The economic recession paired with the constantly rising costs of tuition and books mean many students may struggle to make ends meet. However, students may not need to search as far as they believe for a bit of financial relief.
The largest academic cost aside from tuition is books, which is being tackled by an expanded joint endeavor by a Students' Union Quality Money initiative and the University of Calgary Bookstore. The book loan program awards textbooks on a temporary basis to undergraduate students for a semester.
"Thirty-one students have applied so far this year, but we have 40 spots for successful applicants," said SU operations and finance commissioner Alyssa Stacey. Under Stacey's guidance, the program was able to quadruple its number of available spots to 40, up from pervious years 10.
"It is a shame students are not taking advantage of this program," said vice-president academic, Meg Martin. "I believe students have misconceptions regarding who can be awarded these loans, as they are on the basis of financial need. Some students believe that other students, who are in a worse financial situation than they themselves are, are whom this program is targeted towards. But the reality is that education is expensive and this program is designed to help students reduce the overall cost."
Due to the limited number of applicants, the application deadline for the program has been postponed to Oct. 5. Even with the small number of students trickling into the program, bookstore staff are excited about it.
"We don't believe that the program was unsuccessful this year," said U of C Bookstore director Brent Beatty. "If our program helps just one student then it was a success."
Another 40 applicants will be awarded textbook loans for the winter semester.