University of Waterloo history

The University of Waterloo is situated in Ontario, Canada and offers a host of graduate and undergraduate programs to international and domestic students.


The university was established back in 1957 under the name of Waterloo College Associate Faculties. The main goal was to educate technicians and engineers in high demand. It was only in 1960 when the faculty of arts opened doors. The College of Optometry became part of the University of Waterloo in 1967. The name was changed in 1959 to University of Waterloo when the University of Waterloo Act was passed. The founding president is J. Gerald Hagey who was also a Canadian academic and businessman. The university was quick to become a reputed institution of higher education in times of rapid progress and discoveries in engineering, medicine, science, and other fields. Today, the university attracts students from over 140 countries and educates more than 4,000 postgraduates and close to 27,000 graduate students. Waterloo offers a number of services and maintains offices such as the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Centre for Extended Learning, Centre for Career Action, Postdoctoral Office, and many others. At present, the university also offers procurement and contract services, conference centre, services for persons with disabilities, employee assistance program, distance education, and a lot more. The employee assistance program, for example, is designed to help students with drug and alcohol dependence, financial difficulties, interpersonal and personal problems, and marital and family problems.

For the academic 2015 – 2016, the University of Waterloo was included in different rankings such as Times Higher Education (179th), QS World University Rankings (152nd), and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (300 – 300th).

Courses and Programs and Affiliated Institutions

Students benefit from a host of programs and experiences, including experiential learning, international experiences, co-operative education, and graduate and undergraduate courses. Students can choose from different programs across faculties and disciplines, and there is a large number of institutes and research centers. There is a large choice of programs and courses, including economics, East Asian studies, civil and environmental engineering, applied mathematics, anthropology, and so on. The number of research institutes and centers is quite impressive – the Heritage Resources Centre, the Center for Mental Health Research, the Center for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, and many others. The university also has satellite campuses in Stratford, Kitchener, and Cambridge. There are also affiliated and federated institutions such as St. Paul's University College, St. Jerome's University, Renison University College, and Conrad Grebel University College.


The University of Waterloo has several faculties – Science, Mathematics, Environment, Engineering, Arts, and Applied Health Sciences. In fact, the engineering school is the largest in Canada, with more than 9,000 students. The school offers some 37 graduate programs, including degree programs, professional programs, and research programs such as Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Applied Science, Master of Architecture, etc. The courses included in different programs vary from 3 – 4 to 9, depending on whether it is a professional or research program.


Students enjoy the fact that there are plenty of funding opportunities to look into, including federal scholarships, engineering scholarships, teaching assistantships, graduate research studentships, as well as assistance programs, bursaries, grants, loans, and so on. With the help of student assistance programs, students have access to different forms of financial assistance based on eligibility and financial need. There are also bursaries and other forms of assistance such as day care bursaries, research travel assistantships, graduate birth and parental leave, and others. University of Wateloo Awards are also available to students who meet the requirements.

Waterloo dropouts

Student Debt in Canada

There are different credit and loan options to finance your education in Canada, from government-sponsored financing and private student loans to lines of credit, student credit cards, peer to peer lending networks, and others.

Government Loans

If you fail to meet the requirements for a scholarship or grant, one option is to apply for a government student loan if you are enrolled at an accredited university or a certificate or diploma program. Only students who are able to demonstrate financial need qualify. If you are a permanent resident, Canadian citizen, or a protected person, then you can try your chances for government-sponsored financing. There are plenty of benefits, among which lower interest payments, fixed rate of interest, and the fact that repayment only begins 6 months after you graduate or leave school.

Private Loans

This is one alternative to government financing offered by local and major banks, online services, credit unions, and other providers. The interest rate is usually variable and higher than government assistance. Students are required to make regular monthly payments while at school, including principal and interest payments. Given that many students have limited or no exposure to credit, a supporting borrower, called a cosigner, is usually required.

Student Credit Cards

Many Canadian unions and banks offer student credit cards, including TD Canada Trust, the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, and others. There is a wide selection of financial solutions to choose from, including cards with money back rewards, no annual fee, and perks such as free movies, music, and generous discounts. A student card allows holders to build good rating and payment history and then apply for other types of credit solutions. Many issuers advertise cards that go with affordable rates, cash advances, card checks, optional balance protection, car rental discounts, and other benefits and add-ons.

Repayment Problems and Repayment Assistance

Many students find themselves deep in debt after graduation because college fees can be as high as $6,000 - $7,000 a year. College costs are constantly on the rise, making it more difficult to meet daily and student-related expenses. Fortunately, there are repayment assistance programs and other ways to deal with debt and make payments more affordable. If you have a government loan and a large outstanding balance you are unable to repay, then you may want to look into different repayment assistance programs whereby borrowers benefit from no or reduced monthly payment. This depends on your current financial situation. Make sure you complete the online application and provide information such as your total outstanding balance, regular monthly payment, gross family income, name of financial institution, and so on. If you have a loan with a private provider, then there are several options to look into, including credit counseling, debt consolidation, debt restructuring, formal proposal to creditors, and negotiating a lower monthly payment with your creditors. Another option is to apply for an individual voluntary arrangement or try self money management. If you have excessive student card debt, then one option is to consolidate your outstanding balances using a low-interest credit card. Transfer all high-interest balances to a single card with a long promotional period, say 18 months. Shop around for cards with a zero interest during the promotional period to save on interest charges and repay your balances. There are many issuers that offer long grace periods of 25 days which is basically an interest-free period. To repay your debt faster, one option is to find a second, part-time, or seasonal job to increase your income. Think of ways to reduce your expenses, including dining out, grocery shopping, and utility bills.

Student debt has become serious problem worldwide, with United States being a prime example. Many people struggle to pay off their student debts for a long time and turning to debt consolidation seems like a natural solution. One has to be very careful with borrowing, avoid credit card debt, and make sure that the debt is manageable.