(a) Student Loans - Interest Free Status
Federal and Alberta Government student loans begin to accrue interest six months after a student ceases full time attendance at a post-secondary institution.
This has created some problems for co-op students in the past, particularly those who are on back-to-back work terms. If you have made use of student loans, you need to take the following steps to notify loan officials of the fact that you are considered a full time student and are therefore entitled to interest-free status throughout the length of your work terms. Failure to do so could result in your being asked to begin repayment on any outstanding loans.
Obtain "Confirmation of Enrolment" forms from the Student Access Centre (1st Floor, Administration Building). You require different forms for federal and provincial loans.
Complete the forms according to the instructions that are printed on the back.
Return the forms to the Student Access Centre (1st Floor, Administration Building). Identify yourself as an "engineering co-op student" to the receptionist at the counter.
Your forms will be signed at the beginning of Intersession to indicate that you are a full-time student.
Present the forms to your bank within 30 days of having been signed by the Registrar.
Co-op students are considered for scholarshiaps on the basis of work completed in year 2 (academic terms 3 and 4), year 3 (academic terms 5 and 6) and year 4 (academic terms 7 and 8). In this way, Co-op students are considered for scholarships three times over the course of their program. They have no advantage over non-Co-op students who are also eligible at the same three points in their program.
Because scholarships and awards occur only once a year in May/June, the academic terms used to make awards may come from different academic years. For example, a student in electrical engineering being considered for an award at the end of year 3 would have already completed academic term 7. However, the terms used for the awards would be academic term 5 which occurred in the winter term of the preceding academic year, and academic term 6, the previous fall term. This way, all students both co-op and regular program students will be considered for awards on the basis of the same academic terms.
(c) Income Tax
You are not eligible to claim the federal government education income tax deduction for work term periods. Co-op students may claim this deduction only for those months they are attending classes on campus as a full-time student. For example, a student who has one four-month academic term and two four-month work terms during a taxation year will be eligible for the education tax deduction for four months only.
(d) Alberta Health Care Insurance
Co-op students are eligible to obtain coverage through their parent's plan for both academic and co-op work terms, provided they are dependents as defined by Alberta Health Care.