Frequently Asked Questions about the Transition Year Program

Here are answers to commonly-asked questions. If you have further questions, contact

TYP Application Process

If I don’t have all the required high school prerequisites, can I take them at the U of A or while I am in TYP?

The University of Alberta does not offer any high school upgrading, high school equivalency courses, or equivalency exams. All necessary high school prerequisites must be successfully completed and confirmed with official transcripts before a student can be admitted to begin the Transition Year Program. If you need help finding an education centre in your area that offers the high school course(s) needed for admission, please email for assistance.

If there is a high school course you would like to complete that is not a requirement of TYP, but may be needed or desirable for transfer to a degree program, it may be possible to take both at the same time, but is not recommended. Additional upgrading can be completed in the summer months (May - August) during the spring/summer break in university studies.

I have completed some university credits at another institution already, but do not qualify for direct entry to a degree program. Can I still be considered for admission to TYP?
While the Transition Year Program is intended for students who have not completed any post-secondary education, applicants with transferable credits or previous enrollment in other post-secondary institutions can be considered for admission to TYP on a case-by-case basis. Please ensure you provide details about all previous institutions attended when you apply.
How should I prepare for the TYP interview?

The TYP interview is intended to ensure that prospective students have the resources and preparation needed to be successful in university. It is not intended to determine your admissibility, but rather to ensure that the program is a good fit for you and you have the appropriate support to transition to university life and expectations. There are no right or wrong answers, so just be open to share a bit about yourself and answer as honestly as you can.  It is also a time for you to ask or share any questions or concerns you might have about any aspect of the university experience.

You can prepare by ensuring you know when and where your interview is taking place, how to contact us if you need to re-schedule, and it helps to write down any questions you might have about the program, funding, housing, or university life prior to meeting. Bring any additional documentation that might be required such as updated transcripts or funding applications.

Applicants are expected to complete their interview one-on-one, but are welcome to bring friends, family or advocates with them to discuss any questions or concerns with TYP staff after the interview is completed. 

When interviews are scheduled on campus, please be prepared to pay for parking or navigate public transit. Drop-in child care is not available on campus but you can bring children to attend the interview if needed. 

Faculty and Program Routes

What should I do if I am not sure which faculty route is best for me?

Important questions to consider when selecting a faculty or program route for TYP are:

  1. Do you have the required prerequisite high school courses and average to be eligible for this program route? For example - If you select Nursing as your program route, but have not completed Biology 30 yet, you will not qualify for admission to TYP.
  2. What subjects are you strongest in, and which subjects are most interesting to you? A program route that aligns well with your strengths and interests will likely result in better academic success.  
  3. Do you have a definite career path in mind? For example, you know you want to be a teacher, or are you interested in taking a wide range of different courses to help you explore options for a more specific program or area of study?  This may help you decide if you should pursue a general Arts or Science route, or if you should select a route that aligns with a specific career path ie. Nursing.

If you have a career in mind but are not sure which program route would best prepare you for that job, you should speak with TYP staff or a U of A recruiter before applying. It is also important to know that it is possible to change your mind and move between program routes well into your academic career, so don’t worry if you end up on a different path than where you started. TYP staff and academic advisors are available to help you transition between program routes. 

I am interested in a Bachelor of Fine Arts program such as Acting or Production, Art and Design, or Design. Can I transfer into any of these programs from TYP?

TYP does not have formal transfer agreements to transfer to Fine Arts programs, however, you can definitely be considered for transfer to a Bachelor of Fine Arts program upon completion of the TYP Arts route requirements. You would be considered based on courses and Grade Point Average from your TYP year, but would also have to qualify based on any additional audition or portfolio requirements considered for a BFA program. Fine Arts course options may be limited while enrolled in the Transition Year Program, but effort will be made to provide TYP students interested in BFA programs with access to at least some Fine Arts course options.

Funding and Financial Support

I'm a First Nations' student applying to a post-secondary institution. How do I find out if I am eligible for funding?

