We’re here 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:

  • 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 [free money]! ). 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. Even with loans, it is essential that students work through a budget to ensure that they have allocated enough to see them through each month of study - that lump sum each term can be tempting to misspend! 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. Or 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, if you run into trouble, you can apply as long as you make that cutoff.
  • 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, all you have to do is fill out one online application which opens annually on March 1. Some awards may have additional requirements, such as writing an essay.
  • Grants
    • Similar to awards and scholarships, grants 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.
  • Veterans Education and Training Benefit
    • The Government of Canada's Veterans Education and Training Benefit is available to veterans with 6 years of service or more. Those with 6 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. http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/transition/education-training-benefit
  • 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: http://www.higheredpoints.com/loyalty-programs/  

  • Emergency loans 
    • If your student loan (personal portion) is late coming or you run into something you hadn't planned for that you would be able to cover within 4 weeks but need to pay for right now, we can help. For a $15 fee that is repayable with the balance in 4 weeks, we can lend you a reasonable amount (based on what the need is - documentation may be required) for that short term. You do have to be in a position to repay and any loans that are not repaid will result in financial holds being applied that will prevent you from future registration, etc.
    • If you are facing a financial crisis, use the contact form below to connect with 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.

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

Another valuable resource is the Financial Consumer Association of Canada  https://www.canada.ca/en/services/finance/educationfunding.html

My Money Coach offers loads of tips for people in all stages of the lifecycle - try this link for tips specific to students in post-secondary and have a look through their site - it  offers all kinds of tips around credit and shopping.... everything around money.https://www.mymoneycoach.ca/budgeting/student-budgeting/money-management-tips-for-post-secondary-students

 

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. Start preparing now by setting aside resources or reducing your debts to help you get through your educational journey.

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. With a bit of discipline and a good attitude, you’ll be able to stick to it.


Budget Wizard

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

  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.

      Budget Wizard

Ask a question

If you have a question about funding your education, please fill out this form and we will follow up with you.

Student Awards and Financial Aid information request