- Aziza Asat
Travel is a luxury for students entering their first semester of post-secondary education. It becomes less justifiable to be spending funds on a couple weeks down south when tuition is so steep. A company known as HigherEdPoints is helping to kill two birds with one stone by letting students pay for their tuition using Aeroplan points.
Since 2013, HigherEd has been working with Aeroplan to help students put over $125,000 worth of air miles towards post-secondary education. For every 35,000 miles, the website transfers a $250 tuition credit to your university or college. That ratio initially sounds daunting, but HigherEd Points also crowdsources points. Family and friends can transfer points to a student's account, putting any unused air miles to good use.
It all works through partnerships with the 74 participating universities and colleges across Canada. So far, of the 15 locations HigherEdPoints works with in the Maritimes, only five (Acadia University, NSCC, Eastern College, the Institute for Human Services Education and Stenberg College) are in Nova Scotia.
HigherEdPoints regularly reaches out to finance and registrar departments at universities and colleges, but it's also up to students to convince their schools to participate. The company's website includes a "Get my institution on board!" form where students can request that their school join in. The more requests a school receives, the more likely it is to jump on board.
After all, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step—and perhaps ends with a few dollars less of student debt.