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1 STUDENT FINANCIAL AID AND AWARDS british columbia institute of technology bcit.ca/finaid

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Before The Start of Your Program...3 After the Start of Your Program...6 Near the End of Your Program...8 Budget Funding Worksheet...9 Key Websites Scholarship Tips bcit.ca/finaid

3 Student Financial Aid and Awards Plan for success... steps to funding your BCIT education Congratulations for choosing BCIT. You are about to embark on a rewarding experience. This is an exciting time in your education and it s easy to forget about the practicalities, such as financial planning. Informing yourself and planning ahead will ensure you are enabled to do your best. A Financial Plan Contributes to Academic Success Planning your finances well in advance of when your program starts will allow you to better focus on your studies and take advantage of funding opportunities. These basic steps are provided to help you plan ahead. Early action may help you avoid financial stress while studying full-time. Before The Start of Your Program 1. Write Your Financial Plan Up to 12 months before you start your program, develop a detailed and realistic financial plan for the duration of your study. For programs longer than one year, map out your plan for financing each year of study. Where to start: > > research and estimate your educational and living costs > > identify known money resources that can help you pay for your study period including savings, gifts from family, assets you can liquidate, etc. A budget or financial plan is essential. If you don t know how to develop a budget, a Financial Aid Advisor can help you. Budget planning is a valuable skill you can use throughout your life. What is a budget? > > An organized way to manage your money > > A picture of where your money is coming from and where it is going. Why budget? > > Reduces your stress and increases your peace of mind > > Helps you achieve your goals while gaining a valuable lifelong skill > > Gives you a clear financial picture and sense of control. How do I budget? > > Save all of your receipts, bank and credit card statements and bills. > > Use the budget sheets on the following pages as a guideline to put your estimated costs down in writing. Student Financial Aid and Awards 3

4 > > Don t under-estimate your costs. Add ten percent of your total monthly costs to your total costs in order to cover unanticipated or under-estimated costs. > > Estimate your income conservatively. A budget sheet is included on page Inform yourself. If you have Internet access, use free, user-friendly, online budgeting tools to estimate your study period income and expenses. Recommended online tools include: > > Money Matters section of Education Planner (educationplanner.bc.ca). Go to the For Students section. > > Post-Secondary learning resources section of Achieve BC (achievebc.ca) > > Financial Planner at CanLearn (canlearn.ca). Go to the Online Tools section. > > Banks and Financial Literacy at Canadian Bankers Association (yourmoney.cba.ca). If your budget shows your expenses will exceed your income, your next step is to look for additional funding. If you have debt problems, please contact the Credit Counselling Society for free advice and consultation. Lower Mainland residents call Other BC residents, call toll free Visit nomoredebts.org for more information. 2. Apply for Non-Repayable BCIT Entrance Awards Do you have high grades on your transcripts? Are you involved in your school or community? If so, there are awards that may reward you for your accomplishments. Entrance awards are merit-based and are awarded on a competitive basis to recognize outstanding applicants at the time they are entering a BCIT program. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Apply early! You must apply prior to the start of your program. The BCIT Entrance Awards application package is updated every February and is available at bcit.ca/finaid. This guide lists all entrance awards and their deadlines for the upcoming academic year. The entrance awards application package is also available at the Student Financial Aid and Awards office, Building SW1, Room A notification letter is mailed to every applicant once entrance award decisions are finalized. 3. Search for Non-Repayable External Award Monies In the year before you start school, search for non-repayable external awards. External describes scholarships, contests, bursaries, and prizes that BCIT does not administer. You apply for external awards directly to the organization or agency. 4 bcit.ca/finaid

