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UNB and Sobeys help students fund their “everyday” financial needs

Whenever the topic of paying for post-secondary education comes up, the focus is generally on the cost of tuition. But tuition’s just the beginning—there’s food, rent, transportation, books, computers, cell phone plans, etc. etc. that all have to be funded too.

In fact, students often tell us that it’s not tuition that they worry about once enrolled at university or college; it’s the recurring and smaller expenses that really stress them out. For more detail, see research study: Not Your Parents’ Higher Ed

One of our HEP Heroes, Shelley Clayton, Director of Financial Aid at the University of New Brunswick, told us about an innovative program they’ve developed with Sobeys to help students alleviate some of the stress that comes from constant worry about making ends meet.

In Shelley’s own words:

 In 2004, the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Fredericton Campus started a fantastic relationship with the Sobeys stores in our local community. Since then, we have raised close to $160,000 which we’ve used to purchase Sobeys gift cards.

 The program objective is to support the everyday financial needs of the individual student and enhance the student experience at UNB by reducing stress and anxiety.

Because student financial needs are so varied—some require gas to get to campus, or to a practicum/clinical placement, some need groceries, prescriptions or personal care items—the Sobeys gift card provides maximum flexibility to the recipient. Gift cards can be used to purchase gas through Sobeys Fast Fuel, prescriptions through Sobeys Pharmacy and grocery/personal care items through Sobeys grocery stores.

The UNB Financial Aid Office has been very blessed with ongoing funding support for the program from the University of New Brunswick, our Staff Union, the UNB Student Union and the Adult Learner Part-time Student Association. Sobeys stores in our local community also donate gift cards to our program to enhance the annual support we can provide to students.

Kudos to UNB and Sobeys for creating a program that’s such a win for everyone!

If you would like to donate funds or Sobeys gift cards (or other types of gift cards) to help UNB provide assistance to more students, the help would be very much welcomed.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Shelley Clayton and her team of Financial Aid heroes at or (506) 453-4796.

About Founded in 2013 with the aim to help students and families tap into new and innovative sources of funds for education, HigherEdPoints is the first company in the world to enable the conversion of loyalty points into funds for tuition and student loan repayments.

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