Nowadays, a post-secondary credential is an important marker across Manitoba’s professional landscape. Whether it is an apprenticeship, college diploma, university degree, or any other sort of formal training, obtaining an education after high school will give you a leg up on taking the next step in your career and life. This week, we break down some of the more common paths students take in paying for post-secondary.
You might wonder, year after year, about paying for your education. Post-secondary education is expensive, but there are many pathways to obtaining it. For some people, it’s taking a gap year, working, and saving money. Others may take out a student loan with their bank, or the provincial or federal government. Regardless, the fact remains that many options are available to assist students with the financial burden of post-secondary education.
Manitoba Student Aid & Canada Student Loans Program
Accessing student loans through the provincial and/or federal governments is the most common path students take in paying for their education. While the word loan can sound a bit intimidating, it is a common practice for students.
When you apply for provincial student aid in Manitoba, your application also serves as eligibility for the Canada Student Loans Program. When you receive and repay your student loans, you deal with both lenders separately. Here are a few things to consider as you gather more information on student loans:
- Firstly, you should determine if you are eligible before you apply;
- then, you should be aware of application dates and deadlines;
- and finally, there are a variety of funding options based on your student status, for full-time students, part-time students, students with disabilities, and Indigenous students.
For many, student loans fund a significant portion of post-secondary education. However, they must be paid back after your studies. Moreover, they accumulate interest, so you still have to be financially responsible through your post-secondary years.
Following the conclusion of your post-secondary program, you will have a six month grace period, and then begin monthly payments on your loans until they are paid off. You can customize your payment amounts, but generally have ten years after your grace period, for paying off your loans.
Bank Loans & Student Lines of Credit
Bank loans and student lines of credit are an alternative or supplement to government student loans. Check with your financial institution about options available to you. Much like government loans, bank loans accumulate interest and must be paid back.
Scholarships & Bursaries
A major source of funding for post-secondary education comes from the institutions themselves. Every year, hundreds of thousands of dollars are awarded to students based on their academic performance (scholarships) and/or financial need (bursaries). Additionally, other criteria are considered, like community involvement, athletic achievement, etc. Scholarships and bursaries do not have to be paid back. And, many are renewable every year of your education.
Some scholarships and bursaries require you to apply. For others, you are automatically considered by an awards committee at your school. Further, there are many external options that you shouldn’t be afraid to explore – many times, thousands of dollars in scholarships go unclaimed because no one applies! This is where a good, old-fashioned Google search can be helpful.
Click on the links below to explore scholarship and bursary options, application and eligibility requirements, etc. at our partner institutions, and a few other Manitoba institutions, too.
Options for Indigenous Students
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is the governing body which provides financial assistance to Indigenous students enrolled in eligible post-secondary programs. They have distinctions-based programs that support First Nations, Inuit and Metis students pursuing post-secondary education.
The Post-Secondary Student Support Program provides eligible First Nations students with funding to access education opportunities at the post-secondary level. Secondly, the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program supports Indigenous post-secondary institutions and community-based programming. These funds are available to band councils, tribal councils, educational organizations, and the First Nations University of Canada.
The Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy provides financial assistance to support Inuit students in pursuing post-secondary education. Students interested should contact Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami or their respective Inuit land-claim organization.
The Manitoba Métis Federation also has a Post-Secondary Education Support Program, which provides financial assistance to Manitoba Métis Federation citizens who are enrolled in an eligible post-secondary program. In addition, the Louis Riel Institute also has a variety of bursaries and awards available to Métis students.
There are also a wide array of additional federal funding provisions and search options for Indigenous post-secondary students, such as the Indspire program, an Indigenous Bursaries search tool, and the University and College Entrance Preparation Program (UCEPP).
Options for Paying = Significant Payoff
Paying for your education doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, the finances of post-secondary education are a stressful reality for many. Nevertheless, a variety of options are available to ensure that money does not stand between you and your educational goals. Reach out to us for help in navigating them. It’s time to take the next step today, as you reach toward your future.
Campus Manitoba is a consortium of Manitoba’s public universities and colleges. Through collaborative projects and shared services, we facilitate student mobility and expand access to post-secondary programs for students in Manitoba. In addition to campusmanitoba.ca, our websites include ecoursesmb.ca, setyourcourse.ca, and openedmb.ca.