Photo courtesy Creative Commons, Illustration Jake Scott

Offset OSAP debt with Aeroplan miles

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By Laura Woodward

Spending at Home Hardware and Costco could pay off your tuition — with an Aeroplan Miles card.

A program called Higher Ed Points, converts users’ miles into cash to pay off tuition and other post-secondary costs.

Higher Ed Points has a partnership with Ryerson, and as of June 17, Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) has gotten on board too — allowing students to offset both Ryerson fees and OSAP debt.

Increments of 35,000 Aeroplan miles transfers into a $250 payment to offset OSAP. Attaining tuition payoff increments is like attaining a flight or other reward. Once the point amount has been reached, the user inputs their credentials and selects their possible reward.

But it’s not just the debt-holder that can pay off expenses — anyone can transfer their points.

“Generally it’s not the students that have the Aeroplane miles; it’s the parents and the grandparents. We’ve had students work the summer for business owners and the business owners have redeemed the miles to help them pay tuition,” said Suzanne Tyson, founder of Higher Ed Points

In the future, Tyson plans to get all education institutions and loyalty programs on-board. As well, “We’d love to add the federal student loan program and potentially add Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) so parents and grandparents can convert their miles when their kids are younger,” Tyson said.

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