The first place you should contact for funding is your band or tribal council to see if you are eligible for band funding. For students affiliated with some bands, those with Bill C-31 status, or students who are Alberta residents (living in Alberta for 12 consecutive months prior to attending a post-secondary program) with Indian status registered to an NWT-based First Nation and not eligible for funding from the Government of NWT Student Financial Assistance program due to residency, alternative funding may be access through organizations like Freehorse Family Wellness Society.

If you are, or have been a child in care, you can contact Advancing Future.

As a First Nations person, funding is not always easily accessible. You may need to find ways to pay for some or all of your education yourself. This may involve working while you are in school, taking out student loans, and applying for academic scholarships or bursaries (awards based on financial need).

I'm a Métis student applying to a post-secondary institution. Is there any funding available for me?

If you are Métis person affiliated with a settlement, you may be eligible for funding through your settlement. If you are not affiliated with a settlement, you can contact Métis Nation of Alberta to find out if there are scholarships or bursaries that you might qualify for.

I'm an Inuit student applying to a post-secondary institution. Where do I go for financial support?

If you are or have been a resident of the Northwest Territories or Nunavut for more than 12 months, you can apply for funding with NWT Student Financial Assistance (NWTSFA), or Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students (FANS) respectively. Note: The amount of funding is based on length of residency in these territories.

If you are an Alberta resident (living in Alberta for 12 consecutive months prior to attending a post-secondary program) with Inuit status and not eligible for funding from the Government of the Northwest Territories or Nunavut student financial assistance programs due to residency, alternative funding may be access through organizations like Freehorse Family Wellness Society.

I was told I was a priority for funding. What does that mean?

Depending on the organization funding you, there may be a priority structure in place to determine who will receive funding first. Generally, priority is given in this order:

  • Continuing students (directly out of high school, or currently enrolled in post secondary studies).
  • Waitlisted students (have previously applied for funding but were not funded due to lack of funds).
  • Returning Students (have received previous sponsorship and have interrupted their studies for more than 1 academic term and are now continuing their studies).
  • New Students (applying for a post secondary program, have never received sponsorship before, but whose last period of studies was more than one term ago).
  • UCEP/ Upgrading (need grade 12 level courses before continuing on to a post -secondary program).
  • Probationary students (have withdrawn on their own from their program of studies or have been required to withdraw by the institution).
When should I apply for funding?
Sooner is always better…there is not one set date for all funders. A common deadline for fall term admission funding applications with many First Nation bands and tribal councils is mid June for Fall term admission, but each band determines their own funding deadlines so it's important that you ask.
Do I have to be living (or have lived at one time) on my reserve in order to be eligible for band funding?
It really depends on the rules set out by the band or tribal council and enforced by the education portfolio holder. Be sure to ask the post-secondary funding coordinator if you are eligible to receive funding, as well as if there is a priority structure that takes this factor into consideration. If you have not lived on reserve, it is important to explain or establish your connection to you community in your application. For example, you may not live on reserve, but your parents or grandparents or other relatives might. It is helpful to explain how you are connected to your reserve community.
What portion of tuition will be paid by the sponsor?
Generally, when a student receives a sponsorship letter from their funding coordinator, it confirms the maximum tuition amount that will be covered for the term. This amount is usually sufficient to cover the required tuition and non-instructional fees, but depending on the program you are taking and the costs associated with it, it may or may not cover everything. Make sure you are aware of what you owe for the term and what your sponsor has committed to pay. You may be required as a funded student to opt out of certain fees, such as the student health care plan.
Are living expenses and/or books covered by my sponsorship?
Generally, if you are a full-time post-secondary student, your funding will include tuition, living allowance, and some funding towards books and supplies. However, each sponsor has a maximum amount of dollars that they can provide to you, so it's a good idea to make a budget in advance to make sure the money you receive is going to be enough to cover all your costs. To get an idea of textbook costs, check out the U of A Bookstore.
What are the most important questions I should ask my post-secondary funding coordinator before I start school?
  • What is the minimum amount of courses I need to take in order to keep my funding? (both credits and # of courses)
  • Do I get money to help offset the costs of moving to Edmonton to attend school?
  • What is the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) I must maintain in order to continue to receive funding?
  • What happens if I fail or withdraw from a class?
  • Do you fund for spring/summer terms?
  • By which day each month and how will I receive my living allowance?
  • Will I receive a cheque for books and supplies, or is an account going to be set up for me the bookstore? Do I need to apply for funding each semester or just once each academic year?
  • Do you make course load exceptions for students with learning disabilities?
  • Is there any additional funding available to help cover the costs of travel home for holidays or family emergencies?
  • Can I receive additional funding for adaptive technology, a computer, or travel abroad opportunities?
What are my responsibilities as a sponsored student?
It is important that you take the time to read all of the information you receive from your sponsor. Often you will receive a student handbook that outlines what is required of you while you are a funded student. Depending on your sponsor, you may be required to be in regular contact with your funding coordinator and/or submit grade updates or attendance reports. You will need to submit a grade update as soon as it is available each term. It is also important to save any receipts you have for books or other out-of-pocket costs. It is also important to maintain good communication with your sponsor regarding any changes to your course load, and provide updates on successes or challenges during the term.
I am already admitted to my program and registered in classes and I just found out I am not going to receive funding this year. What should I do now?
This is a difficult situation to be in, and circumstances can change quickly, so even if you think you will qualify for funding, you should always have a back up plan. Here are a few options to consider…first, you need to be realistic about your financial situation. You may choose to postpone your studies and try applying for funding again at a later date. You may also want to speak to your post-secondary coordinator and find out if there is anything you can do to improve your chances of being funded. Sometimes if you start post-secondary paying your own way, your priority increases as a waitlisted student. You may also want to consider applying for a government student loan just in case you don't receive sponsorship (allow 6-8 weeks for the loan application to be processed).
What happens if my funding doesn't arrive in time, or is not enough to cover my expenses?
Student Connect assists students with Emergency funding to cover living expenses until your funding arrives in the form of a short-term interest-free loan. You can also apply for a government student loan, even if you are receiving sponsorship, as a way to top-up your income and cover all of your expenses. It is also strongly encouraged for you to research and plan to apply for scholarships and bursaries as soon as you are admitted into post-secondary. The First Peoples' House is a great resource for assistance finding awards you might be eligible for.

