Political Policy Student Financial Assistance
Expires: April 30, 2021
- Post-secondary education is a public good due to the benefits it brings to the social structure and tax system.
- The cost of attaining a post-secondary education includes tuition, fees, the cost of educational materials, and living expenses.
- The cost of a university education as well as student debt continues to increase.
- The high costs associated with university education pose a barrier to accessing, and a disincentive to completing a university education.
- Students who do not receive financial assistance for their education may be required to take on large amounts of debt.
- Some students require part or full time employment in order to finance their education.
- There is an opportunity cost for individuals who choose to pursue an education rather than earnings from working.
- Students partaking in part or full time employment do not have the same opportunity for academic achievements as those who do not require employment to finance their education.
- The high cost associated with university education can be detrimental to academic and extracurricular student achievement.
- Need-based aid, merit based awards, and student loans are all integral parts of the student finance system.
- The current need-based aid and merit based awards application process is inefficient and time consuming.
- Need-based aid is an integral part of the student finance system, without which students in financial need could not afford a university education.
- Merit based awards target students who are less likely to have dire need of financial aid.
- The University of Alberta should not only aim to attract talented students, but demonstrate a commitment to supporting undergraduate students with financial needs and assist them in realizing their full potential.
- The Students' Union advocates for a provincial financial aid system that:
- Includes increased relative and absolute amounts of non-repayable assistance, including but not limited to grants and bursaries;
- Recognizes the importance of need-based student financial aid that increases the relative and absolute amounts and number of need based aid awards, which are awarded based on students’ financial need and/or involvement;
- Is accessible to all Alberta students attending not-for-profit post-secondary institutions;
- Recognizes the complete overhead costs of education to the learner including, but not limited to, rent and utility costs, textbook costs, transportation costs, food, personal care, internet, and computer costs;
- Includes adjustments to all forms of financial assistance to reflect changes in market realities as they affect students;
- Eases the growing burden of student debt to post-secondary graduates;
- Increases the number of awards targeted to traditionally barriered populations, including but not limited to, Aboriginal students, rural students, students with disabilities, and low-income students.
- The Students’ Union advocates for Student Financial Assistance provided by the University of Alberta that:
- Increases the number and value of need-based awards to continuing undergraduate students such that they are consistent with the number and value of entrance awards;
- Increases the monetary value of awards in conjunction with any increase to the cost of higher education;
- Increases the number of available awards as enrolment of students increases;
- Annually discloses the ratio of need to merit-based aid, and the distribution of awards between years of study;
- Has an efficient application process that connects more students to funding.
- The Students’ Union advocates that donors support students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse skills via scholarships and bursaries.