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Although it's famous for polar bears in Churchill and beluga whales in Hudson Bay, Manitoba is more than vast wilderness. Located in the heart of Canada, the province combines an urban south with its rugged north. For students seeking a cutting edge education in an outstanding environment, Manitoba colleges offer almost everything they could possibly want.
More than half of the province's 1.27 million residents reside in the capital city of Winnipeg and its metro area. Other important cities include Brandon, Selkirk, Thompson and Portage la Prairie. Although natural resources and agriculture remain major industries in the region, Manitoba boasts a diversified economy with a growing health care sector.
Manitoba colleges and universities provide the opportunity to not only study in traditional degree programs but also to earn degrees online. Whichever educational path students choose to pursue, the province offers financial aid and incentives that can help make studying and living in Manitoba a smart choice.
Diverse economy kept recession at bay
While much of the world was immersed in a global recession at the end of the last decade, Manitoba escaped fairly unscathed. According to some reports, the province was able to do so largely because of its diverse economy.
Manitoba's government reports that there are 14 key sectors in the province. Natural resources and the mining industry are significant -- especially with more than half the province's land being forest. However, southern areas support a number of other industries as well. For example, Winnipeg has the following key sectors among others:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Entertainment and creative industries
- Financial services
- Information, communications and technology
- Life sciences
Students seeking the most job opportunities after graduation might want to consider a career in health care. An analysis conducted in May 2014 by job aggregator Neuvoo.ca found health care was the top industry in Manitoba is terms of job openings.
Major Manitoba colleges and universities
Schools in Manitoba are a mix of colleges, universities and vocational institutions. Students can study on campus or online, and they can take classes in either French or English. A Manitoba colleges list wouldn't be complete without these prominent universities:
- University of Manitoba
- The University of Winnipeg
- Universite de Saint-Boniface
- Canadian Mennonite University
- Brandon University
Students may be able to earn undergraduate or advanced degrees at these universities. Meanwhile, those seeking a diploma or certificate may want to consider enrolling in one of Manitoba's community or vocational schools. These include:
- Red River College
- Ecole Technique et Professionnelle
- University College of the North
- Assiniboine Community College
In addition to on-campus programs, seven schools have partnered to offer eCampus Manitoba, which allows students to take hundreds of courses online. Other private schools may offer online classes and degree programs to Manitoba students as well.
Paying for schools in Manitoba
When it comes time to pay tuition, the Manitoba and Canadian governments might be able to help cover the cost. The following financial aid programs are a few of those disbursed to students who meet various eligibility criteria.
- Manitoba student loans
- Canada student grants
- Manitoba bursary
- Aboriginal Education Awards
- ACCESS Program
Students who choose to remain in Manitoba and work may also be eligible for the Manitoba Tuition Fee Income Tax Rebate. This program gives students a 60 percent rebate on their tuition fees, allowing them to save up $25,000 on their income taxes. Individuals can learn more about the rebate on the tuition page of the province's official website.
For more information on other financial aid options for Manitoba colleges and universities, students can visit the Manitoba Student Aid website. Schools in Manitoba should also be able to help students locate financing resources as well as review their program options and potential career paths.