School is expensive. I get it! I paid my way through a four-year undergraduate degree and an MBA by working throughout both programs. Was it worth the sleepless nights and $100,000 investment? Yes.

My education has given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I’m passionate about my work and earn good money.

Seventy-five per cent of future jobs will require education. Certainly there are very successful people in North America without it. But this phenomenon is becoming less common because the corporate cultural norm has changed: education is critical.

Stop complaining about the costs. The short term pain of large tuition bills pales in comparison to your long-term income gains. According to the National Graduates Survey (Stats Canada), your long-term income-earning ability is up to a million dollars greater than a high school graduate’s when you invest in post-secondary education. Plus, your quality of life and career opportunities are greater.

If you’re struggling to cover the tuition tab, get a job. Apply for paid co-op, internship and work experience programs related to your field of study. These opportunities are posted on employer and career centres’ websites.


Aim for full-time work in the summer and a part-time arrangement while you’re in school. Sound boring? Spice it up with an overseas work term.

While classes are in session, work on or near campus. Your faculty, the libraries, restaurants, stores, and fitness centres need staff. If you’re feeling entrepreneurial, turn your hobbies into money: photography, writing, web design, etc. Apply for scholarships, bursaries and income assistance through the campus registrar’s office or library.

Student debt is often unavoidable. But, by working throughout and saving up your income, you can significantly offset the costs of tuition. This will give you greater financial flexibility after graduation. Plus, working is a great way to meet friends and grow your professional experience. Whatever you do, ensure you’ve got sufficient time to focus on your studies.

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