Online Resources for Students Seeking Scholarships and Bursaries
The following websites have been identified as of most value to our students in their search for scholarships and bursaries.
- Calculate the true cost of an education at www.CanLearn.ca, the federal government’s one-stop resource for post-secondary students: http://srv650.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/cslp-pcpe/cl/30/fp-pf/ecc.jsp. There is also a consumer’s guide to learning and a loan repayment calculator there.
- Several websites contain listings for hundreds of Canadian scholarships:
Students Finance Board Loans
Alberta students attending Columbia College may be eligible for financial aid in the form of Alberta Student Loans and Canada Student Loans. You may receive both loans by submitting one application.
Both guaranteed loan programs are administered by the government. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or have landed immigrant status and have lived in Alberta for 12 months. Money loaned to each applicant is based on an assessment of the individual’s need and is intended to supplement the student’s income, not replace other financial assistance. Students who have been residents of other provinces within the past 12 months should apply for provincial and federal loans from the province in which they previously resided.
New updated application forms for student loans are usually available at the end of May and should be completed early to allow sufficient time for processing prior to the start of classes. There is generally a waiting period of four to six weeks between the date of application and the date loan money becomes available. Students should plan their finances accordingly.
For more information on student loans contact your Admission Advisor or:
- EDULINX (edulinx.ca); 1-866-827-0310 or TTY: 1-866-587-1853
- Canada Student Loans; National Student Loans Service Centre (canlearn.ca); Toll Free in North America: 1-888-815-4514 or TTY: 1-888-815-4556
- The Government of Alberta’s ALIS website at alis.alberta.ca and click on Student Finance. Contact the Student Funding Contact Centre: in Edmonton at 780-427-3722, or toll free in Canada at 1-800-222-6485, or use the secure email service on alis.alberta.ca
- The nearest Canada-Alberta Service Centre or Alberta Service Centre
- Columbia College student services office.
Financial Benefits of a Student Loan
Government student loans are specifically designed for students, and possess the following unique features:
- These loans are interest free as long as you maintain your full-time enrollment.
- Once you go into repayment, interest on your student loans is tax deductible.
- In Alberta, you may be eligible for the Student Loan Relief Program, which is designed to ensure full-time post secondary students complete their studies with a manageable debt level. The Alberta Government may pay a portion of your Alberta Student Loan if you meet certain criteria.
- Loans include both grants and bursaries that you may not need to pay back. Therefore, the amount of loan that you receive may not be the amount that you actually have to pay back. You may be considered for the following grants and bursaries:
- Alberta Opportunities Bursary
- Canada Millennium Bursary
- Millennium Alberta Rural Incentive Bursary
- The Northern Student Supplement
- Northern Alberta Development Council Bursary
- Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities
- Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities
- Disability Related Employment Supports Program (DRES)
Government Grants Funding
Alberta Works Grant Funding
If you are taking ESL, Upgrading, or a Professional Program that earns you a certificate or diploma, you may be eligible for grant funding through Alberta Works. Tuition, books and supplies, and living allowance may be available if you qualify as an eligible learner. To be eligible you must be coming to school full-time. Grant funding is available to Employment Insurance (EI) recipients, as well as, to people who do not qualify for EI benefits. Part-time training support is available through Alberta Employment and Immigration bursaries.
For more information about Alberta Works Funding through Alberta Human Resources and Employment go to: www.employment.alberta.ca – click on Career and Employment and then Financial Support for Training. Columbia College Admissions Advisors will help you in securing grant funding.
Other Sources of Financial Assistance
Grants to assist with educational costs and living expenses may be available from such agencies as: Alberta Employment, Immigration, and Industry; Alberta Works; Indian Affairs; and the Workers’ Compensation Board. Other public agencies and First Nation Education Boards may also be approached for advice and assistance.
It is your responsibility to contact any sponsoring agency well in advance of commencing your program of studies, as funding applications can take several months to obtain approval for sponsorship.
Some agencies do not cover such costs as books, supplies and tuition deposits. If you will be receiving a living allowance, ensure it is enough to meet your monthly expenses. If not, you may have to apply for other funding to cover the difference.
If you are approved for a training grant, please note that it can take 5 or 6 weeks after you begin classes before you receive any living allowance, so be prepared to cover all your immediate costs such as accommodation, food, books, supplies, spending money and residence security deposit at the time of registration.
Have You Considered A Lending Institution?
To assist our students, Columbia contacted a number of lending institutions and discussed the possibility of having potential students borrow money directly from them.
Banks offer Student Line of Credit. If you qualify and have a co-signor, they provide a personal loan/line of credit that you can use to help pay for your education.
Most lending institutions also advise that:
- If the student has a bad credit rating there may be little chance that the lending institution will lend him/her any money.
- Students should normally go to the lending institution they or their co-signers currently deal with.
- What lending institutions can be contacted?
- You may inquire about a loan at the following lending institutions or a lender of your choice. See the table “Lending Institutions” below.
- How should you approach a lending institution? When you contact the lending institution be organized, clear and concise about your financial needs and the educational program you plan to take. Be polite, listen well and present your request in a professional manner. Be prepared to answer their questions, especially about loan security (e.g. co-signer). Lending institutions are ¬usually willing to lend money if they have adequate security. That is why a co-signer is probably your most important security. You may find it necessary to approach more than one lending institution before you are successful in obtaining the amount of funds you require for your education.
Your Education, Your Investment
Many people look at their education as an investment, in other words, as something that should give them a long term pay back. It should earn them money in the long run, not cost them money.
One return on your investment may be greater job security. Another may be a greater opportunity for job advancement. Another advantage may be more job satisfaction – doing something you like. Each of these could be a realistic outcome when you invest in your education.
Another reason to invest in education is to increase your earning power – a higher income. If this is your goal, you need to compare your present hourly wage with the wage you will expect to get once you have completed your education. Analyze the information you gather. Is the difference between the wages enough to warrant the investment?
The amount of time you spend in researching programs, educational institutions, and lending institutions will greatly increase the potential success you will have when you invest in your future.