5 Ask family and friends about clubs, associations and organizations they belong to. Criteria and application procedures vary; in some cases, a connection to or affiliation with the award sponsor is required. Two sites to visit are studentawards.com and scholarshipscanada.com. While you research these sites, you will discover links to other external awards. Don t forget to visit the external awards page on the BCIT financial aid website: bcit.ca/finaid/externalawards. 4. Look for Additional Non-Repayable Funding Sources Six months prior to school start, network with family and friends to line up a parttime and/or summer job. Look into agency sponsorship (Employment Insurance, HRSDC or HRSDC Training Providers, Worker s Compensation Board, Native Band or other Aboriginal funding). Consider the feasibility of selling or liquidating assets (term deposits, savings bonds, sports equipment, vehicle, sound systems). Earn while you learn by choosing a program of study that offers co-op work terms. Research apprenticeship training options and learn while working. Contact BCIT Apprentice Services for more information at or visit bcit.ca/apprenticeship. 5. Consider the Repayable StudentAid BC Three to four months before you start school, consider applying for governmentsubsidized student loans. Not all programs are funded through StudentAid BC. If you are unsure if your program is funded, feel free to check with us. StudentAid BC (studentaidbc.ca) is a need-based program for BC residents. You are applying to two different loan programs, federal (Canada Student Loan) and provincial (BC Student Loan) on one application. Similar student loan programs are in place across Canada for residents of other provinces. Contacts for out of province assistance can be found on the Student Financial Aid and Awards website at bcit.ca/finaid/links/provinces. If you are unsure whether you should apply for BC or out of province government assistance, you should contact Student Financial Aid and Awards. You must apply for assistance. We encourage you to apply online at studentaidbc.ca to quickly find out if you are eligible for need-based student loans. This site provides you with access to the StudentAid BC Student Guide, StudentAid BC instructions, and updates on new financial assistance programs, including debt and loan reduction. You can also use the website to find out if you qualify for special grants available for specific categories of students. Paper applications are also available at the Student Financial Aid and Awards office for students who prefer this method. Important: Students at BCIT apply for loans and interest-free status by single term. Contact us for details. Student Financial Aid and Awards 5

6 It is your responsibility to: > > Pay your tuition and required fees first. > > Maintain full-time studies. If you are taking part-time studies courses, you must contact our office to complete additional forms. Note: the definition of full-time at BCIT is different from other schools. See page 11. > > Notify our office AND BCIT Student Records as well as StudentAid BC if you move, and/or change telephone numbers. > > Keep previous federal and provincial student loans interest-free and out of repayment by completing interest-free forms available from Student Financial Aid and Awards. You may be eligible to apply online at studentaidbc.ca > > Know how to negotiate, maintain and repay your loans.* > > Keep track of your debt load. There are lifetime student loan maximums. * Contact us for a free brochure on repaying your government student loans. Be a responsible borrower. There are serious consequences if you fail to repay your student loans. Estimate whether your projected income after graduation will be able to support monthly loan payments. A loan repayment calculator is available at canlearn.ca. 6. Search for Other Repayable Options Three to four months before you start school, look into other repayable options from external sources. This includes applying for and negotiating a student lineof-credit or loan through a banking institution; utilizing your (or your spouse s) RRSP funds through your financial institution by applying for the federal government Lifelong Learning Plan (cra-arc.gc.ca) and borrowing from family and friends. After the Start of Your Program If you run into financial problems after your program starts, make it a priority to contact Student Financial Aid and Awards. We can provide information on funding sources, answer your questions and help you solve complications that may arise. 7. You May Still Be Eligible to Apply for StudentAid BC Even if classes have already started, it may not be too late for BC residents to apply for the repayable StudentAid BC. The deadline is six weeks before your classes end. We recommend students visit or call our office early with their student loan program questions. 8. BCIT Full-time Student Bursaries An application form is required. Bursaries are based on financial need. These are non-repayable awards for full-time students who are progressing satisfactorily in their BCIT credential program and who document that they need additional financial assistance to complete their studies. Preference is given to students who have applied for and exhausted other sources of financial assistance, such as StudentAid BC. To apply, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada. 6 bcit.ca/finaid

