UNBSJ Financial Aid: helping students cover costs with scholarships and bursaries: Strapped for cash? This one’s for you

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As university students, we all know what it’s like to be strapped for cash and with tuition bills flashing an uncomfortable amount of digits these days, we’re poorer than ever.

Of course, not everyone has the time to work the three jobs required to keep on top of student loans and university payments. Lucky for you, there are others who feel your pain and have developed means to help you pay off those hefty sums. We’ve all heard of scholarships, but for most people, the application period ends at graduation.

That statement has never been more untrue. The conditions of a scholarship are flimsy and students can lose them very easily by doing something as simple as letting their GPA drop below a 3.7 in their first year; an A minus average isn’t easy to keep. Students who find themselves without money at the end of year one may start to panic, however, there’s no real need to fear.

UNBSJ offers thousands of scholarships to undergrads currently attending the school and applying is easy: all you have to do is find the application in your eservices under the “Academic” tab. UNB takes each application into consideration, though their first concern is academic achievement. The higher your GPA, the higher your chances are of getting financial help.

Now, not everyone can pull off A’s and B’s, however and financial issues don’t discriminate. Now, just because you don’t think you’ll be able to get a scholarship, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply. Most people do get some sort of funding from the school. If you’re completely unsure of what to do or even if you would qualify, UNBSJ has set up resources to make sure that you get the help you need.

Located in Student Services (Oland Hall G15), the Financial Aid and Awards Office can set you up with one-on-one advising sessions to explore all sorts of options, including helping you apply for bursary programs.

The beauty of a bursary is simple: it’s the epitome of free money. Whereas scholarships mostly take into account scholarly achievement, bursaries are awarded based on financial need alone, no strings attached.

If you’re really struggling, the office also offers emergency funding, not only with tuition payments but with parking and groceries as well.

If you want to apply for money outside of the university system, sign up at studentawards.com, where you can get a personalized list of scholarships and bursaries that is updated frequently. It’s a great place to find applications suited best to you and the great part is, it’s all Canadian.

For information regarding scholarships, student loans and bursaries here at school, visit the Financial Aid and Awards Office or email Nazma Shahria at nazma.shahria@unb.ca. You can also reach her by calling 1-506-648-5765.