April 17, 2013

It's Tax Time...

While your mind may be on finals right now, I hate to tell you that it's also tax time. You may not realize it, but there's an excellent chance that even as a “starving student,” you probably have to file your income taxes. The reality is, if you've earned any money and paid (or not paid) taxes in 2012, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says you must file an income tax and benefit return.

I know, I know, how could April get ANY better!? Finals, filing taxes, a winter that never ends... 

Anyway, If you're an undergrad, you're probably focussed on studying for your final exams right now, and rightly so. However, whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, here's some good info for you during tax time (from the federal government, believe it or not.) There's even a series of videos to guide you through the process and answer questions. I wanted to pass this info along now, even if it's just to put your mind at ease. That way when you do turn your attention to the taxman, you'll at least have some good, even valuable information that can put a little tax-return money in your pocket.  

Because it's not all bad. Did you know that in 2012, more than $7 million was claimed for education, tuition fees, and textbooks? You might be able to claim deductions for interest paid on your student loans or public transit—including your UPass fees. You might even discover that you’re eligible for the GST/HST credit or that you can claim deductions for moving expenses.

So, relax, unwind your mind, and stay focussed on your finals. When you're done, look into filing your taxes if you haven't done so already. It's a pain, but it really could be worth your while; even a small return would make for a nice start to your summer.

by Jason Cobb

April 11, 2013

Call for student convocation stories

Do you have an inspiring personal story to tell as you graduate from the University of Alberta in June? Maybe you have a friend or classmate whose story you'd like to share? If so, we want to hear it!

Drop us a line or two about your story at commun@ualberta.ca. Please include your contact information so the UAlberta story team can get back to you.

Convocation is an extraordinary moment in every student’s life. It is the culmination of years of perseverance and hard work, and the commencement of a brand new journey. We’d love to hear about your experiences as a student, as well as your plans for the future.

February 25, 2013

We have a Dean of Students!?

That's ok, there's probably a lot of people in the same boat. The roles and responsibilities of senior administrators are likely not high on the priority list of many students, let along who those people are, and that's just fine.

For those of you who don't know, Dr. Frank Robinson is the current Vice-Provost and Dean of Students. He's a 3M teaching award winner and professor from Agriculture and Life Sciences; if you asked him, he might tell you he's a chicken gynecologist and researcher by training. But he's a teacher at heart and more well-known for the innovative There's-a-Heifer-in-Your-Tank program that makes inquiry-based learning for undergraduate students fun and engaging. While his administrative duties are a full-time gig, Dean Robinson insists on teaching a first-year course every year.

February 07, 2013

The Online Renovation

Hello, and welcome to the new blog from the Dean of Students at the University of Alberta!

It's part of our big, ongoing project to renovate the online space for student services at the U of A. We're starting with the Dean of Students (DoS) site and working out from there.

There's lots to do and lots to talk about when it comes to student services at the U of A.