At Lethbridge College, we are ready to help make your post-secondary experience more accessible. An investment in your education is truly an investment in yourself. It’s a big commitment and now is the time to ensure your finances are in order. If you’re looking for some guidance as you plan your future here, we can provide you with plenty of sound financial advice.

Funding your future

There are a few different ways to access additional funds to help pay for your post-secondary education:

Government Student loans

There are many upsides to borrowing from the government 

  • These loans are interest free until you complete your studies.
  • You are assessed automatically for grants (based on family income).
  • When you are in repayment, your interest is tax deductible.
  • And if you need support, you can apply for Repayment Assistance.

Government student loans beat out any bank's line of credit for all these reasons (especially if you qualify for grants, which are essentially free money!). And in Alberta, students don't even have to report parental income, though making that choice does cost you any grant money for which you may have been eligible.

NEED HELP?

If you need help understanding your Student Award Letter, contact our Student Awards and Financial Aid Office. We can explain the details to you as well as our part of the process. If it makes sense to look into other options, such as working part-time or reducing your spending, be sure to do this as well. 

You can also try it out and then decide. Loans can be applied for anytime up until 30 days before the end of the academic year, so even if you decide to forego them you can apply if you run into trouble as long as you make that cut-off.

Awards and scholarships

This is FREE money. You don’t have to worry about paying it back at a later date. To apply for Lethbridge College awards, just fill out one online application, which is available annually on March 1 Keep in mind that some awards may have additional requirements, such as writing an essay.

Grants

Grants also do not need to be paid back. Canada/Alberta Works offers grants for eligible academic upgrading and Canadian ESL students, while federal and provincial governments may automatically apply grants to your student loan, reducing the amount you owe. Check out eligibility criteria and the online application at Foundational Learning Application.

Veterans Education and Training Benefit

The Government of Canada's Veterans Education and Training Benefit is available to veterans with six years of service or more. Those with six years may be eligible for up to $40,000 to assist with tuition, supplies and living costs. Those with 12 years or more may be eligible for up to $80,000. Please see their link for details.

Loyalty Points

Fund your Lethbridge College fees with Aeroplan Miles, TD Points and/or CIBC Aventura points. Students, family members and friends are able to convert these loyalty points to cover Lethbridge College fees. To find out how it works, visit Higher Ed Points online.

Emergency loans 

If the personal portion of your student loan is late coming, or if you run into something you hadn't planned for that you would be able to cover within four weeks but need to pay for right now, Lethbridge College is ready to help. For a $15 fee that is repayable with the balance in four weeks, the college can lend you a reasonable amount for that short term. The amount is based on the need, and documentation may be required.

You have to be in a position to repay the loan. And don’t forget that any loans that are not repaid will result in financial holds being applied, which will affect your ability to register for classes in the future or to graduate.

If you are facing a financial crisis, please connect with us in Financial Aid staff. If a short-term loan does not work in your situation and if you have met all the required criteria, you may be considered for an emergency grant. Staff will send you the form with all the guidelines outlined. What happens next matters most, and we are ready to help if you find yourself facing some challenges.

Getting started

The first thing you’ll want to do is create a spending plan. This can help you make smart choices to meet your post-secondary education goals.

A spending plan isn’t just about listing your expenses and income; it’s about seeing the big picture (tuition, books, living expenses and savings) while understanding the details (what resources you already have, if you need to reduce your spending, if it makes sense to find a part-time job).

For additional resources visit the Alberta ALIS website and click on Explore Education and Training.

Another valuable resource is the Financial Consumer Association of Canada.

My Money Coach offers loads of tips for people in all stages of the life cycle. Check it out for tips specific to students in post-secondary and all kinds of  information about credit, shopping and more. There is a lot of help out there for students. But please don't rely on awards, scholarships and bursaries to cover the bulk of your expenses. These are meant to supplement, not replace, the financial resources that you, your family and perhaps your student loan contribute. 

You probably already know there can be roadblocks to creating a budget and sticking with it. Our budget wizard tool can help you make sense of your finances and the cost of your education. 

Budget Wizard

Our Budget Wizard is a free self-service tool that pulls it all together in just three easy steps.

Budget Wizard

  1. Input your income.
    • List any amounts you’ve saved or received for your education along with any scholarships and awards received to date as well as potential income from employment.
       
  2. Calculate your costs.
    • The budget wizard tool helps you determine the cost of your specific program as well as fees, textbook costs, accommodation rates and other living expenses while attending school.
       
  3. Consider your shortfall or excess.
    • At this stage, you’ll be able to see how much funding you’ll have available after spending per month. If you do have a shortfall, this is the time to consider applying for student loans or getting a part-time job. Please stop by our office or contact us if you have any concerns about your finances.