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Investing in student affordability
Alberta's students are facing an increased cost of living, rising interest rates and increased tuition costs, all of which impact their ability to get jobs and meaningfully contribute to Alberta’s economy. Alberta’s government is taking action to improve affordability for Alberta post-secondary students.
As part of Budget 2023, we are improving affordability for post-secondary students by:
Announced February 9, 2023
- Alberta’s government is investing an additional $8.5 million to expand the New Beginnings Bursary (NBB) for 1,700 low-income Alberta nursing students. Each eligible student will receive a one-time non-repayable bursary of $5,000.
- Recipients will be automatically selected from student loan applicants who met program and financial eligibility criteria. The bursaries have been fully allocated and recipients are in the process of being contacted.
Announced February 13, 2023
- Alberta Advanced Education is also expanding its programming to provide $7.8 million annually in new financial assistance to support up to 400 Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) in Alberta. Eligible IENs can receive up to $30,000 to help cover the costs of nursing bridging programs, tuition and cost of living expenses. The amount of each bursary will be determined based on the individual's program of study, tuition costs, licensing and program fees.
- Recipients are required to complete one-year of nursing service in Alberta for every $6,000 they receive in funding.
- Program design is underway and more information will be shared when available.
Announced February 16, 2023
- Reducing interest rates on student loans to the prime rate, which will help reduce the cost of borrowing for both current and future Alberta student loan borrowers. This change will be effective July 1, 2023.
- Increasing the thresholds for the Repayment Assistance Plan from $25,000 to $40,000, so more students can benefit from the program. This change will be effective July 1, 2023.
- Doubling the student loan interest-free grace period from six months to 12 months to give students more time to find gainful employment without having to worry about student loan payments. Effective July 1, 2023, and will benefit students who completed their studies after December 1, 2022.
- In addition, the Alberta Government is immediately making changes to the Alberta Student Grant (ASG) to provide an additional $225 per month in 2022-23 to more than 10,000 students who receive this funding; eligible students will now receive up to $475 per month. This increased amount is exclusively for the 22-23 academic year.
Alberta Student Grant for Full-time Students - Grant Amounts Increased
High inflation has made life more expensive for all Albertans, including post-secondary students. The new measures will help all students deal with higher costs during these challenging times. Effective immediately, the Alberta Government is increasing the monthly Alberta Student Grant amount for the 2022-23 loan year to help address student affordability concerns. The additional one-time funding will top up current low-income students who have or already received the Alberta Student Grant in the 2022-23 loan year and any new students who apply in the 2022/23 loan year. The Alberta Student Grant amount is increasing from $225 to $475 per month, while the maximum Alberta Student Grant amount has increased from $3,000 to $5,700 per year (for students attending a 12-month program). The increased ASG amounts are exclusively for the 2022/23 loan year.
The Alberta Student Grants targets full-time students in one-year certificate programs, graduate students, and apprenticeship programs that do not qualify for the Canada Student Grant. This increase will provide additional one-time funding to current Alberta Student Grant recipients as well as any new applicants who meet the current eligibility criteria (low-income students only).
Messaging for Students who have applied for funding:
Alberta Student Grant eligible students who have already applied and received the base $250/month for the Alberta Student Grant before February 7, 2023, will automatically be reassessed, and approved for the increased one-time amount of $225 per month, in addition to the $250 a month they have already received, for the total benefit of $475 per month. Once their assessment is complete, students will be notified via their Alberta Student Aid personal inbox with an award letter. Students do not have to reapply or submit a Request for Review to receive this extra funding.
Messaging students who will apply for funding:
Students who have applied after February 7, 2023, for funding in the 2022-23 academic year, and are eligible for this grant, will automatically be assessed under the new one-time Alberta Student Grant amount of $475 per month. Once their assessment is complete, the students will be notified via their Alberta Student Aid personal inbox with an award letter. Students do not have to reapply or submit a Request for Review to receive this extra funding.
Messaging students who have applied for funding in 2021-22:
Students who applied for and received Alberta Student Grant funding in 2021-22 will not be eligible for additional funding as this is a one-time top up exclusively for the 2022-23 loan year only.
For more information, see Alberta Student Grants.