Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.16 / 4.00 Brett Buchanan
Team Lead, Student Financial Support
Office of the Registrar
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

As part of the university's strategic plan, "For the Public Good" the first objective is "build a diverse, inclusive community of exceptional undergraduate and graduate students from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the world." One strategy to reach this objective is to "ensure that qualified undergraduate and graduate students can attend the university through the provision of robust student financial support." Under the leadership of Student Financial Support (SFS), in the Office of the Registrar, a new Student Financial Supports Policy and suite of procedures were developed to align to the university's strategic plan. The policy states:

"The University of Alberta is committed to providing and optimizing robust student financial supports, in order to ensure that academically qualified students can attend the university. These student financial supports will align with institutional priorities and values, including those outlined in the institutional strategic plan. The University recognizes that access to affordable education is a shared responsibility between the University, the student, and government. The associated procedures outline how the University will ensure that its responsibilities to all stakeholders, including students, government, and donors, are met."

SFS administers the majority of financial support programs for undergraduate students. This includes undergraduate scholarships and awards, bursaries, emergency funding, government student loans advising, and financial literacy workshops and events. Students seeking financial support make inquiries at Student Connect, the student services centre run by the Office of the Registrar. Both of these units work together closely to provide the student the advice and support needed.

There are many faculty-specific bursaries and scholarships available across the institution. The Graduate Students Association (GSA) and the International Services Centre also offer unique bursary, emergency funding and scholarship programs for students.

There are additional non-funding supports available such as the Campus Food Bank which provide food and toiletry items to those in need on a bi-weekly basis.


A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:
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A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

UALBERTA PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS WEBSITE
https://www.ualberta.ca/prospective-students.html
https://www.ualberta.ca/admissions/undergraduate/tuition-and-scholarships

The university’s web page for prospective students includes information and links to a variety of costs, tuition, fees, financial support, and financial literacy information, and additional information for parents and families. These pages connect people to programs like Student Orientation and Family Orientation presented through the Students’ Union and student services from a variety of on campus units, including the Dean of Students and Residence Services.

STUDENT FINANCIAL SUPPORT (SFS)

SFS typically provides staff to advise students on funding their education during programs/events that target incoming students and recruitment events like Open House. Through these activities and resources incoming students and their families are better informed about the costs of post-secondary studies and the approaches to pay for it.

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES
https://www.ualberta.ca/admissions/undergraduate/resources/parents

Information for parents and families is available online, and an early Family Orientation session is available to attend with their student to learn about how university can affect their student, how parents can support their student, and what services are available on campus. Family Orientation programs are available to parents, guardians, and any newly admitted student. Sessions focus on student wellness, student finances, residence life, student services, and more!


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

SCHOLARSHIPS, AWARDS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT
https://www.ualberta.ca/registrar/Scholarships-Awards-Financial-Support.aspx

Approximately 28 million dollars in undergraduate financial support are distributed annually through the Office of the Registrar. These supports are distributed to students with varying eligibility criteria. Scholarships and awards focus on merit-based criteria including academic excellence and leadership competencies. Hybrid awards include both merit-based and need-based eligibility criteria. In addition, select scholarships and awards focus on recruiting traditionally underrepresented groups such as rural and Indigenous students.

SUPPLEMENTARY BURSARY
https://www.ualberta.ca/registrar/scholarships-awards-financial-support/bursaries-emergency-funding/supplementary-bursary

There are bursaries for students with demonstrated financial need, with the majority administered through the Supplementary Bursary program. These bursaries are non-repayable forms of financial assistance to help students who are: ineligible for student loans, have reached the maximum in their student loan amounts or simply do not have access to sufficient funding.

ACCESS FUND
https://www.su.ualberta.ca/services/accessfund/

The Access Fund Bursary (funded by a Students’ Union levy) provides support to undergraduate students in financial need through the Supplementary Bursary program.


A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

NATIONAL RECRUITMENT OFFICE

The National Recruitment Office has a comprehensive recruitment plan for recruiting high school students in Alberta and across Canada. Recruitment strategies include connecting with students residing in high schools in all communities. In the spirit of inclusiveness students are not asked to declare their financial status. All programs are offered to all students, and information is shared about all forms of financial assistance.

