each type of Alberta and Canada part-time funding for the study period as follows:

  • Single students: student’s total income (i.e., Line 15000 amount) from the requested tax year.
  • Married/common-law students: combined student and spouse/partner’s total income (i.e., Line 15000 amounts) from the requested tax year.
  • There is no ‘dependent student’ category for part-time students, so income from the student’s parent(s) is not considered.

The tax year is listed on the Application for Financial Assistance for Part-Time Post-Secondary Studies and is determined based on the student’s study period start date.

If the student or a family member did not file taxes for the requested year, an estimate of total income for that year may be provided on the application when the student initially applies.

Alberta Student Aid should be notified of corrections to Line 15000 amounts or estimates as soon as possible.

After any portion of funding has been paid, Canada and Alberta grant eligibility will not be adjusted to increase grant amounts.

If the student or a family member expects their current year earnings to be lower than their prior year’s earnings (i.e., Line 15000 amount), an estimate of total income for the current year may be provided on the application when the student initially applies.

Expected Reduced Yearly Income

The lower of either the Line 15000 amount(s) or the Expected Reduced Yearly Income amount(s) provided on the application at the time the student initially applies will be used to determine eligibility for Canada part-time funding.

The Expected Reduced Yearly Income amount(s) will not be used to determine eligibility for the Alberta Part-Time Grant. Eligibility for the Alberta Part-Time Grant will be determined by Line 15000 amount(s) provided on the application at the time the student initially applies.

Previous Loans

Reg.: Schedule 2, s. 8(3)(b), (c)

Students with Previous Student Loans

The Student Financial Assistance Regulation sets out a number of requirements to determine if a student is eligible for receiving financial assistance.

Students with previous student loans that are in good standing (not in default) may be considered for further Canada or Alberta funding. Students that have defaulted on previous student loans must rehabilitate their loans before they can be considered for further Canada or Alberta funding. See Repayment Chapter – Loan Rehabilitation for more information.

Bankruptcy

For students who have previously received student loans and have filed for bankruptcy, see Repayment Chapter – Bankruptcy for details on how this affects eligibility for further Canada or Alberta student aid, including part-time student aid.

Allowable Costs

Reg.: Schedule 2, s. 11(1)

A student’s part-time award (Canada loan, Canada grants, and Alberta grant) will not exceed the amount of the costs listed below.

The following costs are considered when determining part-time eligibility:

  • tuition and mandatory fees
  • books, supplies and instruments
  • transportation:
    • $50 per month.
    • Additional travel costs may be allowed for students when it is more economical to commute to school than to relocate. Consideration may also be given to students who cannot use public transportation (e.g. due to coordinating school and childcare, due to a disability, or because the student is taking night classes), to students with temporary transportation needs (e.g. students doing a practicum) or to students with higher than average bus pass costs.
    • Additional travel costs will not normally exceed $481 per month.
    • Costs can only be considered for class days.
    • With documentation, $0.25 per kilometer and cost of basic Personal Liability/Property Damage vehicle insurance may be allowed.
    • If the student is enrolled in a correspondence/e-learning/distance study program, no transportation costs will be allowed.
  • childcare (for class days, if requested):
    • up to $724 per child per month without receipts.
    • Maximum of $1,200 per child per month may be allowed with receipts or statement from childcare provider.
    • If the student is enrolled in a correspondence/e-learning/distance study program, no childcare costs will be allowed.
  • miscellaneous costs (Canada assessment only):
    • $10 per course per week of study.
  • approved disability-related services and equipment costs, if applicable.