With this year’s student loan process opening just this past week, I wanted to take a minute to say how pleased we are with the provincial government’s recent changes to the Alberta Student Funding process.
As educators focused on, among other elements, agriculture, horticulture, land and environmental management, we were most gratified that the Alberta government consulted us on this last spring and chose to implement some of our suggestions.
In the months following those consultations, the provincial government has made it easier for farm families to be fairly assessed for need-based government loans and grants. Farm families are a key demographic of prospective students for an institution like Olds College. Parents are longer required to declare the net value of the farm as an asset; a welcome relief due to the fact that farms often have more value than cash-flow – a fact that often made potential students from farms ineligible for financial awards.
It is now easier for students from farms to acquire a post-secondary education and we think that is great news for rural Albertans.
Students interested in capitalizing on these changes may apply online (alis.alberta.ca) or pick up paper applications at either their high school or college of their choice. We wish those future leaders all the best in their efforts.
Dr. H. J. (Tom) Thompson
President, Olds College