Common questions about the Zero Fee Tuition Program

A made in

Drayton Valley

initiative that benefits everyone

When we reduce common financial barriers that stand between our community members and their vocational goals, we're not simply giving local learners a leg up. We're growing a skilled regional workforce that helps support vital industrial sectors. We're diversifying our  economy and beginning to break free of the boom/bust cycle. We're becoming better, together.

General Questions

What's the Zero Fee Tuition Program all about?The first initiative of its kind in North America, the Zero Fee Tuition Program facilitates post-secondary and professional development opportunities here at home, while easing financial barriers that stand between local students and their vocational goals.

How does the program work?The Town has forged strategic partnerships with post-secondary institutions to provide programming here in Drayton Valley either in-person at the Clean Energy Technology Centre; remotely via digital learning; or a blended combination.

To give local students a leg-up, the program also helps cover tuition costs when other avenues of funding have proven insufficient.

Who does the program benefit?The obvious beneficiaries of the Zero Fee Tuition Program are local students of all ages who take advantage of the local programming and granted tuition top-ups. But the program actually has cascading benefits to the whole community. It helps grow and retain a skilled local workforce; supports our valued industry sectors; diversifies the local economy; and helps our region break free of the boom/bust cycle.

How long has this program been around?The Zero Fee Tuition Program was launched by the Town of Drayton Valley in 2020.

Would this program apply to me?The Zero Fee Tuition Program is tailor-made for local students of any age who want to pursue their post-secondary goals while remaining here in the community. If you live in the Town of Drayton Valley and are ready to take your education or career to the next level, you owe it to yourself to check out the different courses and learn how this program can help you succeed.

Questions About the Application Process

How do I apply for the Zero Fee Tuition Program?First and foremost: you need to apply for — and be accepted in — one of the affiliated programs. Do your best to secure funding for your program via grants, bursaries and other third-party sources.

Do you have your acceptance letter? Have other sources of funding fallen short? Submit an online Application Form to request ZFTP funding. Add your contact information, attach your proof of residence, and explain how the ZFTP funding will impact your circumstances.

I'm not a Drayton Valley resident. Can I still apply?There are essentially two types of programming: distance learning, and in-person courses at the Clean Energy Technology Centre (CETC) in Drayton Valley. If you plan to enroll in a program that's taught at the CETC, you can apply for ZFTP funding — even if you don't live here in Drayton Valley.

What documents do I need to provide with my application?Proof of residency (driver’s licence or other government-issued ID); Letter of acceptance from partner post-secondary institution; Confirmation of Enrolment Aand tuition fees owing; and funding letters/ decisions from any other third party sponsors. If you have been accepted to a U of A Extension program, you will need to fill out a sponsorship form (LOA Invoice.pdf) prior to being enrolled in courses so that the Town can pay the U of A directly for your tuition.

How will I know if my application has been successful?A representative from the Zero Fee Tuition Program will contact you via the information you provided on your application. Keep an eye out for an email from zerofee@draytonvalley.ca.

How do I receive the funding?Once your application has been approved, the Town of Drayton Valley will send a sponsorship letter to your post-secondary institution. This institution will then invoice the Town for the tuition funds to be applied directly to your account.

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Questions from the Business Community

What types of courses are available through this program?Presently, we facilitate close to a hundred certificate, diploma and degree-granting programs in partnership with our post-secondary institutions. Visit the Programs section to browse the growing list.

Can I suggest the inclusion of course material of value to my industry?Great question! The long-term success of this program hinges on its alignment with the needs of local industry sectors large and small. To get the conversation started, Visit the Contact section to connect with one of our Zero Fee Tuition Program representatives.

How can I help support this initiative?A healthy partnership between industry stakeholders, post-secondary institutions and civic leaders will ensure the sustained success of the Zero Fee Tuition program. Support can take many forms, from financially sponsoring an individual student to helping the Town develop industry-specific avenues of learning. To discuss ways you think we can work together, reach out to your Councillor or email zerofee@draytonvalley.ca to discuss ways we can work together.

What's next for the Zero Fee Tuition Program?We're on the eve of announcing a recent post-secondary training milestone that's certain to excite the community at large. We're also continuing to work with local industry leaders to determine how best they can provide support, and how we can grow the program in ways that benefit everyone.

Discover how to make the most of the Zero Fee Tuition Program

Sponsorship Opportunities

By partnering with local industry stakeholders, we seek to ease reliance on taxpayer dollars and ensure the long-term viability of the Zero Fee Tuition Program. Such financial partnerships are critical, and they also help us tailor educational programming to the evolving needs and priorities of  the business community.

Through their ongoing support of this unique community catalyst, our industry partners demonstrate their commitment to building a robust and resilient Drayton Valley while reaping the direct benefits of talent retention, labour pool development, corporate goodwill, tax advantages and more.

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The Zero Fee Tuition Program facilitates local post-secondary learning opportunities for residents of the Town of Drayton Valley. The Town reserves the right to periodically evaluate the program and its funding criteria. Operation of the Zero Fee Tuition Program is subject to the availability of funding.
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