Education can get expensive. Most people don’t have extra money lying around to spend on schooling, so they borrow in hopes that their future boost in earnings will put them back in the black. Most people need student financial aid to pay for the fees, and luckily, many colleges offer student awards and financial assistance.
Read this article to learn more about the options you have when studying in Canada.
Government Student Loans
The Alberta student loan program partners with the federal system to provide loans for tuition, room and board expenses, and some textbook costs too. Eligibility for funding is broken down by income – the lower your income, the more funding you will be eligible for. In Alberta, you are given a period of 6 months before you must start repaying your loan. The logic is that they want to give you some time to find a job before demanding payments for your student financial aid. All loans are interest-free until the 6-month period is over.
Scholarships and Bursaries
Many government programs, non-profit organizations, and other entities provide scholarships and bursaries. These are different from student loans in that they do not require repayment. In addition, many scholarships and bursaries are tailored to specific programs.
One organization that provides vocational and technical scholarships for the programs at ABES College is the Rupertsland Institute. The Rupertsland Institute (RLI) provides post-secondary financial aid to Métis students to reduce the overall cost of education and the financial burden it can have. RLI seeks to increase the number of Métis students who successfully complete post-secondary studies and to bring parity between Métis post-secondary participation to that of other Albertans.
Another opportunity that’s available to ABES College students is the Advancing Futures bursary. Advancing Futures is a transitional support program for current and former youth in government care aged 18 to 24. The program provides social and emotional supports and funding to eligible students while they pursue post-secondary studies.
One problem with using scholarships and bursaries as sources of financial aid is that it is difficult to match qualifying students with the organizations that provide the money. Because virtually anybody can donate to create a scholarship, there are many scholarships out there that go unnoticed. One useful resource is Scholarships Canada. Instead of providing student financial aid directly, they provide tools that students use to discover potential student awards and financial aid that they didn’t even know existed.
Personal Payment Plans
Some banks and lenders offer school tuition financing options. You may be eligible for a student line of credit or student loan through various lending institutions.
Band Funding for Aboriginal Students
Indigenous students can get student financial aid that is administered partly by the Government of Canada and partly by Indigenous Services Canada.
If you’re a Band member of a First Nation, you may be eligible for federal funding, administered through your Band office, to help you pay for your education. First Nations students who want to pursue post-secondary studies and access available funding programs should contact their local band office or ISC regional office.
ABES College is a licensed vocational college that deals with student financial aid contributions from every level and source. If you are worried about how you will fund your studies, don’t be. It might be easier than you think. Contact an ABES admissions advisor today.