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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.67
Liaison Trina Innes
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.17 / 4.00 Sascha Jansz
Project Planner: Certification & Metrics
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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."

Student Financial Support, in the Office of the Registrar, administers the majority of financial support programs. 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 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:

Please refer to the description of the programs and policies outlined above.


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

Please refer to the description of the programs and policies outlined above.

The university’s web page for prospective students includes information and links to a variety of cost, 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 Student’s Union and Transition to University presented by the Student Success Centre, under the Dean of Students. Student Financial Support has outreach staff that provide services for these types of programs/events and recruitment events like Open House. Through these activities incoming students and their families are better informed about the costs of post-secondary studies and the approaches to pay for it.

URL: http://www.admissions.ualberta.ca/en/tuition-scholarships.aspx
URL: http://www.admissions.ualberta.ca/parents-families.aspx


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

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

Approximately 23 million dollars in undergraduate financial supports are distributed annually through the Office of the Registrar. These supports are distributed to students with varying eligibility criteria. Some scholarships focus on leadership competencies and academic excellence, while others are awarded according to financial need. In addition, selected scholarships focus on recruiting traditionally underrepresented groups such as rural and Aboriginal students.

SUPPLEMENTARY BURSARY
https://www.su.ualberta.ca/services/accessfund/

There are bursaries for students who demonstrate financial need, with the majority administered through a Supplementary Bursary. 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. 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:

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, whether low or high income. 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.

Because of this it is hard to define the income of prospective high school students during our interactions, we do not have a comprehensive plan to service low income students in different from any other prospective high school students. We do however distribute publications and provide presentations that outline the financial support systems that can be found at the university.

U School is a program run by the University of Alberta Senate introduces and connects students in grades 4 through 9 from socially vulnerable, Aboriginal (First Nations, 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 our 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:

N/A


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:

Part of the funding for our bursary program is sourced from the Students' Union Access Fund which is paid into by students. Part-time students are eligible for up to $3,000 in bursary funding as long as they meet the specified eligibility requirements and have not opted out of the Access Fund.

Excluding the Students' Union Access Fund, 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 award value will normally be pro-rated.


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:

The University of Alberta has six affiliated child care centres on or near campus. Each is independently run and governed.

URL: http://www.asinfo.ualberta.ca/AffiliatedChildCare.aspx

As part of our bursary program we do consider dependents in calculating student’s expenses. The Graduate Students’ Association also has a Child Care Grant.

URL: http://www.gsa.ualberta.ca/en/Funding/CCG.aspx


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

The University of Alberta has scholarships and awards specific to aboriginal 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.


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):
17

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
---

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):
---

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):
---

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):
---

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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The percentage of entering students that are low-income is based on the number of students that received a Canada Student Grant (6200) in the 2014-15 academic year.

ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBLE PARTIES

Brett Buchanan
Team Lead, Student Financial Support,
Office of the Registrar

Trina Innes
Chief Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability

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.