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Athabasca University

Finance Options

Work While You Study or Study While You Work

A real benefit of AU is that you can work full-time or part-time and pay for your courses as you go; however, there are many different ways to finance your education. You need to investigate each option and decide which is best for you.

In This Section

Aboriginal Students

If you are of aboriginal decent, you may be able to access educational financing through your band or through associations such as the Métis Nation of Alberta. Visit The Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research for more information.

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Bank Student Loans

In most banks, it is known as a personal line of credit and you can get up $10,000 per academic year if you are a full-time student or up to $5000 if you are part-time. Also, some banks offer professional lines of credit if you are enrolled in a program leading towards a professional degree; for example, medicine, dentistry, chiropractic, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, Master of Business Administration (MBA) and accountancy. If you do not qualify for a government student loan, this may be another option you can explore. For more information on these loans, please visit your local bank, credit union, or explore these web sites:

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Canadian Forces

If you are a member of the Canadian Forces you are eligible for Continuing Education Subsides for university studies. Visit a Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre.

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Employers

Check with your employer to see if they will pay for your courses. Some companies have plans where they will refund or provide you with tuition money if your courses relate to work.

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Government Sponsored Student Loans

This includes Canada and Provincial Student Loans. Students can obtain these loans for full time and part time studies. The amount of funding is based on financial need, an approved program of studies, and must be repaid with interest within a specific period of time. You can apply for these loans online or find more information by visiting these links:

For additional resources, please see AU’s Student Financial Aid

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Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP)

Do you have an RRSP? If so, look into the Lifelong Learning Plan. It allows you to borrow up to $10,000 per year, from your RRSP, to help you or your partner pay for your full-time education. If you have a disability you may qualify to attend on a part-time basis. For more information, visit the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

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Provincial and Territorial Workers' Compensation Boards (WCB)

If you are receiving compensation benefits and need some type of retraining, you may be eligible for funding. The WCB reviews each claim on its own merit and then determines what is in the best interest of the injured worker and the WCB. Please check with your provincial WCB.

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Scholarships, Grants, and Bursaries

This is financial assistance you do not have to repay! Scholarships are generally based on academic grades or a combination of achievement and financial need. Grants and bursaries are generally based on financial need and may include other qualifying criteria.

For more information on these types of financial assistance, please check out the links below:

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Student Tax Benefits

You can claim tuition fees for your AU courses and then save your refund to help pay for your courses in the upcoming year. Your T2202A form is available in February on the myAU Student Portal. For more information, please see the Canada Revenues Agency pamphlet on "Students and Income Tax".

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Updated February 19 2016 by Student & Academic Services

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