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Indigenous Peoples Paying for School

Post-secondary education is a good way to grow skills and knowledge you can use to build your future. With a bit of planning, you will likely be able to pay for your education using some of the many financial resources out there.

Funding for Training

If you want to upgrade or take training to improve your job prospects, you may be eligible for financial support. Check out these resources:

What Post-Secondary School Will Cost

The cost for tuition, books and supplies depends on

  • where you go
  • what you take
  • how long your program is—1 year? 4 years?
  • the type of program

You will also have living costs while you’re at school. When you look at student budgeting information, consider adding the following items if they apply to you:

  • living expenses for your family if you’re leaving the community to go to school and they will be going with you
  • family responsibilities to children, parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers and extended family
  • cultural responsibilities, such as memorials, feasts, ceremonies, hand games, pow-wows and round dances, including travel to these

For information about funding resources for all Albertans, check out Paying for Post-Secondary School.

Funding Resources for Indigenous Students

There are many resources specifically for Indigenous students:

Scholarships and awards for Indigenous Students

  • Indspire—the largest non-governmental funding body for First Nations, Inuit and Métis post secondary students across Canada
  • Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool—a searchable list of more than 680 bursaries, scholarships and incentives across Canada. Some vary by group such as First Nations, Métis or Inuit, and/or by region, place of residence, school or field of study.
  • Scholarships and bursaries for Indigenous students may be available, varying by school.
  • Scholarships Canada—scholarships, bursaries and awards. Search using the keyword "first nations."
  • Belcourt-Brosseau Métis Awards—the largest non-governmental source of student funding for Métis students in Canada
  • Alberta Scholarship Programs—awards for Indigenous students, administered by Alberta Scholarship Programs. 
  • Advancing Futures Bursary Program—assists youth aged 18-24 who have been or continue to be in the care or custody of Children and Youth Services
  • Métis and Non-Status Bursary Program—for post-secondary studies in a social services field

Other Student Funding Resources

  • Check out the many scholarships and awards based on academics, athletics, community service, etc. that are available to all Alberta students.
  • Find out about the loans and grants available to Alberta students.
  • Visit Student Aid Alberta, the funding organization that helps eligible Alberta students meet the basic costs of learning and living.
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