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Paying for School – Know all your Options

If you’ve started – or you’re about to start – your post-secondary education, you may be in the middle of figuring out just what your costs are going to be, and how you’ll cover them. Research has shown that paying for school has become an exercise in pooling money from a variety of sources, and finding the most effective – and inventive – ways to fund an education.

Here are 5 options to consider when paying for college or university. Keep in mind – you can use 1 option, or all 5 combined!
1. Personal Savings

Many students start thinking about paying for school early, and save their money to do so. Many take on a part-time or summer job during high school to build their college or university fund.

Plus, some parents set up an RESP when their children are small. The savings in these plans can really add up over time – if your parents set one up one when you were young, it may be a strong contributor to your education fund.

Did You Know: 48% of first-year students are employed. This number rises to 64% of students by their fourth year!

2. Employment During School

If your course load allows it, getting a part-time job while in school can help ease some of the financial pressure you may have. Depending on your school and field of study, there may be on-campus and off-campus opportunities that pay you while also giving you practical work experience (which means you’re beefing up your resume at the same time!).You can also look for job sites that are catered to students and new grads such as TalentEgg.ca and jobpostings.ca.

Did You Know: Scholarships are not just based on grades. Many consider athletic skills, extra-curricular involvement, or special abilities.

3. Scholarships, Grants or Bursaries

Or as some people call it, “free money.” Scholarships are typically based on merit, while grants and bursaries are often awarded based on financial need (but other accomplishments may be considered). Either way, it’s assistance you usually don’t have to pay back once you graduate.

Talk to your guidance counselors, and financi/al aid offices at the schools you may attend, as they might have lists of scholarships available for you to apply for.

There are also some very helpful websites (such as scholarshipscanada.com and studentawards.com) that provide a database of scholarships, and match you to those that you may qualify for. They’re basically doing the work for you!

Did You Know: There are also some very helpful websites that provide a database of scholarships, and match you to those that you may qualify for. They’re basically doing the work for you!

4. Government Loans & Support

All levels of government in Canada offer some kind of financial assistance to post-secondary students, and there are many options to consider.

  • Grants: Every year, the federal government hands out approximately 245,000 grants through its Canada Student Grants Program.
  • Student Loans: Government student loans are based on financial circumstances, and often require you to keep up a certain course load and academic average.
  • Internships: Internships, co-operative education and apprenticeships offered by the government let you gain valuable work experience while studying – and sometimes pay you for your work as well!

Learn more about government assistance at Canlearn.ca

Did You Know: Apply for everything you qualify for to maximize your opportunity for financial support.

5. Lines of Credit from Financial Institutions

Most financial institutions offer special lines of credit for students. A Student Line of Credit offers flexible credit limits with low interest rates and easy repayment options.

Check out how the RBC Student Line of Credit could help you.

Did You Know: 33% of students rely on government loans or bursaries to fund their education.