Public post-secondary institutions receive funding from government for:

  • operations
  • building projects
  • maintenance

These institutions also receive one-time grants for specific purposes. Independent Academic Institutions do not receive capital or maintenance funding.

Capital and operating grant amounts are calculated every year as part of government’s budget process.

Read more about the Alberta budget.

Operating grants

Operating grants help publicly funded institutions function and deliver approved learning programs for credit. These grants also help pay expenses associated with delivering educational programming, such as:

  • administrative costs
  • faculty or instructor salaries
  • learning equipment

This grant support reduces the impact these costs can have on a student’s tuition. Institutions that receive these grants are either:

  • among the province’s 21 publicly funded institutions
  • a non-profit Independent Academic Institution that offers approved instruction for credit

These funds also support apprenticeship and other programs designated for student financial assistance.

How operating grants are allocated

Every year, publicly funded institutions receive operating funds through the Campus Alberta Grant. This grant supports the delivery of approved credit programs and apprenticeship seats.

Institutions use their operating dollars as they see fit, based on their needs and priorities.

Do private institutions receive operating dollars?

For-profit, private institutions (such as private career colleges) do not receive:

  • operating grants
  • funding for capital projects or building maintenance
  • inflationary adjustments
  • targeted funds

These institutions can indirectly receive funding support if they offer approved credit programs. Students enrolled in these programs may be eligible for:

  • loans
  • grants
  • scholarships

Enrolled students use these funds to pay for tuition and other fees.

Capital projects

Capital project funding amounts are determined through the annual provincial budgeting process. These funds help institutions build or renovate buildings used for:

  • instruction
  • research
  • administration

Provincial funding also supports expansion projects needed for:

  • increased student access
  • more provincial research capacity
  • maintaining existing buildings

Provincial funding is not provided for projects focused on:

  • services and buildings not directly related to instruction, such as:
    • parkades
    • student housing
    • staff residences
  • revenue generation

Completed capital projects

Read about the several capital projects completed over the past 3 years.