Money. It’s one of those topics I like to avoid as much as possible, but I tend to stress out about the most. Tuition, rent, textbooks, food; it adds up so quickly!

Here’s the good news: there are ways to get money in order to pay for university! Financial aid has been key to helping me pay for university, and every bit of money helps to make university a little more affordable. Here’s a quick run down of the differences between some of these kinds of financial aid.

1) Scholarships:

CMU scholarships are awarded to students based on achievements and grades. For example, there are entrance scholarships awarded based on your average from high school, and if you keep high grades through university, you also receive “Academic Excellence Scholarships.” Some scholarships are for achievements other than academics, such as leadership.

I received the leadership scholarship at CMU, which is given to students who are involved in leadership in their communities. Receiving this scholarship was one of the things that helped my decision to study here. I felt that by supporting me financially, there were people who believed in my abilities and thought that I could make a positive contribution to the community here.

2) Bursaries:

Bursaries are given based on financial need. They may or may not have other academic requirements, but are primarily based on your financial situation. These can be given from CMU or from an external organization.

3) Grants

One grant that I’ve received is the Church Matching Grant. My church has generously given me financial support, and in response to this generosity, CMU matches the money they have given, up to $500 a year.

4) Student Loans

Student loans come from the government. The best part is, unlike a regular loan, they are interest-free while you are in school. Additionally, you only have to start repaying them 6 months after you finish school.

5) On- Campus Jobs

CMU has a lot of on campus jobs that students can apply for in September, which is a great way to make some money while in school. This means working up to hours a week on campus, doing dishes, vacuuming, live-streaming, or working with the Enrolment Department.

Although money can feel overwhelming, there are ways to make it more manageable. There are many different scholarships, grants, and bursaries offered through CMU, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. Some of the best advice that I ever heard is, even if you don’t think you are eligible for a scholarship, just apply! There are people that want to give money 🙂