Second Career Frequently Asked Questions for Current Students

This FAQ is intended for current second career students only. If you are interested in applying for second career funding, and have not begun your studies, go visit:

How much money can I receive through Second Career?

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) will grant each student up to a maximum of $28,000 to cover tuition, books, transportation and living expenses for up to two years. Students are also expected to make a financial contribution towards their training.

What does Second Career not cover?

  • Funding over the $28,000 maximum
  • Beyond 2 years of education
  • Beyond 1 year of academic upgrading
  • Missed or failed courses: students will have to pay an additional fee in future semesters to recover courses
  • Funding beyond the end of the academic year
  • School supplies such as note books, pencils, paper, etc.

If I have special circumstances, is there flexibility in the funding rules?

Additional support may be available for: accessible learning accommodation, dependent care, living away from home and academic upgrading. Contact your Employment Ontario (EO) Case Manager or MCU Representative to find out more. While MCU will consider student circumstances on an individual basis, students should be prepared for the aforementioned restrictions.

Who do I contact if I need to discuss issues regarding my funding?

Contact either your EO Case Manager or your MCU Representative.

Some of the information in my SC Letter of Acceptance/SC Cost Estimate is incorrect. How can I get it changed?

Contact the Second Career Program Officer at the Community Partnerships Office and alert her/him regarding the situation.

The book costs and/or tuition fees stated on my second career acceptance letter are lower than the actual costs. What should I do?

Book costs and tuition estimates are based on the previous year’s allowances and are therefore subject to change as stated on your SC Letter of Acceptance/SC Cost Estimate). Students may contact the Community Partnerships Office to confirm the current costs of books for their program. Students should also contact their EO Case Manager or MCU Representative if they require an amendment to their Second Career contract.

I used my living expenses to cover extra school materials? Can I get this money back?

It is important that students carefully monitor how they spend the money they receive through Second Career. MCU may require students to submit receipts to demonstrate that they have followed the funding guidelines outlined in their contract

If you have spent more money on books or equipment than was originally estimated on your SC Letter of Acceptance/SC Cost Estimate, you should contact the College’s Second Career Program Officer (Community Partnerships Office) to have the document amended. Please note however that materials, such as supplementary books or computer software (not required by your Professor or Course Outline), fabric, paper, etc. related to school projects are not covered by Second Career Funding and the Community Partnerships Office will not be able to issue a new letter of acceptance to cover these costs.

Am I allowed to work?

Second career students are allowed to work no more than 19 hours per week. Always consult with your EO Case Manager or MCU Representative before you begin work and report all supplemental income, not identified on your original SC contract.

I urgently need money right now. If I cannot get more through Second Career, what can I do?

Scholarship/Bursaries/Awards: to apply for go to the GBC Awards page.
In the event that you need help submitting an application, please contact the Community Partnership’s Office

Part-Time Work: Second Career students are allowed to work part-time. Contact your EO Case Manager or MCU Representative to find out:

  1. How many hours you are allowed to work
  2. The amount of money you are allowed to make
  3. What types of jobs you can work in. In addition, you can get in touch with the Career Centre for resume and job search help.

Something unexpected has come up and I urgently need help. Who else can I contact?

You can book an appointment with staff in the Counselling Department (Mon – Friday 8:30 – 4:30 pm) to discuss personal, academic or career related issues. If you need help finding services in your community call 211 or go on their website.

For the following services, go to the Second Career web page:

  • Managing my finances: Service Canada
  • Employment insurance: Service Canada Centre
  • Income and employment help: Ontario Works
  • My child's everyday needs: Ontario Child Benefit
  • Child Care: Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families
  • Medication costs: Trillium Drug Program
  • Paying the rent: Provincial Rent Bank Program
  • Paying the energy bills: Emergency Energy Fund

I have health related expenses I am not able to cover. Where can I go?

George Brown College has an affordable health clinic located on the Waterfront campus called WAVE. It is located on the 3rd floor and offers very affordable rates for dental, nutrition, hearing and even fitness services. Contact the clinic for more information.

The ministry has refused to accept my second career application. I already started school and have to pay tuition. What do I do?

If you are not officially a Second Career student, you are eligible to apply for OSAP. Applications can be filled online at: OSAP Open New Browser Window. Applications should be submitted no later than two months before the start of the semester. Other options to consider might be researching and applying for Scholarships/Awards/Bursaries or augmenting your income with part-time employment. Check with the Financial Aid Office for additional information.

I am thinking of switching programs? Can I do this?

