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 (for Canadian/Permanent Resident post-secondary students & apprentices)

There are many upsides to borrowing from the government 

  • These loans are interest free until you complete/leave your studies.
  • You are assessed automatically for grants (based on family income).
  • When you repay, the 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.

Please note: Lethbridge College does not participate in the US Stafford Loan program.

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GOVERNMENT PANDEMIC RELATED SUPPORTS

The COVID-19 Economic Response Plan provides supports to individuals and families experiencing hardship due to the pandemic:

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit  (CERB)- for students who made at least $5000 in the past 12 months who are having trouble finding work offers eligible applicants $2000/month
  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit and Support for Students (CESB) which supports current students and recent college and high school graduates is now available and offers individuals without dependents $1250/month, and those with dependents $2000/month

If you are unsure about which benefit may apply to you try this link and answer all the question to be guided to the right place.

Upcoming enhancements to the Canada Student Loan program include: 

  • Doubling of the grants affiliated with Canada Student Loans for the 2020-21 academic year
  • Removing the expected student and spousal contributions in 2020-21
  • Pausing loan repayments and interest

DURING THE PANDEMIC, LETHBRIDGE COLLEGE MAY BE ABLE TO OFFER ONE-TIME LIMITED SUPPORT TO FULL-TIME SUMMER STUDENTS WHO HAVE SUFFERED FINANCIALLY AS A RESULT OF THE VIRUS, AND WHO ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR GOVERNMENT FUNDING, AND MEET OUR ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA BELOW.

 

Emergency funding eligibility criteria

Are you experiencing financial need resulting from loss of income or additional expenses related to COVID-19? Lethbridge College has supports for full-time students who are not eligible for government funding.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be enrolled full-time in the summer term at Lethbridge College
  • Be in good academic standing (over 2.0 GPA)
  • Have applied for all benefits that are relevant (student loans, CERB, CESB, etc…)
  • Demonstrate that your current financial need is a direct result of unforeseeable expenses and that financial support is required to continue your studies at Lethbridge College.

Funding is limited, so contact the Financial Aid and Student Awards office at awards@lethbridgecollege.ca or 403-320-3372 or 1-800-572-0103 ext. 3372 to apply or for more information.

 

PLEASE EMAIL AWARDS  FOR A BURSARY APPLICATION - PLEASE USE 'EMERGENCY FUNDING' IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

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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

Who would not like to be awarded a scholarship? To apply for Lethbridge College awards, just fill out our online application, which opens annually on March 1. Keep in mind that our awards are based on various criteria, from outstanding financial need to community service to academic achievement and beyond. Our awards and scholarships are not limited to scholarly achievement - but that sure doesn't hurt, either. Those selected will receive cheques if they are grads or apprentices in June or tuition credits on their accounts for the fall term if they are entrance or continuing students after selection takes place and after they are registered.

Grants

Please note - our Alberta Works (Foundational Learning) funding allocation for the 2020-21 academic year will soon be available for the fall term; this type of funding is limited to ESL (CDN students) or Academic Upgrading. Because processing time can take as much as 10 weeks please be sure to apply early in June unless you are prepared to pay your tuition and fees yourself in the interim.

Grants do not need to be paid back. Canada/Alberta Works offers Foundational Learning grants for eligible academic upgrading and Canadian ESL students. It's vital that you check out their eligibility criteria before you apply (there are penalties for leaving employment and other restrictions). You can find both the guidelines and the online application at Foundational Learning Application. It is also essential that you apply for this funding early - at least 10 weeks prior to the beginning of the term you intend to begin your studies. At the time you apply you must print out the Confirmation and Consent page and bring that to the college. You must also register for your classes prior to requesting the necessary paperwork from us (which requires payment). We will then complete the required Training Provider Information form and forward that, along with your Confirmation and Consent form, to the funding provider.

Also note that upgrading students must see an Academic Advisor prior to registering in classes and that ESL students should visit that department prior to registration.

Please note that the allocation we receive is limited and that funding is not guaranteed - you may not qualify based on funding eligibility restrictions or we may have reached the limit of our allocation

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.

Additional resources are available through the province: Alberta Financial Literacy Resources