- Career Counselling Services
Career Counselling Services
What is the role of a Career and Financial Counsellor within Student Financial Services?
The Career and Financial Counsellor promotes sound career decision making that will lead to graduating post-secondary education in a timely manner with a reasonable student loan debt, through career and financial counselling.
Why do students get referred to a Career and Financial Counsellor?
- Switching programs of study after the permissible time
In the event you switch programs, your eligibility for assistance may be affected. If you switch programs after the end of the fourth semester or the midpoint of your program, you will be required to provide a rationale to support your decision to switch programs before additional assistance is approved. The letter of rationale must demonstrate academic progression, good labour market prospects, and information on how the switch will not leave you with an unmanageable level of debt.
- Requesting financial assistance for subsequent program
You may be eligible for assistance beyond your initial program, provided it can be demonstrated that the subsequent program(s) represents academic progression, has good labour market prospects, and will not result in you accumulating an unmanageable level of debt. You will be required to submit a rationale to support your decision.
- Completing programs of study in a timely manner
You are eligible to receive assistance for the normal length of your program, as defined by the educational institution, plus a grace period of up to a
maximum of one academic year.
Example: A Bachelor of Arts program is normally eight semesters (four academic years) in duration. Financial assistance is available for those eight semesters (four academic years) plus an additional two-semester (one academic year) grace period, for a total of ten semesters (five academic years) of funding.
There is a lifetime limit of 340 weeks of student financial assistance.
Example: A university year is considered 34 weeks of study, so you (34×10=340 weeks of eligibility) even if you were successfully completing each additional year of study.
Students enrolled in a doctoral program of study are eligible to receive student financial assistance for a maximum lifetime limit of 400 weeks.
- Request for reduced course load
When requesting an exemption from the 80% full course load requirement, further clarification may be required, resulting in consultation with a Career and Financial Counsellor.
- High unmet need of over $3000 per semester
Students with substantial need above their loan eligibility may be contacted by a Career and Financial Counsellor to discuss financial planning. The purpose is to ensure the student is aware that additional resources will be required to finance their post-secondary education.
Who refers students to a Career and Financial Counsellor?
Internally referrals are received from Management, Appeals Officer, Senior Assessment Officers and
Student Aid Information Officers. Externally referrals can be received from Post-Secondary School Representatives, Secondary School Guidance Counsellors, professionals from the community and self referrals.
What can you expect to discuss with a Career and Financial Counsellor?
During the initial session with a student, the career plan is reviewed which will include discussions on previous and/or current academic endeavors to establish suitability to the new program choice. Additionally, emphasis is placed on reviewing the student’s labour market awareness. If it is determined that the student lacks knowledge in this area they will be required to complete a Labour Market Research Questionnaire. This questionnaire requires the student to research a variety of resources to ensure they have a full understanding of the employment and salary potential for this occupation.
As well, there is a review of the student’s awareness of their current student loan debt, projected debt and how the accumulated debt will impact the Total Service Debt Ratio depending on salary expectations. The Total Service Debt Ratio is a calculation which provides insight into a student’s ability to repay.
Should the student be required to gather subsequent information, additional sessions with a Career and Financial Counsellor can be arranged to ensure the information is adequate prior to counsellor recommendation.
A Career Counselling Summary Report is completed which will include a recommendation on whether additional financial assistance should be provided and the student is notified of the recommendation. The decision will be made by the Senior Assessment Officer or Appeals Officer which is usually the source of the referral.
How can I contact a Career and Financial Counsellor?
Consult with a Student Aid Information Officer to see if your circumstances warrant a referral to a Career and Financial Counsellor.
Department of Advanced Education and Skills
P.O. Box 8700
Toll Free: 1-888-657-0800