Financing Your Education
Financial Aid Offices:
GPRC Grande Prairie Campus
Toll Free 1-888-539-4772
GPRC Fairview Campus
Toll Free 1-888-539-4772
You have made the decision to further your education. Life as a college student can be very exciting and rewarding. However, obtaining a post-secondary education can be very costly and needs to be well planned. The Financial Aid Team at GPRC is here to assist you in financing your educational endeavor.
What Will It Cost?
Tuition and Fees
Refer to the Estimate of Fees for 2014-2015 available from Student Services or online at Student Loans
Living Costs (minimal expenses)
This is an estimate for two semesters of study.
Single, Living at home ($500 per month)
Single, Living away, Shared accommodation ($1000/month)
Married Student, One Child ($2500/month)
Single Parent, One Child in care ($1800/month)
For each additional child add $450 per month
Books and Supply Costs
The Financial Aid Office at GPRC prepares an estimate of books and supplies for all College programs. This information is shared with Student Aid Alberta for consideration of grant and loan applications. If you require specific information on books and supply costs for your program, please contact the Financial Aid Office in Student Services or check the College website.
How Will You Cover the Costs?
Identify your sources of income:
For information about Alberta Student Loans please visit www.studentaid.alberta.ca. For other provinces, please see the GPRC Financial Aid website for contact information.
What do I need to know before I apply?
The government student loan program is intended to supplement the basic cost of living expenses, tuition, fees, books, and supplies. Debts (such as vehicle payments, loan payments, credit card bills, etc.) are not taken into consideration when determining the amount of loan money a student may receive.
Student loans are only available to full-time students, who are enrolled in post-secondary programs. Academic Upgrading, Trades, and most Pre-Employment Programs are ineligible for student loans. By completing one loan application, Alberta residents will be considered for both Provincial and Federal loan monies, as well as government grants and bursaries. In most provinces, you can apply for a student loan before registering in your program of study. However, you must ensure you are registered in your program before your student loan funds are released.
When applying for a student loan, you must determine your province of residency. In most cases, your home province is the last province you have lived in for twelve full months without being a full-time student in post-secondary studies. Some exceptions may apply. If you are unsure, please contact the Financial Aid Team and they can help you determine your province of residency.
Student loan applications for most provinces are available after June 1st. Processing times vary from province to province and may take up to eight weeks. You are advised to apply early. Most provinces now encourage students to complete an online application. Alberta residents can apply online at www.studentaid.alberta.ca. Students from other provinces can visit the Financial Aid page of the GPRC website for links to provincial student loan providers. Paper applications for Alberta Student Loans are available at most post-secondary institutions and local Alberta Human Services offices.
The application will require various information including your tuition, fees, and book costs, and what resources you will have available to you for the academic year. You will also need to have filed your income tax for the previous tax year and know the figure on Line 150 of your income tax.
Where can I get assistance with my student loan application?
The staff in the Financial Aid Office can clarify any concerns you might have about the process and give you advice on the best method of application (on-line or paper) for your particular situation. If paper application is recommended and you are an Alberta resident, the Financial Aid Office at the College will review your forms and courier your application to Student Aid Alberta after it has been reviewed with you. If you are completing an online student loan application through Student Aid Alberta you are welcome to print a PDF version of the application and bring it in to the Financial Aid Office to review before you enter your information in the online system. If you experience difficulty with the online Student Aid Alberta application, you can contact their service centre at 1-855-606-2096.
If I am registered with the College and another institution, what do I need to consider?
There are two terms used for students who have registration with multiple institutions. Collaborative Enrollment means your schools have a formal agreement about your program of study and have a collaborative curriculum. Concurrent Enrollment means you are choosing to take transferable courses at different institutions to obtain credits toward your diploma or degree. In order for both institutions to be aware of your loan, and to ensure that you maintain full-time status for eligibility, you are encouraged to speak to the staff in the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Team at GPRC is happy to assist you with the entire student loan process from application through to repayment.
What happens after I apply?
The Government Student Aid office in the province you apply to (i.e. Student Aid Alberta, Student Aid BC) assesses your application and determines your eligibility. You will receive a letter in the mail called a Notice of Assessment (NOA) which explains how much money you will receive and when to expect each disbursement. If you have applied online, most provinces have an inquiry section of their website where you can check the status of your application. Budget your money accordingly so that you can make it through the academic year with the funds provided. GPRC Financial Aid can assist you with preparing a budget.
Other important information about Student Loans
If your financial circumstances change, or you feel you did not have the opportunity to state your real situation, you can request a review. Contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance in completing the Change of Circumstance form.
While you are registered as a full-time student, your loans are in an interest-free and payment free status if you have filed the correct paperwork with your Lenders. We encourage you to take advantage of Financial Aid’s services or to check with provincial Student Aid websites for information on maintaining interest-free status.
It is important to remember that your student loan debt is held with a Lender. For Alberta residents, your Canada Student Loans debt is held with the National Student Loan Service Centre and your Alberta Student Loan debt is held with Student Aid Alberta Service Centre.
When you stop being a full-time student, on the first day of the seventh month, you will be required to make your first loan payment to your Lender. The interest rates and terms of repayment are set at the time of consolidation. Details on repayment assistance and repayment options are available through your lenders. Contact your lender well in advance of the first payment due date to set up consolidation of your loans or to investigate your options.
Part-time post-secondary students may qualify for a part-time study grant, of a maximum $600 per semester. Students may access the grant three times (or to a maximum of $1800) in twelve calendar months. Eligibility is based on the student’s (and their spouse's/partner's) line 150 from the previous year’s income tax assessment. Applications are available at the Financial Aid Office or online at www.studentaid.alberta.ca
Funding for Students in Upgrading, Transitional Vocational, and
The Alberta Works Learner Benefits Program provides financially disadvantaged individuals with the opportunity to access the education and training they require to secure gainful employment. If eligible, students may receive grant funding for either full-time or part-time studies, which may include costs for tuition, books, and living allowance for the duration of their schooling. The Alberta Works Program is open to Employment Insurance (EI) recipients as well as people who do not qualify for EI benefits.
Grande Prairie Regional College Awards Program
The Awards Handbooks are available online at https://www.gprc.ab.ca/services/financialaid. Be watchful of deadlines.
Scholarships are merit based awards and are available to students who have completed consecutive Fall and Winter Sessions on a full-time basis. Deadlines vary and for many of the scholarships no application is required.
Bursaries are awards based on financial need and other criteria. Full-time students who have successfully completed the Fall Semester and are enrolled full-time in the Winter Semester may be eligible. Applications will be available in October. Deadline to apply is in early December each year.
The Financial Aid Office sends e-mails regarding internal and external award opportunities on a monthly basis. Be sure to check your student e-mail throughout the academic year.
Northern Alberta Development Council Bursary $6000 - $9000
Deadline: April 30 for students beginning studies in the next academic year.
This bursary is a return service program. In exchange for the bursary, recipients later live and work in northern Alberta. More information is available at www.benorth.ca.