If you are considering higher education in Canada, you are most likely exploring financial aid options as well.
WES Advisor recently hosted a webinar on financial aid with Carolyn Ford, PhD, director of International Undergraduate Recruitment at Western University. Now available on demand, the webinar covers the following topics: financial aid terms and sources, financial planning, and the financial aid application process.
Financial Aid Vocabulary
The webinar provides definitions for the terms listed below:
- Expected family contribution
- Net price
- Sticker price
- Merit-based financial aid
- Need-based financial aid
Understanding these terms is key to understanding how education funding works. In the webinar, Ford offers detailed explanations of each term. She also emphasizes the importance of focusing on the net price rather than the sticker price when evaluating the cost of tuition at different schools.
Watch the webinar to learn more financial aid vocabulary!
Tuition varies widely across Canada.
In the webinar, Ford shares strategies to help lower the costs of tuition and living expenses in Canada.
Financial Aid Sources
Institutional funding varies based on a student’s level of education. Graduate applicants typically have more funding options than undergraduates. Institutional sources include teaching assistantships, research positions, and fellowships.
Other sources of financial aid include:
- Campus work-study programs
- Income share agreements (must be repaid when certain conditions are met)
- Loans (must be repaid, with interest)
Schools or external organizations can provide these resources.
Financial Planning Timeline
Ford emphasizes that the costs of obtaining your degree encompass far more than the costs incurred during your years of study. For this reason, the financial planning timeline should begin early—when the student starts the application process—so that visa fees and study permit expenses for the application and documentation are included.
“Tuition and fees are substantial components of what you’re paying, but … other budget items do add up as well,” Ford notes. Budgeting for on-campus study includes estimating money for textbooks, transportation, housing, food, and other costs of living.
Financial Aid Application Process
Ford emphasizes that students should start researching financial aid options early.
“You really want to be doing this with enough notice so that you’re finding out about opportunities 90 or more days away, in terms of deadlines, so that you have a chance to apply for that level of award,” Ford advises.
Students should also begin preparing their legal and financial documents, such as bank statements and net worth statements, so they can submit complete and accurate applications. You may also need to provide other documentation in support of your application, such as letters of reference, proof of English or French proficiency, and a credential evaluation.
Making use of institutional resources, such as financial aid counselors and your university’s financial aid office, can simplify the application process.
For more tips, including the answers to frequently asked questions, view the webinar.
We regularly host webinars on a variety of topics relevant to international students and immigrant professionals. Check out our future and past webinars on our Events page to stay informed and up-to-date on all WES events!