Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 1: No Poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

research impact

For the period 2017–2021

№ relevant publications: 161

№ times cited: 1,536

Key stats

874 low-income students receiving financial aid in 2020/21 

sample Courses



University Anti-Poverty Programs

The University of Alberta offers a number of support programs and resources to the campus community, including students from low income families. The Campus and Community Resources webpage lists numerous programs that are available on campus and beyond, including mental health, medical, legal, and housing and accommodations resources. The Campus and Community Resources webpage also provides information on food security, furniture and clothing, employment, child and family support, employment and financial resources.

Access Fund

Since 1995, the Students’ Union Access Fund has offered non-repayable financial assistance for undergraduate students at the U of A. Students who are either ineligible for student loans, have reached the maximum in their student loan amounts or simply do not have access to sufficient funding can benefit from the Access Fund.

The Access Fund is created through an opt-outable student fee, enabling students to help their fellow students access over $1 million in support each year.

Admissions and Low-Income, Disadvantaged and/or Marginalized Students

The University of Alberta is committed to admitting students from low-income, disadvantaged and/or marginalized backgrounds. The For the Public Good Annual Report 2020 details recent admission statistics at the University of Alberta based on a variety of socioeconomic indicators, and the Enrolment Data and Updates from FGSR 2020-2021 report outlines recent graduate admissions metrics achieved by the university. The Annual Report on Undergraduate Enrolment also contains admissions and enrollment statistics related to Indigenous students, as well as student country of origin (for international students), and the University of Alberta Indigenous Strategic Plan details key strategies for Indigenous student recruitment, retention and program completion.

Student Financial Supports

The University of Alberta provides a number of financial supports to students. These include needs-based scholarships and awards, such as the Discover University of Alberta Award, which assists domestic students who have demonstrated financial challenges and barriers to attending university. The University of Alberta also provides bursaries and emergency funding to cover unexpected financial shortfalls, and Child Care Grants to help offset the costs of child care for students and support their degree completion. 

Indigenous Student Resources

Indigenous Students are supported during the admissions process through the Free Application Days program. The University of Alberta also provides an optional Transition Year Program to support students in their first year of university studies. There are also numerous scholarships and awards available to help reduce barriers for Indigenous students in attending university, such as the Turtle Spirit Pathway Award for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Students.

MD AIDE Program

The MD Admissions Initiative for Diversity and Equity (MD AIDE) addresses  inequities in the medical school admissions process that disadvantage students facing financial barriers and students from underrepresented backgrounds. MD AIDE students receive both free MCAT and interview preparation. Students also receive access to donated MCAT prep books and AAMC practice questions and exams, and they are set up with a medical student mentor to provide guidance and support throughout the application process.

Refugee Engagement & Support

The University of Alberta provides a number of supports for refugee students, such as the Welcoming Newcomers Program, the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Program and the David Turpin and Suromitra Sanatani Award for Refugees and Displaced Persons.

International Student Supports

International Student Services offers a number of free services for international students, including advising, immigration consultations, welcome services, housing resources and regular events throughout the school year. The University of Alberta also offers numerous awards and scholarships to international students based on financial need and academic achievement, as well as emergency bursaries and loans for students facing financial shortfalls.

Other Student Supports

The Campus Food Bank provides a number of services, including food hampers, a breakfast program and a regular grocery bus to support students in need. 

Campus St. Jean Transportation. The University of Alberta offers free shuttle service between the North and St. Jean campuses. 

The Safe House Program offers temporary emergency accommodation for current students and their children.

Counselling & Clinical Services provides mental health services and resources to students. 

Student Legal Services of Edmonton helps low-income individuals and University of Alberta students with access to justice. Student volunteers from the University of Alberta Faculty of Law provide free legal information and agency in the courts to those who would otherwise be unable to afford these services.

The University Health Centre provides health services to students. A further list of resources can be found on the Campus and Community Resources webpage


Community-University Partnership for the Study of Children, Youth, and Families

CUP is a unique collaboration that connects U of A researchers with practitioners, community organizations, funders and policy makers in Edmonton and across Alberta. CUP's work involves creating and mobilizing evidence that engaged communities can use to support the well-being of children, youth and families.

Innovation + Entrepreneurship @UAlberta

The university has many programs, services and resources to foster and support innovation, tech and knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship. 

Spinoffs and Startups

A list of University of Alberta startups and spinoff companies can be found in the Spinoffs and Startups database.

Campus Sustainability Grants program

Recent projects funded through the Campus Sustainability Grants program included a Solar-Powered Greenhouse project

Idea Fund

The Idea Fund is a funding program that enables students to work on their ideas beyond research and coursework. The program has two streams: the hacker stream and the business stream, and it supports passion projects, hobby projects, hacker projects and startups.

Sustainability & Capital Fund

By offering up to $10,000 per eligible student project, The Green Fund will be used to support projects that help make our campus more sustainable. 


All In For Youth

AIFY is a model for delivering social support to children experiencing vulnerability in their school communities. “Wraparound” support provides students with life coaching, mental health treatment, nutrition, out of school care and more across five inner-city Edmonton schools. Since the start of the initiative, AIFY has been able to provide wraparound support to over 2,200 students and their families each school year. Since 2016, CUP has supported the annual evaluation of the AIFY initiative using a participatory research approach.


🔗 Solving poverty needs all hands on deck, advocates say

U of A public health research informs efforts to include social considerations as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

🔗 Community-minded student creates ‘Period Pantry’ for those in need

Student leads project working with a local business and community groups to provide a cabinet full of free menstrual products.

🔗 Addressing poverty through entrepreneurship

Angelique Slade Shantz’s research explores methods of alleviating poverty.