Alberta’s UCP announces new funding for post- secondary students


Tuition hikes capped at two per cent, low-income student aid boosted $225 per month, interest-free student loans for 12 months

Alberta’s United Conservative government is taking action to make life more affordable for post-secondary students in the province.

The province announced it will cap tuition increases at two percent, as part of budget 2023, for  the academic year starting in 2024-25.

 The  province will also  increase the interest-free period on student loans from six months to twelve.

 “Today’s announcement reaffirms the government’s commitment to accessible and affordable post-secondary education,” said  Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education. “I want to ensure that every student can gain the knowledge and skills that they need to live fulfilling lives and develop fulfilling careers.”

 As well, the province will expand the income allowed for the Repayment Assistance Plan from $25,000 to $40,000.

The government’s announcement is receiving praise from student organizations across the province.

“This announcement marks the implementation of longstanding requests from student leaders around affordability. On behalf of Alberta’s students, it is great to see increased efforts to ensure that post-secondary is more accessible and affordable for all.” 

Samantha Scott, chair of the Council of Alberta’s University Students

David Eggen, MLA for Edmonton-North West, the Alberta NDP’s advanced education critic, complained that the government’s new help for students was not generous enough.

“Students are struggling to make ends meet as tuition and the cost of living have increased dramatically under the UCP — putting post-secondary education out of reach for many Albertans,” said Eggen.

Nicolaides defended the measures, saying they address the inflationary pressure students are facing.

“High inflation has made life more expensive for all Albertans, including post-secondary students,” the Minister said. “These new measures will help all students deal with higher costs during these challenging times.” 

Speaking to CTV News, the Minister said the program would help each of Alberta’s estimated 260,000 post-secondary students, through initiatives like the tuition cap, the repayment assistance plan, or one of the other initiatives taken by the UCP. 

Approximately 164,000 Alberta post-secondary students have student loans, who will benefit directly from reducing the interest rate. 10,000 low-income students raising will be helped by raising the Alberta Student Grant by $225 per month.

In total, the new funding from this announcement will directly impact all of Alberta’s university and college students, by taking steps to reduce interest rates and cap tuition increases – aggressively addressing the urgent appeals for help from students and Alberta student organizations.

This story was written by Corbin Kelley