7 Student Financial Aid and Awards mails a notification letter to every applicant once bursary decisions are finalized. Full-time student bursaries are considered after students have demonstrated satisfactory progress in their program. You must successfully complete a term of study (level) in your program or a minimum of four months of full-time study before being eligible to apply for bursaries. Generally, students are eligible to apply for bursaries at the beginning of Level 2, Level 4, Level 6 and Level 8. Visit our website or contact Student Financial Aid and Awards for detailed eligibility criteria and information on when you will be eligible to apply. There are three bursary application deadlines annually. The majority of full-time students are eligible to apply for Winter bursaries. Winter Bursaries: Application Deadline January 30 For most full-time programs. Application form is available annually on January 2. Spring Bursaries: Application Deadline June 30 For specific programs only. Application form is available annually on June 1. Fall Bursaries: Application Deadline October 30 For specific programs only. Application form is available annually on October 1. Applications are available in SW or online at bcit.ca/finaid. 9. BCIT Scholarships, Achievement Awards and Graduating Awards No application forms are required for these BCIT awards. BCIT Scholarships, Achievement Awards and Graduating Awards are merit-based and are selected by BCIT. Scholarships are awarded early in the second year of a program. Scholarships are presented to the top academic students who were enrolled in a 100% course load while in first year. Achievement Awards are presented to students who achieved outstanding marks in specific courses or demonstrated a combination of high academic standing, leadership, service and/or all-round achievement, as nominated by the faculty. Graduating Awards are presented to the top academic students who were enrolled in a 100% course load while in the final year of their program. 10. Other Need-Based Financial Assistance Programs Application forms are required. Detailed information is available on our website or from the Student Financial Aid and Awards office. > > BCIT Tuition Fee Deferral Program > > BCIT Emergency Assistance Program (An interview with a Financial Aid Advisor is required and may be arranged by telephone.) Student Financial Aid and Awards 7

8 > > BCIT Part-time Assistance If you do not have enough money to pay for your courses and are not studying full-time, you may be eligible for financial assistance (grants and/or loans) for part-time study. Contact Student Financial Aid and Awards or visit bcit.ca/finaid for detailed information about eligibility and to download an application and information sheet. Near the End of Your Program Request the Guide to Repaying Your BC Student Loan from BCIT Student Financial Aid and Awards. A Reminder Student Financial Aid and Awards is open year-round and you are encouraged to contact us for information about all forms of student assistance and awards programs. Our knowledgeable Front-line Team will try to answer your questions. However, a confidential appointment with a Financial Aid Advisor can be made to discuss financial concerns, emergency funding, budget planning and navigation of the government-subsidized student loan program (applying, appealing amounts, default and debt management). Three Ways to Contact BCIT Student Financial Aid and Awards Website: bcit.ca/finaid Our website includes descriptions of government student aid, as well as BCIT awards and other assistance available to BCIT students. Downloadable forms are available, including applications for fee deferrals, emergency loans, BCIT bursaries, and part-time assistance. In-person: 3700 Willingdon Avenue Building SW1 Room 2303 Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2 Hours: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday (Closed 8:30 am to 9:30 am, Wednesdays) Telephone: Offices are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Where a Student Financial Aid and Awards deadline falls on a day when the offices are closed, the deadline will be extended to the close of business on the next working day. A drop box is available after hours outside SW Information contained in this publication is accurate at the date of publication but is subject to change. 8 bcit.ca/finaid

9 Budget Funding Worksheet study period costs Monthly costs Student Spouse/commonlaw partner (if applicable) Rent/Mortgage Food Utilities Transportation (bus/gas) Medical and Dental Child Care Costs Child/Spousal Support You Pay Loan Payment/Credit Card Clothing, Haircuts, etc. Misc. Expenses Other Total Monthly Costs = $ A Multiply by Study Months X (Study months = the number of months between your class start and end date) Spouse/commonlaw One time costs Student partner (if applicable) Tuition and Fees Books/Supplies Insurance (car, house, renters) Property Taxes Other B One Time Costs = $ A + B = Total Study Period Costs Student Financial Aid and Awards 9

