Calgary

Hundreds of Alberta students waiting on student aid money delayed by provincial system glitch

Hundreds of Alberta post-secondary students are waiting on the loan money they rely on to pay bills and tuition because of a glitch in the province's system. 

Nearly 800 students are waiting on Alberta Student Aid and Canada student loan transfers

Full-time student Sarah Furlong says she hasn't been able to fully pay her rent, and risks being kicked out of her university program for unpaid tuition because of the delay. (Submitted by Sarah Furlong)

Hundreds of Alberta post-secondary students are waiting on the loan money they rely on to pay bills and tuition because of a glitch in the province's system. 

Full-time Athabasca University student Sarah Furlong says she's been waiting weeks for her Alberta Student Aid and Canada student loan money. 

"I've only paid half my rent now up to this point because I'm still waiting on the loan. If I don't get the tuition to my school by March 15th, they're going to take me out of the program," she said. 

Furlong says when she first noticed her money was late she immediately called the province's student loan office to get answers.

She said she was sent back and forth between departments multiple times until eventually she was told everything was in order, and her money should arrive within two days. 

"Then 48 hours passed, still no money," she said. 

Now, nearly two weeks later, Furlong — and nearly 800 other students — are still waiting. 

"I depend on my student loan and for them to just be so flippant about it or just act like I'm waiting for a package in the mail and it hasn't come yet and they're just like 'whatever, you'll survive. It's fine,' but it's a much more dire situation."

In an email to CBC News, the province said a one-time technical issue delayed payments for about 163 Alberta student loan and 710 Canada student loan borrowers living in Alberta.

The province says that technical issue has now been corrected and students should get their money in the next three to five business days.

"As soon as we became aware of the problem, we took action to ensure the issue was resolved, and Student Aid will be contacting affected students," wrote Taylor Hides, press secretary for the Minister of Advanced Education. 

He said students who need immediate financial support should contact their school, Alberta student aid or the Alberta Supports Contact Centre for further resources.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucie Edwardson

Journalist

Lucie Edwardson is a reporter with CBC Calgary. Follow her on Twitter @LucieEdwardson or reach her by email at lucie.edwardson@cbc.ca

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