The MCU does not typically grant program switches. However, the Ministry reviews each student’s application on an individual basis and may take into consideration extenuating circumstances or the nature of the program switch and its impact on your length of study. Students should first speak with their EO Case Manager or MCU Representative and the College’s Second Career Program Officer (Community Partnerships Office) before making any changes to their program pathway.

I want to quit school? What is going to happen?

Students should always notify their EO Case Manager or MCU Representative before withdrawing. Leaving school without notifying the MCU could result in an overpayment of Second Career funding, which you may be required to pay back. Before making any changes to your registration status always speak to your EO Case Manager or MCU representative for further guidance.

What happens if I fail a course or a semester?

If you have failed or dropped courses, speak to your Program Coordinator or program department to determine when you can retake this course(s) and to revise your class schedule. Also speak to the College’s Second Career Program Officer to assist with any necessary revisions to your SC documentation. Second Career funding may not be extended for course/semester re-takes. Students must advise their EO Case Manager or MCU Representative of changes to their course load.

I am having trouble figuring out how to allocate the SC Funding I received.

Consult with you EO Case Manager or MCU Representative for any questions related to your Second Career funding. PeerConnect at George Brown College also offers a one hour workshop on Money Management for all students.

I may have a disability. What do I do and how does this affect my second career funding?

Contact Accessible Learning Services to get assessed. As a student registered with Accessible Learning Services, you may be eligible for a reduced course load (accommodations are determined by the nature of your disability and supporting documentation from your healthcare team), which could result in changes to the length of your program of study. While Second Career funding is not generally extended beyond two years of study, the MCU reviews each student’s application on an individual basis and may extend funding for students with disabilities. You will need to contact the College’s Second Career Program Officer (Community Partnerships Office) to obtain a revised SC Letter of Acceptance/SC Cost Estimate that documents your new study schedule. Make sure to follow up with your EO Case Manager or MCU Representative to apprise them of any program pathway/schedule changes.

Something has come up and I need to take a break from school. How does this affect my SC funding?

The MCU does not provide SC funding during breaks in a student’s program of study. Students should always contact their EO Case Manager or MCU Representative to discuss the nature and length of the break and whether they plan to return to school at a later date. Students contemplating a break from school should also speak to their Academic Department and/or Program Coordinator to discuss how breaks in training might impact their program length and their eligibility for and date of return. This information will be very important and should be submitted to your EO Case Manager or MCU Representative. Students returning from a break in their programming will likely be required to submit revised documentation (SC Letter of Acceptance/SC Cost Estimate from the College) to the MCU in order to reinstate SC funding. Revised documentation can be obtained from the Second Career Program Support Officer located in the Community Partnerships Office at George Brown College.

There are a lot of expenses I was not aware of before starting school. What additional expenses should I anticipate in future?

  • Tuition Deposit and Late Fees:

All students are now required to pay an initial deposit of $500 once per academic year, this deposit goes toward your tuition for the first semester of the academic year. If you fail to pay the $500 deposit by the date noted on your invoice, your offer could be expired. If you fail to pay your tuition fees by the date noted on your invoice you will incur an additional $150.00 late fee

  • Extra Courses/Dropped/Failed Courses:

Most programs at George Brown College require students to take a prescribed list of courses each semester. If you fail, drop, or miss courses, they aren’t typically refunded and when those courses are added later, a second charge is incurred. For students who write their placement tests and are registered in foundation or remedial courses, there will be an additional course fee for these classes which will be incurred in semester-2.

  • Material Fees and Academic Deadlines:

For some programs, such those within the School of Dental Heath, material fees are due upfront upon registration. These fees are part of your program’s total tuition costs, but are due before the start of the semester, so you may have to cover these costs before your Second Career Funding is issued. If you are accepted into one of the aforementioned programs, start planning for this upfront fee before it is due.

  • Academic Deadlines:

As for all College students, you have to be mindful of academic deadlines or you could be charged additional fees. There are specific dates at the beginning of each semester that you can withdraw from individual courses or an entire program with a full or partial refund.

Is there any general advice I should follow?

  • Maintain a good relationship with your EO Case Manager and/or MCU Representative and keep their contact information. If you are having trouble communicating with them, speak with the Manager of the EO Center where you submitted or SC funding application or contact the MCU branch where your application was processed.
  • Keep receipts for all books and expenses related to your program.
  • Take advantage of support services provided at GBC, such as the Community Partnerships Office, Counselling, Disabilities Services, Career Services, Financial Aid, Student Association, etc. The more you reach out, the better you will be able to advocate on your own behalf.
  • Make copies of all documents that you submit to the MCU and George Brown College relating to your Second Career funding.
  • Develop a budget to manage your finances while in school.

Also check out the FAQ on second career website.