There are many ways to fund the cost of post-secondary. Scholarships, bursaries, loans, student lines of credit and savings are the most common methods used to cover expenses.
Scholarships provide free money to students and do not have to be re-paid. The criteria for scholarships varies from high academics, to outstanding achievements or superior athletic skills, however not all scholarships require you to be at the top of the class in order to win the award.
Bursaries are generally awarded to students primarily based on a financial need (what student doesn’t have a financial need?). Bursaries are not repaid.
There are many scholarships and bursaries available to students. Often money that has been set aside goes unclaimed as students do not apply. If you meet most of the criteria for applying, it is well worth the effort.
There are opportunities for students to qualify for provincial and federal loans. For more information on student loans please see Alberta Student Aid. Student loans must be repaid. Students should apply no later than June 30th of the year they plan to attend post-secondary in order to have the funding in place for September start dates. Alberta Student Aid has changed it eligibility requirements making loans easier to obtain.
Student lines of credit are offered to students at many financial institutions. A student will need someone to co-sign for them. The rules for eligible amounts and repayment vary between banks but interest is charged on student lines of credit and an amount must be paid back monthly.