Alberta has topped up a program that supported low-income youth in their pursuit of post-secondary education.
Earlier this year, the province launched the New Beginnings Bursary, investing $15 million over three years, to support 1,000 low-income Albertans attending high-demand, qualified post-secondary programs with a $5,000 non-repayable support each year.
After the program was capped out for the 2022-23 academic year, 700 eligible applicants were left without support.
The additional funding of $3.5 million closes that gap and provides funding to all eligible applicants as of November 2022.
“Affordability is top of mind for this government,” said Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education.
“That’s why we have and will continue to increase funding for student assistance. I’m very glad that we can now support all eligible applicants for the New Beginnings Bursary with this additional funding. All Albertans, no matter their income, should be able to access post-secondary education to gain the skills and training they need to build successful careers and join the workforce of tomorrow.”
The New Beginnings Bursary is available to individuals studying in key economic sectors that are part of the province’s diversifying economy, including energy, technology, computer science, and aerospace and aviation, among others.
All funding has been allocated for the 2022-23 academic year and Alberta Student Aid is in the process of contacting recipients.
“The Council of Alberta University Students recognizes the increasingly urgent issue of affordability for post-secondary students, and we are pleased to see the New Beginnings Bursary supporting eligible students in need of further assistance,” said Samantha Scott, chair of the Council of Alberta University Students.
“With the ongoing cost of living increase, is it essential to see this continued work from the ministry, which will ultimately provide some support and additional funding for those who need it most.”