Going to a post-secondary institution can be a challenge, and finding the right college or program leads to finding the resources to make it happen.
The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) offers loans to students while Second Career funding pays for retraining; these are some of the way students are receiving funding from the provincial government to complete their studies. Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) also has funding available for retraining injured workers in Ontario.
Additionally, there are many bursaries, grants, contests, awards, government and bank loan options available to students looking to help fund their education at a private career college.
Bank loans or lines of credit often offer low interest rates during the study period, where no payment on the principal of the loan is required. These loans also can offer periods after graduation where interest-only payments continue. Visiting a bank will help students understand the types of loans available and what might work best for their personal need.
Some funding options require students to pay back a portion or all of the money loaned, such as OSAP and bank loans, but students can now use the web and other resources to find programs and awards with no payback requirement giving students a low-cost or no-cost education.
College sponsored scholarships
Grade Learning is hoping prospective students will like them on Facebook for a chance at one of 5 scholarships the private career college is offering. People who “like” the Grade Learning Facebook page can then apply for scholarships of $5000, and share with friends to increase their chance of winning.
Speaking about using the social media platform to give away scholarships, Grade Learning CEO Michael Bateman said, “It was a way for us to build our Facebook presence, to attract individuals that have a need for retraining.”
“Think of how often people are on Facebook and get nothing from it. It’s just a social place to be. With this it’s a nice opportunity,” Bateman said.
This new generation of promotion will allow more people to hear about and share the scholarship with a variety of friends, in turn giving them the chance of funding their own education.
“The idea is an individual can produce their own scholarship almost,” Bateman explained. “If they apply for the scholarship and direct people to the Facebook page, they give themselves a good shot at getting a scholarship.”
BTH Education in Mississauga is another private career college offering a helping hand to students. BTH Education offers a bursary for full tuition coverage and 75 percent tuition coverage to students interested in the IT Engineering Diploma.
“We are offering these bursaries in an effort to build up and contribute to the community and city that we operate in,” said Louis Barnard of BTH Education.
Students can visit the college website and apply using the bursary application form.
Other career colleges may offer scholarships to students interested in attending their schools. For more information students should contact the colleges directly.
External Scholarships and awards
There are many websites geared towards connecting students to specific awards. Studentawards.com, MySchool.com, ScholarshipsCanada.com, and WorkInfoNet.ca are just some of the websites available to students looking for awards, grants, bursaries and scholarships. Students can also contact the financial aid office at their prospective career college and inquire about scholarship opportunities.
Private Career Colleges in Ontario – ontario.ca/PCC
Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) – osap.gov.on.ca
Other government education funding options - www.canlearn.ca
Second Career - ontario.ca/secondcareer
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario – www.wsib.on.ca
ABC’s of funding
Awards are given on the basis of achievements, including but not limited to academic, community involvement, or research. Awards can be comprised of a monetary prize, trophies, certificate or medal.
Bursaries are scholarships that are generally based on need rather than merit.
Contests involve applicants submitting entries and the winners are chosen by a judge or panel. Some contests do not have judging criteria and the winners are selected through random selection.
Grants are funds provided for a specific purpose. Some grants are for helping students based on income or abilities. Other grants are to fund books, technology or travel to and from school.
Scholarships are a sum of money or other aid given to a student to pursue post-secondary studies. This type of funding may be based on a variety of criteria including: academics, geographic location and financial need.