“…you can’t feel good about something unless you understand it.”

Kelley Keehn, Talk Money to Me

We don’t have to tell you being a student is hard on your wallet (although, I guess we just did).

Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks winces.

Many students struggle to simply cover their expenses. And, if you are able to scrounge up enough, then comes the problem of budgeting it. Or, maybe you’re too good at budgeting it and you need advice on how to stay afloat while splurging every once in a while. Or, maybe you splurge too much and you need smart strategies for money management.

Just like no two students are the same, no two student money struggles are, either. But, whatever your circumstances, IGNITE has financial programs designed with you in mind.

To prove it, here are four of the most common student money struggles and how we can help you solve them:

The struggle: Being clueless about personal finance

A dog is confused.

Or, in other words, just…kind of…everything. How do you build a budget and stick to it? What’s a credit score? What’s a TFSA — and, for that matter, what do any of those money-related acronyms mean?

It’s hard to get in the know about your money when you don’t even know what you don’t know. You know?

The solution: IGNITE’s financial aid workshops

We know where you’re coming from — and we’re here to save the day. IGNITE regularly offers financial aid workshops on all things student-money-related so you understand the basics of personal finance and have the background necessary to ask meaningful questions about managing it.

For example, our IGTV series, Earning and Learning, brought in Chantel Chapman of What The Finances to walk you through student-related spending strategies in short, digestible snippets.

To stay up-to-date with IGNITE’s workshop offerings (and all the other things we do to support you!) follow us @shareignite on Twitter and Instagram and check our events page regularly.

The struggle: Not knowing how to do your taxes

A dollar bill that reads "Pay ya taxes."

For all the hours you spent in high school learning how the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, not once were you told what a T4 is.

Plus, Canada’s tax season is smack dab in the middle of finals season — you have other things on your plate every time it rolls around.

The solution: IGNITE’s annual Tax Clinic

Taxes are tough; let us take yours off your hands (for free!)

Every March and April, IGNITE’s Tax Clinic recruits CRA-trained student volunteers who’ll sit down with you one-on-one and prepare your tax return for you. They get experience; you get your taxes done. It’s as simple as that.

Plus, you can review our Let’s Talk Taxes FAQ sheets all year round! Whether you’re a domestic or an international student, we have the info you need — so, next tax season, when you meet with IGNITE’s Tax Clinic experts, you’ll actually know what they’re talking about.

The struggle: Forgetting those extra expenses

You thought you planned your budget out to the cent — but then you remember your program requires you to purchase a uniform, a tool kit or specialized software. Shoot.

The solution: IGNITE’s Learning Essentials Support (LES) program

We never want you to worry about pinching pennies to afford the things you need to learn. So, we partner with Humber Advancement and Alumni and UofGH to send you up to $500 to put towards your program’s essential learning items.

To be eligible for LES, you must:

  • Be a current full-time student at Humber College or the University of Guelph-Humber
  • Be in one of these programs

If you qualify, all you need to do is fill out the LES application form to explain your need for funding. Then, we’ll review your submission and, if your application is accepted, send you your bursary via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

Applications for the Fall 2021 iteration of LES open Tuesday, Sept. 21 and successful applicants can expect their funding in mid-October.

For answers to all your LES-related questions, review our Learning Essentials Support FAQ or email IGNITE’s Career Success Lead, Jordyn Read, at csl@ignitestudentlife.com.

The struggle: Tuition (enough said).

An expensive price tag.

There’s no sugar-coating it: school is expensive. Before you even start to think about buying clothes, books, supplies and paying for rent, transit and groceries, you have to pay to go to school.

The solution: IGNITE scholarships

IGNITE can help with that, too.

We distribute annual scholarships to help offset the cost of your education — because we believe your focus should be on your future, not your bank account.

While we have scholarships available to everyone studying at Humber and UofGH, we know some students are at a greater risk of financial insecurity. So, we also offer specialized bursaries for Black and 2SLGBTQIA+ students and are always looking to introduce new scholarship opportunities.

To apply for any of IGNITE’s scholarships, log into your MyHumber account and select Student Awards and Financial Aid → Apply for Scholarships.

The struggle: Financial emergencies

A red emergency light.

Sometimes, student money struggles get too intense to handle on your own.

No amount of financial literacy can bail you out of emergency situations — when you’re in over your head, you just need help. Plain and simple.

The solution: IGNITE’s Financial Relief Program (FRP)

We get it. And we’re here for you.

IGNITE’s Financial Relief Program is designed to provide short-term assistance to full-time Humber and UofGH students in the event of a financial emergency where you need support now. And it’s all confidential.

Examples of situations the FRP is here to help you through include (but are not limited to):

  • Being kicked out of home/imminent homelessness
  • Physical and/or health issues
  • Child care issues
  • Abuse

The Fall 2021 semester FRP opens Monday, Sept. 27. If you’re currently experiencing a financial emergency, click here to apply.

It's OK to ask for help.

Through thick and thin, IGNITE’s got your back. Let’s take on your financial challenges together.

IGNITE’s commitment to you doesn’t stop at your wallet. Here are some other perks you get as a Humber or UofGH student.

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