Reconstructing Student Financial Aid in Alberta

How can we create a better system of financial support to increase accessibility?

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Not only does the current system of student financial aid often provide insufficient funding for students, but the limitation of these programs prevent the most vulnerable students from accessing supports, thus reducing overall accessibility to post-secondary education across the province.

Read our paper to understand the current barriers regarding financial aid, the reality of student debt and borrowers, and an in-depth analysis of student financial aid systems across the country.

Our recommendations include:

  • The reallocation of all tax credits into up-front grants for low income and middle income students

  • Increased investments into non-repayable student aid through scholarships, bursaries and grants

  • Ensuring that all future assessments for future up-front grants are based on the personal incomes of students, rather than household or family income

  • Increasing the repayment threshold in light of the increases to the cost of living and minimum wage that has recently come into effect

Insufficient financial support coupled with the rapid increases in tuition costs over the last two decades have created a crisis of student debt in Alberta.