June 19, 2015
Chances are pretty high that you or someone close to you has significant student loan debt. It’s a common occurrence after one completes their undergraduate studies, not to mention graduate and post-graduate studies. And what about those students who can’t finance their studies at all? When students start university they are told that there are millions of dollars of ‘free’ money available but what about the ones who don’t meet the criteria for receiving scholarships?
A few years ago, Suzanne Tyson saw a need to help students trying to fundraise for their higher education. She also acknowledged the excess amount of ‘points’ cards North Americans collect each year but barely use or need. That’s where the idea for HigherEdPoints began.
What is it?
HigherEdPoints is a system that allows people to transfer their Aeroplan Miles to students at participating universities and colleges around Canada. These points can go towards tuition, meal plans and housing needs.
In Ontario, the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) announced on Wednesday that it will be partnering with HigherEdPoints to help graduates get out of debt.
How does it work?
Using OSAP as an example, every 35,000 Aeroplan points with be converted into a $250 payment that can be put towards a student’s debt. This is incredible news for students who can essentially now buy themselves out of debt by making purchases with their Aeroplan card.
Why this is beneficial
Students cannot only decrease the rising debt they incur over their educational period, but they can invest in themselves and their future in another innovative way.
Thoughts from the founder
Suzanne Tyson knows “it’s not meant to be the solution but part of the solution. Already some $120,000 in tuition and student loan offsets have been converted through this plan.” This is all pretty amazing, especially since it only started two years ago. It’s exciting knowing that this is only the beginning.