Starting January 5, 2015, Student Aid Alberta became the first provincial student aid program in Canada to offer Higher Ed Points to students – a program that allows students to turn loyalty reward points into payments toward Alberta student loans.
How does it work?
Higher Ed Points is set up so anyone, including friends and family members, can donate points to support a student who has achieved or is pursuing their goal of post-secondary education.
Higher Ed Points has an easy to use, accessible online hub where members can enter their student loan information and have their Aeroplan loyalty points converted to currency through a secure payment processing system. Higher Ed Points is working on potential agreements with other loyalty reward point programs, which could be available in the future.
Students at some institutions in Alberta may also be able to use loyalty points to pay for tuition, residence fees and meal plans. Several post-secondary institutions across Canada, including eight in Alberta, participate. The eight participating Campus Alberta institutions are: Alberta College of Art and Design; Concordia University College of Alberta; Lethbridge College; Olds College; Red Deer College; SAIT Polytechnic; King’s University; and, University of Lethbridge.
What is the conversion rate?
Rewards can be redeemed in increments of $250. The Aeroplan conversion rate is 35,000 miles for $250.
Many financial supports available for students
Partnering with Higher Ed Points provides another innovative repayment option—along with flexible repayment terms and the Repayment Assistance Program—designed to help students manage their student loan debt after graduation.
Student loans play an important role in helping Albertans access post-secondary education. In 2013/14, nearly 61,000 students received a total of $775 million in federal and provincial loans and grants through Student Aid Alberta.
I am proud to say that any Albertan who is eligible for a student loan will get it. Our student aid program also provides flexibility in repayment options, allowing students to personalize their student loan repayment plan to suit their individual needs and budget.
Alberta has many student aid programs available – loans, grants, scholarships and awards – to ensure post-secondary students can access the right funding to support their academic goals.
We are always looking at ways to enhance our services, and I am pleased we can offer this new repayment option to post-secondary students.
Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education