The majority of Canadian students are stressed or anxious about having enough money to pay for school, according to a recent TD Canada Trust Education and Finances Survey.
“For university and college students living away from home, the annual cost of pursuing an undergraduate degree is approximately $20,000. If you're a student and haven't managed to put enough away, there are options available to you so you can focus on your studies without worrying about how you are going to pay for school,” says Raymond Chun, Senior Vice President, TD Canada Trust.
Chun offers his advice to students on how to fund their post-secondary education:
Explore your financial options
Investigate what scholarships, bursaries and loans you qualify for. Remember to think outside the box and check if there are any local businesses or associations in your local community that offer help. For example, the TD Scholarship for Community Leadership rewards students who have shown leadership in their local community with up to $70,000 towards their post-secondary education.
Get a student line of credit
A student line of credit from your bank can be a smart way to ensure you have access to money for things like books, tuition and rent at a lower interest rate than a loan or credit cards
Set a budget
First list the money you have coming in such as money from scholarships, work, family and student loans. Then calculate your expenses like tuition fees, books and rent. Subtract your estimated expenses from the money you have coming in. If you have a negative balance you need to rethink your spending or look for alternative financing options for school.
Roll up your sleeves
Working part-time while you study will give you invaluable experience and help put more money in your pocket. Universities and colleges have career centres equipped with resources to help students find work. A quick internet search will also unveil useful tips and advice for job interviews.
Make your money work for you
You work hard to save money for school, so put your money to work for you. Set up a preauthorized transfer to a tax free savings account to take advantage of compounding interest and tax-free growth.