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Alberta Student Grant for Full-Time Students

Are you thinking about college but not financially well-endowed to pursue your higher education dreams? A college education is considered a prerequisite today in the increasingly competitive job market. However, getting relevant post-secondary education can cost quite a fortune. Instead of feeling hard done by the lack of funds to realize your educational and career aspirations, open your eyes to the plethora of student aid options offered by Alberta.

The province of Alberta has a slew of student aid programs in place for prospective college students. In particular, the Alberta Student Grant for Full-Time Students is one of the highly sought-after financial aid options amongst the students enrolled in full-time post-secondary programs. Now let’s dabble into the various aspects of this program to see if it is the right one for you.

Eligibility Criteria

To make the most of the Alberta Student Grant for Full-Time Students, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must either be a citizen of Canada or a permanent resident living in Alberta. Even an individual determined as a protected person by immigration laws can apply for this program.

Residency Status

As for your Alberta residency status, you’re considered to be a resident of the province if you’ve recently lived in Alberta for 12 consecutive months while not being a full-time post-secondary student; and you haven’t lived in any other province of Canada for 12 continuous months and are a student of a post-secondary school in Alberta. You also qualify if at least one of your parents resides in Alberta.

  • The student must be pursuing a full-time graduate program or a course that lasts for a year. Apprenticeship courses must fall under the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act of Alberta.
  • To be deemed a full-time student, you must take up more than sixty percent of a semester’s full-time course load or attend a program that lasts for 12 weeks per study term, with a minimum of twenty hours a week spent in classes. Contact the counsellor of your school to know the number of courses you need to take to be considered a full-time student.
  • Your academic progress can affect your eligibility criteria for the following year of your studies. If you happen to withdraw from two of your study periods after receiving a round of study funding, you won’t qualify for the next round of 12-month funding applicable from the date of your second withdrawal. However, this rule doesn’t apply to students who switch to part-time status.
  • Since it is financial aid, the monetary standing of your family will be taken into consideration. To be eligible for the grant, your family income should fall between the minimum and maximum income thresholds that have been assigned by the province.
  • Lastly, if you have taken previous loans or grants from the Alberta or Canadian government, it will be assessed to see if there are any defaults in repayment. 

Income Threshold for Eligibility

As mentioned above, the income of your family is a crucial factor in qualifying for this grant. Let’s explore the minimums and maximums of this income threshold, which varies according to the size of the family.

For a family of one:

To receive the maximum grant amount, the annual family income should fall below $32,102. To be considered eligible for the grant, family income should be below $ 63,615.

For a family of two:

For the maximum grant amount, the annual family income should be below $ 45,399. To qualify for the program, the annual family income should be less than $ 89,004.

For a family of three:

Family income below $55,602 will ensure the maximum amount for your grant. However, to qualify for the grant, the income of the family should not exceed $106,278.

For a family of four:

If your family’s annual income falls beneath $64,204, then you are eligible to receive maximum grant money. For qualifying though, the annual income should be below $117,021.

For a family of five:

If the annual income of your family is below $ 71,782, then you are qualified to get the maximum grant amount. To be eligible for the program, it should not exceed $ 126,929.

For a family of six:

For maximum benefits, annual family income must be below $ 78,634. To qualify, family income should not exceed $ 136,326.

For a family of seven or more:

To receive the maximum amount under the grant, income should be less than $ 84,933. To qualify for the program, it should not exceed $ 144,457.

Special Circumstances

Even though the eligibility criteria stated above are ironclad, there are a few special circumstances when an applicant can still be considered a full-time student. Let us take a brief look at these.

Multiple schools at once

If you are pursuing multiple programs in multiple schools simultaneously, then you can be considered a full-time student. However, you must select one of the schools as your primary educational institution during application.

Integrated internship

If you are pursuing a course that requires an internship within the curriculum, then the internship hours will also be considered as study hours, making you eligible for Alberta Student Grant for Full-Time Students.

Exchange or field study

If you are part of an exchange program or perhaps require some field study, then you are qualified to be called a full-time student.

Studying outside of Canada

Irrespective of geographical boundaries, if your institution outside Canada offers a course that is recognized by the Canadian government, then you are still a full-time student according to Alberta Student Grant.

How to Apply

Applying for the grant can be roughly divided into two facets, one that requires procuring all information, and the other is creating an account online. Some basic information required for application includes personal address, phone number, email address, date of birth, and gender. You would also need your Social Insurance Number, Alberta Student Number, and your family’s recent income tax returns. You also need to gather course-related details such as its duration, start date, end date as well as other financial aids that you may receive from caregivers, other sources, or other awards or grants.

Now that you have all the information, it’s time to create your Student Aid Account. Identity verification is an integral part of the creation process, and you can do this either through MyAlberta Digital ID or Secure Identity and Access Management System (SIAMS). Providing an Alberta driver’s license or an identification card should suffice for the former. For SIAMS, you will need to provide either two Alberta High School Diploma level marks and an Alberta Student Aid Agreement Number or Canada Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA) Number. Once the details have been entered and identity has been verified, then you can officially create your Student Aid account.

How Much Can You Get?

The amount you may receive is calculated based on the actual cost of the post-secondary education, out of which the amount you can contribute either independently or through caregivers is subtracted. This calculation will finally yield the amount you can receive depending on your financial needs.

When it comes to the Alberta province, the maximum grant amount has been set at $ 375 per month for families whose annual income is below the minimum income threshold mentioned above. The least amount one can receive as long as their income falls under the upper limit of income threshold is $ 100. Please note that the students who have applied for the grant for one semester will receive the amount at the beginning of the semester. However, when the applicant has applied for the grant for multiple semesters, the aid is disbursed in half at the beginning and the middle of the study period.

Other Financial Aid Options

If you feel you are not eligible for the grant, then don’t lose heart. Other provincial programs like Alberta Student Grant for Part-Time Students, Alberta Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disability, Alberta Student Loans, and Alberta Student Scholarships might suit your needs and specifications.

Student Loans and Grants

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Provincial Funding

Looking for student aid options offered by your local province? Choose your province of residence below to check out provincial funding options such as grants, loans, scholarships, and bursaries.
*All student funding, whether made available privately or through various government branches, is only approved to those who qualify, by the original source of funding. There are many criteria that each candidate must meet to be approved. Schools can only inform you of what may be available.