U SCHOOL
https://www.ualberta.ca/chancellor-and-senate/u-school/index.html

U School is a program run by the University of Alberta Senate introduces and connects students in grades 4 through 9 from socially vulnerable, Indigenous (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) and rural communities to the University of Alberta. Classes of students join their classroom teachers at a week-long immersion experience on campus led by the U School staff team. Information about financial budgeting and promotion of financial literacy is normally also provided during the U School program.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

TRANSITION YEAR PROGRAM
https://www.ualberta.ca/current-students/first-peoples-house/transition-year-program/index.html

The Transition Year Program (TYP) is a university access program for Indigenous students who may not be prepared to enter a faculty through the regular admissions route. This is not an upgrading program, but a full-time University of Alberta program in Open Studies.


Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

SUPPLEMENTARY BURSARY
https://www.ualberta.ca/registrar/scholarships-awards-financial-support/bursaries-emergency-funding/supplementary-bursary

Part-time undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for up to $4,000 in bursary funding as long as they meet the specific eligibility requirements.

Merit-based monetary awards are normally payable only when students are in actual full-time attendance at the university in the term during which funds are dispersed. However, awards that are offered prior to the commencement of or within a Fall Term will be divided evenly between the Fall Term and the Winter Term. If the student returns for one term of study or to part-time studies, the student's situation will be assessed to determine if the funding should be adjusted/prorated.


A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

AFFILIATED CHILD CARE
https://www.ualberta.ca/vice-president-facilities-operations/service-catalogue/buildings-grounds-and-environmental-services/buildings/affiliated-child-care.html

UAlberta is affiliated with six non-profit day care centres on or near campus. These quality child care facilities are accredited by Accreditation of Early Learning and Care Services (AELCS), and each are independently run governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of parents and community members.

GRADUATE STUDENTS' ASSOCIATION CHILD CARE GRANT
https://www.ualberta.ca/graduate-students-association/funding/gsa-child-care-grants

The Graduate Students' Association Child Care Grant helps offset the cost of child care for graduate students at the University of Alberta.

BURSARIES

As part of university's bursary program the university considers dependents in calculating student’s expenses.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

SCHOLARSHIP, AWARD AND BURSARY PROGRAMS

The University of Alberta has scholarships and awards specific to Indigenous and international students. As part of our broader scholarship, award, and bursary programs, individual awards may have eligibility requirements or preferences specific to certain demographics or student types.

There is also the President's Award for Refugees and Displaced Persons. Through a student refugee program agreement with World University Service Canada recipients are provided a full scholarship for the duration of their degree.

STUDENT SUPPORTS
https://www.ualberta.ca/provost/dean-of-students/services.html
https://www.ualberta.ca/ismss

The University offers a wide variety of student support portfolios and services to a wide variety of student demographics. Examples include Accessibility Resources and First Peoples’ House through the Dean of Students, and the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services through the Faculty of Education.

SUPPORT FOR INDIGENOUS STUDENTS

Two specific programs focused on recruiting and supporting Indigenous students are U School and the Transition Year Program (TYP).

U School
https://www.ualberta.ca/chancellor-and-senate/u-school/index.html

U School is a program run by the University of Alberta Senate introduces and connects students in grades 4 through 9 from socially vulnerable, Indigenous (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) and rural communities to the University of Alberta. Classes of students join their classroom teachers at a week-long immersion experience on campus led by the U School staff team. Information about financial budgeting and promotion of financial literacy is normally also provided during the U School program.

Transition Year Program (TYP)
https://www.ualberta.ca/current-students/first-peoples-house/transition-year-program/index.html

The Transition Year Program (TYP) is a university access program for Indigenous students who may not be prepared to enter a faculty through the regular admissions route. This is not an upgrading program, but a full-time University of Alberta program in Open Studies.

SAFE HOUSE PROGRAM
https://www.ualberta.ca/provost/dean-of-students/projects-initiatives/safe-house.html

For students that may be experiencing an immediate personal safety risk, intolerable living conditions, or are financially destitute, the Safe House Program offers for current students and their children.


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):
Yes

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):
16

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
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On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):
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The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):
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Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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NOTES:

Student Financial Support has limited data on low-income students. Much of the data in Part 2 is focused on the US context and not data currently tracked at the UofA.

ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBLE PARTIES:

Fiona Halbert
Assistant Registrar, Student Financial Support
Office of the Registrar

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.