According to Statisics Canada, the average undergraduate tuition fee for 2013-2014 is $5,772.
If your teenager wants to attend post-secondary away from home, then add on rent, books, and a few airplane tickets per year, the costs can be daunting.
But fear not, because there are funding options available through the Yukon Government.
“The North is unique,” explains Judy Thrower, assistant deputy minister at the Advanced Education Branch of the Yukon Government. “The provinces only offer loan programs based on need, whereas… our grant programs are not based on need. So that’s a bit of the uniqueness for us.”
If a student is eligible for Canada Student Loans, Thrower says they can certainly apply for, and receive such a loan, to be put towards post-secondary education and expenses.
However, the main difference is that you have to return the money you took out as a loan often with interest added on top of that, while you don’t need to do that with a grant from the Yukon Government.
One of the signature student financial assistance programs is called the Yukon Grant. It caters to post secondary level studies at a designated institution, which includes most public – and some of the more popular private – institutions.
Thrower estimates between 750 to 800 students per year receive the Yukon Grant.
“Our Yukon Grant program supports students who are attending within the territory, and outside the territory,” she says.
For students attending college in the territory, they receive about $3,700 per year, and if they attend school outside of the territory, they receive an additional $1,800 for travel expenses, making it about $5,500 per year. ?Another financial assistance program available for Yukon students is the Yukon Excellence Awards.
“These awards are earned during high school years, and if they achieve, I believe, 80 per cent on either a Yukon exam or a B.C. departmental exam, they’re given money to use for their post-secondary studies,” she says.
Though the amount varies every year, Thrower says that the students are able to “come out with a bank of money at the end of high school, which they can use towards tuition and or book costs.”
The government also offers a student training allowance for students attending the Yukon College.
“It runs a bit differently — single students get about the same amount as the grants, but it doesn’t have to be post secondary level,” she says. “So it’s any program three weeks or longer at Yukon College that they can apply for.”
Besides the grants, there are also some territorial scholarships that are offered.
“We do have a few scholarships that we administer here, but there’s four of them and they’re for smaller amounts of money,” she says.
If the territorial grants are not enough, Thrower’s department also administers the Canada Student Loans and Grants program, which is a federal program based on need.
“To get information from other sources, Canada has a fairly detailed website called CanLearn.ca, and they promote the Canada Student Loan program, but they also promote things like the Canada Learning Bond and RESPs,” Thrower says. “So those are all federal programs to support participation in post-secondary.”
For more information about post-secondary education funding through the territorial government, please go to http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/continued/student_funding.html