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Get schooled, get money, avoid debt

Executive Corner with VP Academic Kimmi Nguyen

If post-secondary education weren’t important, there wouldn’t be students here at SAIT.

Whether it be a diploma, degree, technical training or upgrading, we are here to acquire knowledge and skills so that we can secure a job, as well as our future.

Obtaining this education can be costly, but there are options available to help connect students with money to pay for school.

Money You Don’t Need To Pay Back

Financial assistance can come in the form of scholarships, grants, and bursaries. The only catch? You need to apply for them. Take the time to make quality applications– yes, this could mean spending a couple of hours– but these hours would be in exchange for a possibly a couple of hundred, or maybe even a couple of thousand dollars.

  • SAIT offers millions of dollars in student awards each year. These awards can recognize criteria including but not limited to: financial need, academic achievement, community involvement, leadership, or special abilities. Information on awards available can be found at http://www.sait.ca/alumni/student-awards-guide.php
  • SAITSA also offers financial awards for students, recognizing involvement with SAITSA, extra-curricular/academic achievements, or financial need.   To see the full list of awards and submit your application, visit http://saitsa.com/student-services/awards/
  • Various businesses, organizations and groups offer scholarships and grants for which you will have to apply directly.  Check out www.scholarshipscanada.com and www.yconic.ca to access a searchable database of financial awards.
  • A number of Canada Student Grants are available through the government.  Grants can benefit students who come from low-income families, students with dependent children, students with disabilities, apprentice students, and more. A list of grants available can be found at http://www.canlearn.ca/eng/loans_grants/grants/

Funding Advising is a service available for students through the Learner Success Centre (MC221)– get information about funding options or assistance with applications.

Money You Do (Eventually) Need To Pay Back

Loans and lines of credit are another way to pay for education, but borrowing money and financial awareness should go hand in hand. Borrowing money and me are not the best of friends. Several years ago, I took out a student loan for university. What ended up happening was I did not make any payments for over a year and a half. In the end, my credit was a disaster and it was a difficult lesson learned. The good news is I have recovered financially, but I don’t want to see a student peer go through what I did.

The Canadian government provides funding through the Canada Student Loans Program. If a student graduate experiences trouble paying it back, the student can apply for loan repayment assistance. Apprentice students can also now apply for a loan via the Canada Apprentice Loan. More information about government issued student loans can be found at http://www.canlearn.ca

If you’re thinking about borrowing, make sure you’re familiar with money management. The SAITSA Student Support Centre (NJ105) can connect you with information and resources on financial understanding.

Work While You Study

With a regular paycheck, you will reduce your needs for loans and debt.  As a student, you can take advantage of working on campus.  You will benefit by saving time from having to commute after class, and being better acquainted with students and faculty.  Jobs with SAITSA can be found on our website or on our job board outside of the Resource Centre (MC107). If you’re a sports fan, the SAIT Trojans are another great on-campus employer for students. They offer a variety of positions to work at SAIT Trojans athletic games and intramural sports.  Learn about available job opportunities by visiting www.saittrojans.com.

You can also choose a job to help you gain practical experience in your field. It may seem early in the year, but now is the time to start looking for and applying for summer jobs–  a friend of mine who works in the field of human resources once told me they will typically prepare postings for summer positions around February. Part time, summer, co-op, internship or full time positions– you can find postings from industry by signing up through SAIT’s Career Connector: https://www.myinterfase.com/sait/student.

I advise students on student rights, responsibilities and resources.  I am available for consultation by appointment.  Check me out on CampusQuad or follow me on Twitter @SweetMirabelle.

 

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