You have a goal in mind, and know what program or institution you want to attend.
Now you’re ready to apply.
Questions to ask
Where to apply
- what are my goals?
- which institution(s)/program(s) will I apply to?
- should I apply to more than one institution or program?
What you need to apply
- how do I apply?
- what is the application deadline?
- do I have everything I need to apply (such as my Alberta Student Number)?
- what are the admission requirements?
- do I need to upgrade?
How to pay for it
- can I pay for application fees?
- how will I pay for my education?
- when do I need to apply for student aid?
- what scholarships/bursaries can I apply for?
What happens next
- what can I expect after I apply?
- what do I do once I've been accepted to a program?
- what do I do if I don't get into my institution or program of choice?
When to apply
Most institutions accept applications until:
- May for the fall semester (starting in August or September)
- October or November for winter semester (starting in January)
Some exceptions include:
- private career colleges, which take applications and start training programs at different times throughout the year
- application deadlines for international students, which are often earlier in order to address visa and other requirements
See institution websites for details about their application deadlines and start dates.
Post-secondary programs in Alberta are in high demand. Applying early will ensure your application is submitted before available spaces are filled.
What you need to apply
Different programs and institutions have different application criteria.
Confirm admission requirements before you start your application to a post-secondary institution. Their requirements could be different from other institutions you’re considering.
You can find out by calling the institution’s admissions office, or visiting the admissions section of their website.
As a general rule, make sure you have:
- your Alberta Student Number (ASN)
- your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- your Alberta high school transcripts
- any post-secondary transcripts, if you have them
- the ability to pay the institution’s application fee
- proof you meet language proficiency requirements, if you’re an international student
- any other supporting information your institution requires (such as a portfolio, if requested)
How to apply
How you apply depends on the types of institutions you want to attend.
ApplyAlberta makes it easy for you to apply to one or more publicly funded post-secondary institution in Alberta.
Using this online system to apply allows you to:
- apply to multiple institutions without having to re-enter your personal and academic history
- authorize several high school and post-secondary transcript transfers at once, free of charge
Through your institution
Not all adult learning providers in Alberta use ApplyAlberta. If you don’t see your institution on ApplyAlberta, you must apply directly to them. Most institutions accept applications online. When in doubt, contact your institution or visit their website for more information.
Student financial assistance
If your application is accepted and you choose to enrol, you can plan to apply for student loans, if you need them. Alberta Student Aid starts taking online loan applications in June of each year.
If you’re an Alberta student, you could be eligible to receive loans and grants provided by both the Alberta and Canada governments:
- loans and grants are available for both full and part time post-secondary students
- loans are interest and payment-free while you study
- Alberta and Canada grants are funds that don’t need to be repaid, and are available to:
- low income students
- those caring for young children
- students with disabilities
When you apply for student aid in Alberta, you’re automatically assessed for both Alberta and Canada government student loans and grants. You’re only able to access many of these grants if you apply for Alberta student aid.
If you don’t get in
Applying to several different post-secondary institutions increases your chances of being accepted into one of your preferred choices. Read about how applying to multiple institutions worked out for a Learning Clicks ambassador.
If you’re not accepted into the program or institution you want, find out why. Then use those reasons to strengthen your application for next time.
- academic upgrading if you need to increase your grades
- taking open studies courses in the area you’re interested in learning to beef up your application
- taking other programs with less stringent admissions criteria, after exploring its transferability to the program or institution you want
- applying for volunteer opportunities in your field of choice to strengthen your related experience
Above all, don’t give up. You may not reach your goal as quickly as you planned, but it’s still within your reach.
While you study
Changing your mind
It’s okay to change your mind. Not everyone has a clear-cut path through post-secondary. In fact, many Albertans:
- take programs at a number of different institutions
- enrol in multiple programs throughout their lives
- go back to school later after working for a while or raising a family
If you do change your mind partway through your post-secondary education, credits or credentials you’ve already earned could be transferable to another post-secondary program. Use the Transfer Alberta Search tool to find out.