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Background: I'm a University student that was hired for a short-term internship at a startup company in Canada.

I have yet to start my employment, but the company has sent me an email requesting that I apply for a Government grant (NSERC Student Award) that alleviates some of the costs of them hiring a coop student.

The issue is, the award requires an official transcript, which costs $10 from my university.

Is it fair to request the company cover this cost? It's not a lot of money but it doesn't seem fair for me to foot the bill for them to get funding.

If so, is it more tactful to do it right now, before I complete the application, or to wait until the term starts and I can ask for remuneration in person?

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Is it fair to request the company cover this cost?

I wouldn't make such request over "just" $10.

However, if they are asking you to apply so they can lower their costs of hiring you the least they could do is to give you those $10. Under that light I'd say it's fair for them to give you the $10

If so, is it more tactful to do it right now, before I complete the application, or to wait until the term starts and I can ask for remuneration in person?

The best time would be before you complete the application, in case you decide not to proceed if they will not cover it. Otherwise, you will "waste" those $10 in case the company is not willing to give them to you.

However, this can also be addressed after you get the grant and start working with them, moment in which they could pay you an extra $10 on your first month to compensate for the cost.

Anyways, to be completely sure the best way is to ask. A way of phrasing it, without being too direct or demanding, could be:

Hello again. I am about to submit the application for the grant we discussed. However, I see that there is a $10 charge for the submission and I am unsure of how to proceed. I can cover those expenses for now, and we can arrange ourselves later. Is this OK with you?

  • @Ertai87 plenty of room for other answers if you have something to contribute :) ... If you read my answer carefully, I suggested that, if OP wants those 10 bucks, he should ask before submitting; the suggested phrasing is for it to sound more polite and to avoid sounding to greedy or needy. – DarkCygnus Jul 24 '18 at 21:00
  • I was going to, but I felt the rest of your answer was good enough that any answer I would submit would not be different enough from yours ;) – Ertai87 Jul 24 '18 at 21:01
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Is it fair to request the company cover this cost?

It may be technically fair, but is probably not advisable.

As a job applicant, there are certain expenses you are responsible for as a cost of doing business, or investing in your future.

Would you ask a company to reimburse you for the fuel cost to drive to an interview? A bus ticket? Wear and tear on your vehicle? I would assume not.

A transcript expense for $10 falls into same category as other standard expenses that would customarily be the applicant's responsibility.

In fact, asking for $10 would probably be awkward, and could cause the employer to see you in a less-than-favorable light.

I would not even ask for this.

  • Here in Europe it is common for a prospective employer to pay for your travel to interview. Before coming to Germany, one company said to me 'this flight ok with you?' It was €520. – Skrrp Jul 28 '18 at 11:00

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