Funding and Grants for Accessibility Students

Students with permanent disabilities may be eligible for government funding designed to offset education-related costs associated with their disability. To access these grants, a student with a permanent disability must apply for and be found eligible to receive a student loan. Eligibility is determined by Student Aid Alberta.

Applying for Bursaries

The Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities is available for each of your studies. A Bursary for Students With Disabilities (BSWD) is available to assist students with disabilities with their education and disability-related expenses. 

To learn more, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/education/grants/disabilities.html

Student Aid Alberta

A permanent disability is a functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at the post-secondary level or in the labour force. The disability is expected to remain for the person’s expected natural life.

Alberta Student Aid recommends you apply two months before the start of your school year.

You may be eligible for:

  • Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities 
    • $2,000 per loan year to help meet your education and living costs
  • Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities
    • Up to $8,000 per loan year to help you with exceptional education related costs such as assistive services or equipment (i.e., text-to-speech software, screen readers, academic strategists, tutors, etc).
  • Alberta Grant for Students with Disabilities 
    • Up to $3,000 per loan year
  • Maximum funding for services and equipment 
    • Up to 9 months of study = $8,000
    • 10 - 12 months of study = $11,000

To qualify for these grants you must:

  1. Submit a Student Loan application through Student Aid Alberta 
  2. You can apply for a Student Loan 
  3. Identify yourself as a student with a permanent disability
  4. Have your Access Advisor sign and submit a Schedule 4 Form, with all required documentation attached. Your documentation must be recent, contain a clear diagnosis, and be provided by the appropriate professional. Refer to the Summary of Disability Documentation Required section of the Schedule 4 form, and/or speak with your Access Advisor for more details on these requirements. 
  5. Please note that the Schedule 4 must be submitted by Student Accessibility Services. Students are not able to submit their own Schedule 4 at this time.
  6. Be found eligible for at least $1 in Canada Student Loan funding
  7. Eligibility for student loans and grants is determined by Student Aid Alberta.

What if I am not eligible for a Canada Student Loan? 

  • If the federal government determines that you are ineligible for at least $1 in Canada Student Loan funding, then you are not eligible to receive the $2000 Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities.
  • However, if you also requested funding from the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities (for instance, you requested funding for services such as a strategist, or for assistive technology) then your application will be automatically forwarded by the federal government to the provincial government for consideration.
  • The provincial government uses a different formula for determining eligibility and may be able to offer you funding from the Alberta Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities for Services and Equipment. Up to $3000 per loan year is available through the Alberta Grant.

What else should I know? 

  • Apply as early as possible: we recommend you apply in July for September entry and October for January entry. 
  • You can submit a Schedule 4 at any time of the year, so long as Student Aid Alberta receives your Canada Student Loan application and Schedule 4 form at least 30 days before the end of the Winter semester (end of April). 
  • Do not hesitate to contact your Access Advisor with any questions or concerns you have regarding the funding and grant process - it is best to have all your questions answered before applying.