604-880-9589 jack@jackshaffer.com

By Melissa Cassar, Head of Corporate and Public Affairs, Visa Canada

Heading to University

A college or university education is the ticket to the middle class in Canada. But it’s an expensive ticket, and the cost rises every year.

The overall annual average cost for a Canadian university education is $4,724, according to Statistics Canada. That rounds out to an average of $18,896 spanning four years of university payments.

When heading off to university, it is important to get a clear picture of your day-to-day personal finances. Chequing accounts. Buying books. Renting an apartment. Making money. You cannot avoid your day-to-day finances. You can learn about it now, or wait until you make a mistake. We suggest now.

Start Early

Looking at the cost of paying for a post-secondary education can be some scary numbers. But if you have the benefit of time, they’re not as bad as they seem. Here are some steps you can start taking today:

  • Go over your monthly finances and find a little extra money you can put away. Even $50 or $100 can make a big difference.
  • Make a commitment to devote at least that amount each month, and to add to it as your income increases.
  • Shop around for the best interest return you can get for your money.

High Return

Because the cost of university is rising faster than inflation, it’s smart to invest your savings to get a higher interest rate than a typical bank can offer. Consider putting your money into:

  • Stocks
  • Mutual funds
  • GICs

Help Paying for University

One important thing to keep in mind is that you won’t necessarily have to come up with the entire cost of university. All higher education institutions offer financial aid in the form of grants and loans. These are most often funded by the federal government. But there are also often aid offerings from the province and from the school itself. Be sure to look into all the options available.

Article used with permission from Practical Money Skills Canada