I can't afford it

Some teens may feel they cannot afford to complete high school. Whether they are:

  • helping to support their family,
  • living on their own (Independent Student status),
  • can't pay school fees,
  • or don't believe they can afford to go on to post-secondary school, there are alternatives to dropping out.

School boards have policies on school fees posted on their websites or available at the school office. Many of these policies have considerations for students who cannot afford to pay their fees. After reading your school board's policy on school fees, talk to the school's principal about the situation.

There are ways to combine earning money and high school credits. There are also several online options available to students, making the when and where of learning much more flexible.

If your teen is worried about the cost of post-secondary education, there are scholarships, loans, bursaries and part-time employment to help pay those costs. Check the web site of the college, trade school or university you or your teen wants to attend to get more information.

The first thing to do is contact your or your teen's teacher, school counselor or principal to discuss the challenge. It's important to work together to be successful when combining work and school.

Provincial Links

Online Learning

Online Learning Programs are educational programs offered by school authorities and delivered electronically to students at a school site or off-site. They provide the flexibility for students to work part time or full time and to continue their high school courses.

The Alberta Job Corps (AJC) program provides structured, supportive training and work experience for individuals who have a sporadic employment history. The program gives participants the opportunity to work and earn a wage while learning reliable employment skills.

The AJC program is currently operating in northern Alberta, Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. Contact your nearest Alberta Service Centre or call the Career Information Hotline for more details.

Alberta Scholarships

You can explore a diversity of awards (scholarships and bursaries) available to supplement funding of your post-secondary education through the following three databases:

Alberta Student Finance

Learn more about loans and grants to help finance your post-secondary studies.

Advancing Futures Bursary

Individuals are invited to apply if they are interested in:

  • obtaining high school equivalency through adult education;
  • earning a degree/diploma from a post-secondary school;
  • learning a trade; or
  • earning a licence or certificate.

The program is open to full-time or part-time students enrolled in an Alberta school.

Employment and training programs help adult Albertans get the skills they need to get a job, get a better job, or increase their skills to keep their job. Tuition, books and supplies, and living allowances may be available if you qualify as an eligible learner. Read the Earn While Youn Learn - Full Time Learners Fact Sheet