Housing and On-Campus Support

I am moving to Edmonton to attend the U of A. What kinds of housing options are available?

There is a wide range of options for single students and couples available for both on and off-campus student housing. Currently, there is no family housing available on campus. 

When thinking about which on-campus housing options might be best for you, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Are you comfortable sharing bedroom or common room space with roommates or living in a shared dorm room, or would you prefer to have your own room/apartment-style residence?
  • Do you want to have access to a residence with shared kitchen and dining areas, or would you prefer having a meal plan and having meals prepared for you in a cafeteria?
  • What is your monthly budget? On-campus dorm rooms with meal plans, and single person rooms are more expensive than shared units. 
  • Would you prefer to live in a residence space that is drugs and alcohol-free? Some residences have ‘dry’ floors or no residences with no drugs/alcohol allowed on premises. 
  • Are you comfortable living in a housing unit with mixed male and female residences, or would you prefer an all male or all female residence?
  • What are you planning to bring? Do you need a parking space for a vehicle, do you want to bring your own furnishing, or would you prefer a residence that provides a bed, desk and basic kitchen furnishings?
  • Would you prefer to live with other Indigenous students or International students for more cross-cultural exchange and engagement?
  • Do you know another student coming to the U of A who you would like to be matched with as a roommate?

All of these considerations will help you determine which residence option, on or off-campus, will be a good fit for your comfort and budget. 

A residence application can be submitted once you have submitted your U of A application for admission and received your campus computing ID and password.

When considering off-campus housing, here are a few questions to consider:

  • It is recommended that students use Edmonton Public Transit to commute to campus (transit pass is included in your student fees), as parking is limited and expensive. Finding a residence near a direct campus bus route or LRT station will help limit your commute time. 
  • Do you need housing close to childcare or school? On-campus childcare is limited. Finding childcare near your home is recommended. 
  • Will you have access to a vehicle?  If you need amenities (groceries/restaurants/entertainment) within walking distance, you may want to consider a location downtown or near a major shopping centre. 

Off-campus Edmonton housing listings

What are some useful contacts for the University of Alberta?

For more services and supports at the U of A, visit Current Students.