Alberta Student Loans – Easier to Get, Less Paperwork This FallCanada and Alberta student loans require a paper application for the first year, but online in subsequent years. Photo: University of Alberta. $748 million in Canada and Alberta student loans and grants were given out in 2012, and even more is expected to be allocated this year.

Post-secondary students receiving Alberta student loans will find the application process easier, according to the provincial government, which also announced a new grant program. Starting this year, students who have been approved for Canada and Alberta student loans will need to submit just one set of paper loan agreements.

When returning students apply to Student Aid Alberta in future years, they will no longer need to submit new loan agreements and will benefit from a mainly paperless process, according to the provincial government. Also new this year is a grant for students in one-year, undergraduate certificate programs who meet eligibility requirements.

The government expects this year that about 5,000 Albertans will be eligible for the grant, which is valued at $120 per month of study.

“A post-secondary education is one of the most important investments a person can make in their lifetime,” said Thomas Lukaszuk, deputy premier and minister of enterprise and advanced education. “Through streamlined processes, grants to encourage students to access and complete post-secondary studies, and flexible loan repayment options after graduation, we are helping more students reach their full potential. The province will reap the benefits in the years to come.”

Last year, more than 58,000 students received a total of $748 million in Canada and Alberta student loans and grants through Student Aid Alberta. More than 80 per cent of these students applied online, and many of them found out if they were eligible, and how much they were eligible for, right away.

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(Adapted from an article written by Markham Hislop for Beacon News)