Current Situation

In-person classes may resume, with restrictions, effective May 14, 2020. In the cities of Calgary and Brooks, in-person classes may not resume until June 1, 2020. Post-secondary institutions are encouraged to continue to hold classes remotely and limit in-person attendance on campus as much as possible.

Most schools are making decisions about course delivery for this fall. Contact your post-secondary institution, or visit their website, for more detailed information.

Overview

Universities, colleges, polytechnic schools and other adult learning providers across Alberta are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff. We are confident in the work of our post-secondary institutions as they put their response plans into action.

Most schools have continued to deliver courses and services to students using remote delivery. Alberta is working with all schools to support students and ensure their continued safety and success.

Below is some basic information about how students may be affected by the pandemic. This page will be updated as Alberta continues to safely and gradually relaunch the economy.

Contact your post-secondary institution, or visit their website, for more detailed information. Most schools continue to have student advisors available to help you with any questions or concerns.

Grading

Grading practices vary by school. Schools have taken different approaches for grading in Winter Term 2020, such as:

  • maintaining the standard grading system already in place
  • changing the grading system to a credit/no credit or a pass/fail system
  • giving students an option to choose whether they accept a letter grade or a categorical grade (for example, credit/no credit, pass/fail)
  • giving students an option to request an “INC” (incomplete) and to complete course requirements at a later time

If your school lets you choose between a letter grade or a categorical grade, talk with an advisor about what decision may be best for you.

If your school offers scholarship and bursary programs, they may also have extended deadlines and adjusted criteria to help you apply.

Contact your post-secondary institution, or visit their website, for more detailed information.

Admissions

From high school to post-secondary

Post-secondary institutions will generally accept percentage grades on high school transcripts, with or without diploma exams. This is generally true for transcripts from out of province as well. Many institutions have also extended the deadline for submitting your official transcript.

Check your school’s website for information about admissions as it becomes available.

Learn more about K to 12 school re-entry.

Transferring between programs and post-secondary institutions

Universities, colleges and polytechnic schools are developing policies on transfer, and are considering alternative grading practices.

If you want to transfer within your current school, consult an advisor at your school. If you want to transfer to a different school, consult an advisor at that school. Most schools are continuing to provide academic advising services online.

If you have a choice between accepting a letter grade or a categorical grade (for example, credit/no credit, pass/fail) on a course and you want to transfer, speak with an advisor about how your choice could affect transfer credit.

Student services

Many schools are providing virtual student services like academic advising, accessibility supports, and health and wellness supports (for example, counselling). Some schools have also created new supports to help students in their learning during this time.

Contact your post-secondary institution, or visit their website, for more detailed information.

Financial support

Emergency financial aid and job support

As part of its COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan, the Government of Canada introduced supports for students and recent graduates. This includes the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit and the Canada Student Service Grant to provide Canadian students with financial support if they have experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic. This also includes expanded programming to support jobs and work placements for students.

Alberta post-secondary schools may also have provisions and supports in place for students who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Some institutions have payment plan options available for students who are having difficulty with tuition payments. Other fees for services such as parking, residence, recreation/athletics, and those that are temporarily unavailable may be being adjusted at some institutions.

Contact your post-secondary institution, or visit their website, for more detailed information.

Student loans

Effective March 30, 2020, the Government of Alberta deferred all student loan payments until September 30, 2020. Interest will not be accrued during this period. The Canada Student Loan program also defers payments and pauses interest accrual until September 30, 2020.

Learn more about support and service available through Alberta Student Aid.

Practicums and co-op placements

Schools follow guidance from Alberta Health Services to ensure all public health measures and requirements are in place for all hands-on learning experiences, including:

  • practicums
  • co-op placements
  • job sites

Placements that meet these measures are permitted to continue.

Some practicums and co-op placements are postponed or cancelled.

Contact your current or intended school’s program or placement office for more information.

Apprenticeship

The March-April and May-June intakes for apprenticeship training are cancelled. All scheduled exam sessions are cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

Learn more about how Apprentices and Trades Qualifier Applicants are being impacted by COVID-19.

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Office front counter service is temporarily closed to protect the health of staff and clients.

Albertans can still submit apprenticeship applications and requests for other apprenticeship services online at MyTradesecrets.

International students

As part of its COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan, the Government of Canada introduced flexibility in post-graduation work permit rules to help international students.

The Government of Canada provides information about how COVID-19 is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport applications, including:

  • the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in multiple languages
  • travel restrictions and exemptions
  • visa applications
  • biometrics

Many schools have emergency aid and supports in place for all students affected by the pandemic, including international students. This may include payment plan options and fee adjustments for services such as:

  • parking
  • residence
  • recreation or athletics
  • services that are temporarily unavailable

Contact your post-secondary institution, or visit their website, for more detailed information.

The Canadian Bureau for International Education has a COVID-19 dashboard with updates, resources and the latest COVID-19 information for international students.