10 study period INCOME Monthly income Student Spouse/commonlaw partner (if applicable) Net Income from Work (take home) Money from Parents Child Care Subsidy Child/Spousal Support Canada Employment and Immigration EI, WCB, EPPD Benefits Sponsored Tuition/Books Income Assistance (welfare) Native Band Allowance Pension Income (CPP, Orphans, etc.) BC Family Bonus Other Total Monthly Income = $ Multiply by Study Months X (Study months = the number of months between your class start and end date) Spouse/commonlaw One time Income Student partner (if applicable) Savings at Start of Classes Sale of Assets Bursaries (school/private) Scholarships Other Add One Time Income = $ Total Study Period Income COST (C) INCOME = THE AMOUNT YOU NEED TO GO TO SCHOOL 10 bcit.ca/finaid

11 Definition of full-time student for purposes of StudentAid BC Eligibility at BCIT Notes: > > Actual weeks means the period spanning the calendar week in which the first class begins to the calendar week during which final exams occur. > > Effective: 2007/2008 StudentAidBC year (August 1, 2007 to July 31, 2008) # of actual weeks in each term Full-time course load for Govt Student Aid Eligibility (minimum credits required) credits credits credits credits credits credits credits Student Financial Aid and Awards, November Student Financial Aid and Awards 11

12 financial aid Key Websites and resources The most important financial aid websites are your provincial government student assistance website (studentaidbc.ca) and the BCIT student financial aid website: bcit.ca/finaid. Studentaidbc.ca provides information on government student aid, including loans, grants, and bursaries; online application, guidebooks, eligibility for part-time study grants, adult basic education study grants, special grants for students with disabilities, and funding for aboriginal students. > > servicecanada.gc.ca: a wealth of information on financing opportunities. Visit Education and Training under the Services by Subject heading. > > canlearn.ca: includes useful online tools such budget planner and loan repayment calculator. Use the A-Z index to locate topics quickly > > educationplanner.ca: info on how to find a program and how to apply to postsecondary institutes > > youcango.ca: workshops and one-on-one help with post-secondary education offered locally at the YMCA Vancouver > > debtfreegrad.com: direct link to financial aid post-secondary institute webpages > > yourmoney.cbca.ca: good financial planning tips See Scholarships tip sheet for additional sources of financial aid. 12 bcit.ca/finaid

13 Scholarship Tips Scholarships are based mainly on excellence, although financial need can be a secondary factor. Volunteer community service or extra-curricular experience are requirements for many large scholarships where donors are looking for wellrounded students. It takes persistence and effort to find scholarship money. Make the commitment. The pay-off can be huge. If you qualify, you may not have to work part-time or go deeper in debt to make ends meet. READ THE SCHOLARSHIP CRITERIA. If you meet the general criteria, then apply, even if you are not sure your marks and experience are sufficient. Do not waste time applying for scholarships that have criteria you do not meet. Find excellent application tips under Resources at scholarships.com and visit twinbro.com. > > Start your scholarship search in Grade 10 or as early as possible > > Start with the financial aid and awards websites of the schools you want to attend, e.g. bcit.ca/finaid > > Check aucc.ca for scholarship listings > > Check studentaidbc.ca for scholarship listings > > Register at scholarshipscanada.com and studentawards.com and myschool101.com > > Aboriginal students: check ammsa.com for a huge listing; also visit fnesc.ca and aboriginalcanada.gc.ca and ayn.ca > > Consider what affiliations you and your family have. Unions, employers, and service clubs may have scholarships for their members children > > Put together a portfolio of your achievements and keep it up to date > > Many scholarships look for a track record of volunteer service over time, not just in the last six months of Grade 12 > > Leadership and initiative in volunteer service are strongly valued > > Customize each scholarship application to the individual criteria > > If the application includes reference letters, make sure your referees tailor their letters to the criteria and understand the format. Student Financial Aid and Awards 13

14 notes

15

16 3700 Willingdon Avenue Burnaby, British Columbia Canada, V5G 3H2 bcit.ca/finaid july 2009, mcd 6189

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