Friday, 6 February 2015

Funding Differences for On-Campus and Blended Programs

Many programs at RRU are offered in both an on-campus and blended format. There are advantages to both models and students may choose one over the other for a number of reasons.

If you’re debating between on-campus or blended, here are three factors worth considering: tuition payments, student loan funding, and award opportunities.

First, a quick overview of what on-campus and blended mean, then let’s take a look at how these factors can vary between the two program models.

On-campus programs are typically two academic years condensed into a 12-month format. Generally students who are not working and wish to finish their program quickly choose this option. Students take multiple courses at once (usually 4 or 5) and the majority of courses are held on-campus at Royal Roads University.

Blended programs are designed for students with other life commitments like careers and/or families. These programs are delivered primarily online over an 18- or 24-month period and include short on-campus residencies held at the beginning of each program year. Students take fewer courses at a time (often between 1 and 3).

Tuition Payments

Tuition for each program delivery type is the same. This means students in the on-campus version will pay the same amount of tuition over a shorter period than blended students. While on-campus students have fewer installments to pay overall, each one is relatively higher.

Check out the tuition payment schedule page to get a better sense of how payments differ between blended and on-campus. 

Government Student Loans

Many programs that have an on-campus and blended delivery model are eligible for full-time government student loan funding. The amount of funding for which you may qualify is determined by your resources minus your expenses for a specific period of time.

It is very important to check that your program is eligible for loans early in your educational planning. Also, be aware that there is a weekly maximum for government funding and it varies between provinces. Contact RRU’s Financial Aid & Awards office to verify program eligibility, and then check out your province’s website for loan limits.

Knowing there’s a weekly maximum logically means that blended students, who are in school twice as long as on-campus students, may qualify for much more funding. Depending on how you look at it this could be a good thing or a not so good thing; twice the loan also means twice the debt but it might be necessary for affordability.

Speaking of debt, it’s interesting to note here that RRU’s repayment rates are among the best in the country, which infers that an RRU education is a good investment!

Award Opportunities

RRU runs in-course award competitions four times a year with competition deadlines that fall on the 1st of February, May, August, and November.

Students who are actively studying on the deadline date may apply. This means that blended students have more award opportunities over an on-campus student.

In Summary

For students who think they may struggle financially, the blended model is a nice option because it allows you to work full-time while going to school, thus earning money to put towards tuition and living. Blended students may also access more in government student funding, apply for more awards and have smaller tuition installments.

On-campus students have the advantage of finishing their program in one year, allowing them to get out into the full-time workforce faster. This is an excellent option if you have the financial means to do so.

And a final thought…

Regardless of which model you choose the more money you can save before starting school means the less money you have to borrow and eventually repay with interest.

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