Financial Aid at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Photo by: @charlesdeluvio on Unsplash.

School is expensive. And we all don’t have the luxury of rich parents or a dashing lawyer partner like they do in the movies. When bills, tuition, rent and everything else adds up, you need money. Read on to find out easy ways to get the money you need to have a great university experience at NAIT.

NAIT Scholarships, Bursaries, and Awards

MacEwan University offers lots of in-house scholarships, bursaries and awards. These awards are best for paying bills, like tuition and rent. Offering thousands of dollars to students every year, NAIT and its student’s association (NAITSA) knows how to take care of its own. Hundreds of different awards on offer, based on different criteria. Whether you’re academic, athletic, musical, have dependents, a leader, or involved in the community – there’s a NAIT award for you. International student? No problem! There are dozens of awards available to you too.

External Scholarships and Awards

Can’t find anything that meets your needs from NAIT or NAITSA, check out some options not affiliated with the university. Most of these are handed out in the fall, so are perfect for paying things like tuition and rent. For international students, the Government of Canada has lots of scholarships available based on your home country and program. Your home country also usually has lots of awards you can apply for. Canadian student? There’s tons of awards available to you if you know where to look! If you have a job, ask your employer’s Human Resources officer if they have any awards. Look into your parent’s employer too. Lots of big businesses, such as Home Depot and ATCO, have scholarships for the children of their employees. Other places to look into include religious organizations, community leagues or town councils, and sports leagues. Don’t forget the internet too. A quick google search will pop up hundreds of links to explore. There is literally thousands of dollars in award money every year that goes unclaimed because students don’t apply. Hit the internet and get some of that money for yourself.

Student Loans

What’s the first place you turn to when you need money for school? (besides your parents!) Student loans! Student loans are the traditional and perhaps easiest way to receive financial aid. Just go online, log into Alberta Student Aid, fill out the application, and within a few weeks – bang! You are approved! Available to full-time and part-time students, student loans are the easiest way to pay your tuition. The government sends the money right to MacEwan, no work or transferring for you to do. Bad thing about loans? They have to be paid back and they collect interest over time (additional money you have to pay back on top of the loan). Interest is the killer with student loans. You could end up paying over $5000 extra in interest if you take a large loan and pay it off over many years! With that in mind, don’t be afraid of taking out a student loan. They are a wonderful way to take the pressure off of school and let you concentrate on acing that chemistry midterm.

Credit Cards

Need money now? A credit card may be the answer. A credit card is a nifty little piece of plastic that you can use to pay for every bill you have, even if you don’t have the money in your bank account to pay for it. Rent? Paid. Groceries? Paid. Had a tooth pulled that insurance won’t cover? Paid. And they’re super easy to get and use. Every bank has different ones to choose from, based on what kind of card you need. Many banks even have student credit cards that have cool perks. To use a credit card, simple. Just tap, or swipe, and go!

Credit cards are amazing tools when you need money quickly, but you need to be careful when you use them. Credit cards have insanely high interest rates on them – upwards of 25% in some cases. So remember to pay off your credit card bill every month, otherwise you’ll end up in a pit of debt that’s very hard to climb out of. Confused? That’s okay. This article from NerdWallet explains everything credit card (despite the American specific references, the same principles apply to Canada too).

No matter your circumstance, there is money and aid out there for you. Whether you need emergency funds or help paying for tuition, financial aid is out there. NAIT and NAITSU offer a variety of options, and don’t forget to look in your local community. Don’t stress about money, you have help.

Published on September 8, 2021

About Skylar Brebrich

Skylar is a recent graduate of the History program at MacEwan University who spends most of her time buried under towers of dusty old books. When she manages to dig her way out, you'll find her travelling the world in search of castles and curios, or curled up in bed rewatching CSI for the millionth time.