Funding Your Education
Figuring out how to afford tuition for college or university can be stressful, especially if you do not have access to help from family, an RESP, or an overflowing savings account. Before you panic check out the information on the options below, odds are you will be able to afford your tuition!
Grants and Scholarships
You may have heard it a thousand times already but you really need to apply for as many of these as possible.
Grants and scholarships are money to fund your education that does not need to be repaid. Scholarships frequently receive few applicants, so your odds of getting them may be better than you think.
Good grades and some volunteer experience will almost always help your odds, but don’t be shy, apply for one a day if you can. You never know, you might be the only applicant! Certain grants and scholarships will have some very specific requirements for the program and type of student.
How to apply
These days you can apply for many online, however each scholarship should provide you with specific instructions for applying. Some will require more work than others.
Generally you do not need to repay these as long as you graduate.
Student loans are provided through a combination of federal and provincial funding.
These easy to apply for loans do not accrue interest while you are in school and do not require payment until after you graduate. These can be a great resource if you cannot afford your education without help as they are need based. If you are under the age of 22 you will not be subject to a credit check.
Student loans provided by the government are primarily based on need using the following formula: Education and living cost – your contribution = financial need.
You will need to ensure your school and program are applicable, which you can check on the student aid Website
How to apply
You can apply for student loans after you have been accepted into a program at your school of choice. The application is done online and often gives you an immediate answer. Information on how to apply can be found Here
Payments and interest do not apply on Alberta student loans until 6 months after you graduate, giving you time to find employment before you begin repaying. Interest rates on student loans are generally quite low but can vary with the prime rate. More information about repaying your student loan can be found Here
Student Line of Credit
Student lines of credit are provided through financial institutions and banks. These loans are therefore based more so on credit-worthiness.
They can be a good option to help finance your education if you or your parent’s income is too high to qualify for government student loans. You may require a co-signer in order to secure a line of credit.
Banks will look at your credit-worthiness as well as seek to ensure that you are in-fact enrolled into an educational program. Eligibility can vary from one institution to another but you can certainly start by contacting the bank you or your parents are using for more information.
How to apply
You can apply in-person, over the phone or online at a variety of financial institutions.
Generally a student line of credit will require you to make an interest payment every month, but you will not be required to make a payment on the principal until after graduation. Check with your bank to find out how their student line of credit works.