By Nathan Dyck
Students who were hit with high utility costs this winter may be saved from some of the accumulated debt and possible disconnection.
Students can appeal for additional financial aid in the form of paid utility arrears. These additional funds are an adjustment on the student’s loan so students already at their maximum disbursement may still qualify for this funding. A maximum of $1,000 per family for any total debt up to and including April 2001 will be paid.
Also, a student may appeal for this assistance if the billing concerns any period up to April 30. The process may take four to six weeks according to the Student Financial Board, but students in emergency situations may request priority.
Students must substantiate their need by submitting a copy of their utility bills reflecting arrears or reconnection and deposit charges to a student loan officer or a councillor at any Canada/Alberta Service centre. Disbursements will be paid in one lump sum to the utility company.
Students not on a student loan program may also qualify for other assistance including rent supplement programs and are encouraged to check with social services.