Scholarships and Bursaries
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. There is also a consumer’s guide to learning and a loan repayment calculator there.
- Several websites contain listings for hundreds of Canadian scholarships:
Government Students Finance Loans
Alberta students attending Columbia College may be eligible for financial aid in the form of Alberta Student Loans and Canada Student Loans. Both loans may be accessed by submitting one application.
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 must 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. An admission advisor will assist the student with this process to help ensure that there are no errors. 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:
- Alberta Student Loans – www.edulinx.ca or 1-866-853-5629 or TTY – 1-866-587-1853
- Canada Student Loans – National Student Loans Service Centre – www.canlearn.ca or 1-800-815-4514 or TTY – 1-88-815-4556
- Government of Alberta – Student Funding Contact Centre – www.alis.alberta.ca or Edmonton: 780-427-3722 or Canada Toll Free – 1-800-222-6485
- Nearest Alberta Service Centre – locations - www.alis.alberta.ca or Toll Free – 310-000, area code, phone number or TTY – 780-427-9999
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 the student maintains full-time enrollment.
- Once the student is at the repayment stage, interest on the student loans is tax deductible.
- In Alberta, a student 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 the student may not need to pay back. Therefore, the amount of loan that a student receives may not be the amount that the student actually has to pay back. Upon application, students are automatically considered for the following grants and bursaries. *Students with Disabilities must indicate that they have a disability and provide appropriate documentation.
- Grant for Students from Low-Income Families
- Grant for Students from Middle-Income families
- Grant for Students with Dependents
- Grant for Part-time Studies
- Grant for Part-time Studies for Students with dependents
- *Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities Permanent Disabilities
- The Northern Student Supplement
- Northern Alberta Development Council Bursary
Government Grants Funding
Alberta Works Grant Funding
If a student is taking ESL, Upgrading, Integrated Training or a Professional Program that earns the individual a certificate or diploma, the student may be eligible for grant funding through Alberta Works. Tuition, books and supplies, as well as living allowance may be available for an eligible learner. To be eligible for a living allowance the student 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 to eligible individuals through the Skills Investment Bursary for up to $5,000 per year.
For more information about Alberta Human Services funding go to www.employment.alberta.ca. Click on Career and Employment and then Financial Support for Training. Students may contact Alberta Students Finance at 1-800-222-6485 .
Columbia College Admissions Advisors will help students in securing grant funding.
Note: Foundation programs such as English as a Second Language and Academic Upgrading do not receive a T2202a as they are not recognized as qualifying programs under the Canada Revenue Agency requirements. For questions regarding the Canada Revenue Tax requirements, please contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281.
Other Sources of Financial Assistance
Grants to assist with educational costs and living expenses may be available from such agencies as: Alberta Human Services, 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 the student’s responsibility to contact any sponsoring agency well in advance of starting a 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 there is a living allowance, the student should ensure it is enough to meet monthly expenses. If not, the student may have to apply for other funding to cover the difference.
Once a student has been approved for a training grant, please note that it can take up to 8 weeks to receive funds. Students need to be prepared to cover all immediate costs such as accommodation, food, books, supplies, spending money and residence security deposit at the time of registration.
Once funds are secured, it is important to understand the funding so that payments are used appropriately (i.e. books and supplies may be deposited in your bank account and misused as living allowance).
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 Lines of Credit. If a student qualifies and has a co-signer, banks provide a personal loan/line of credit. Interest is usually prime plus 1% and the student only pays interest on the amount used.
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.
Your Education – An Investment in Yourself
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 a person likes to do. Each of these could be realistic outcomes when investing in one’s education.
Another reason to invest in education is to increase earning power – earn a higher income. Compare your present hourly wage with the wage a person could expect to receive once their educational program has been completed successfully.
Invest in yourself and be proud of your decision.