6 ways to fund your post-secondary education
With post-secondary education becoming increasingly expensive each passing year, securing the necessary funds can be quite a challenge. According to the 2018 Maclean’s Guide to Student Finance, an average Canadian post-secondary student who moves away from home will have to spend close to $20,000 per year for things like tuition, rent, food and other expenses. It’s therefore necessary to plan ahead to ensure your college or university education can be completed with the least amount of financial stress.
Here are six smart ways to fund your post-secondary education:
1. Registered education savings plans (RESPs)
If your parents or others have set up an RESP for you, you may already have a sizable amount that can be used to meet your education needs. Taking advantage of these funds is the best place to start.
2. Canada Student Grants
The federal government provides money in the form of grants to help finance post-secondary education for low-income and middle-income students as well as students with permanent disabilities. The money is usually paid out in two installments – at the start and the middle of the academic year. To find out if you qualify, check the Government of Canada website.
In addition to government grants, there are a variety of scholarships available from individuals, private trusts and corporations. Such scholarships are usually awarded on a merit basis, so if you have earned good grades, you stand a good chance of receiving one. To find out about available scholarships and how to apply for them, check out the Scholarships Canada website.
4. Canada Student Loans
Your next best option is the Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP). The difference is that while a grant or a scholarship is essentially free money that you are not required to pay back, a student loan is a debt that you will have to pay back with interest. The good news is that interest rates for Canada Student Loans are low, making them an excellent funding source for your education. If you fail to get a loan through the CSLP program, your other option is to apply for a loan from a bank at a higher interest rate.
5. Work-study programs
Some universities offer work-study programs that enable you to work on-campus in return for income that can be used to help cover your education costs. To be considered for such a position, you will likely have to demonstrate that you need financial help.
6. Part-time jobs
You can also apply for a part-time job to help fund your education. If you have a particular skill such as computer programming, you may even be able to get a job that both pays well and provides you with valuable work experience.
This post was sponsored by Sun Life Financial.