Dear Mentor:

How do I get a grant to continue college?

Could you give me direction as to where I could find large grants and bursaries on and off the net? I Finished 1 year of college at [name withheld] for Computer science and could not afford to go back. I wish to complete it but I would need at the least CAN$50,000, just to cover books food rent gas course fees. I was working for [name withheld] who in the last 3 months have had 3 layoffs due to 1 merger, then the Dotcom crash, and then a buy out. I am now again 2 years later, looking for work. I am only a small fish in the sea of the technical world. I greatly desire to become a big fish. Even while extremely ill, hit with a strange infection due to my wisdom teeth and still only 50% better, I managed a 3.6 grade point average. My first term was all straight A's until I became ill. If you could give me any direction on where I might apply or find grants and bursaries of a larger scale, I would greatly appreciate it.
I live in Ontario. I was born in 1968. I am Female, white-adopted background is French-Canadian and Australian. My father was an engineer in [name withheld] for 40 years and my mother was an RN for over close to 20 years. Please use this information if it helps in guiding me to the right bursaries or grants.

Star in Need, Ontario, Canda

Dear Star in Need:

We are truly impressed by your determination, motivation and performance, even in challenging circumstances. Despite the near-term challenges, we are confident that you will become a Big Fish, as you say, by maintaining your desire for success. Success comes to only those who dare to achieve it.

Let us understand the mechanics of the situation for financial aid in Canada. There are two primary sources for obtaining financial support - your college or university and your provincial government. You can visit the Government of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) website to learn about student aid, eligibility, and process. In either case, your school is the primary source of guidance and support in the paperwork. Financial aid through these sources is typically for one year at a time, however many awards are renewable subject to your academic standing.

Availability of financial aid on the Internet per say is nominal. We strongly advise you to work with the Financial Aid Office in your college. You might want to look at other colleges for a Computer Science degree programs where they can help you financially.

Another obvious alternative is to continue your education on a part-time basis, where a job can provide financial resources for maintaining an acceptable lifestyle. Some employers offer aid in the form of tuition to support further education of their employees. Typically, former employers of your parents do not offer assistance for education.

We fully recognize that we are not in a position to offer you guidance that would overcome your challenge instantaneously. It requires a great deal of effort on your part to explore, research, and pursue the possibilities. Rest assured, however, our best wishes are with you.

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