Imagine waking up to more than $20,000 in student debt. For many recent Canadian university graduates, this is their reality. According to Statistics Canada, for Canadian full-time students the cost of undergraduate programs was, on average, $6,838in 2018/2019, with that cost not including added expenses, like school supplies, books or housing.
The increased cost of tuition isn’t the only thing felt by students. According to some estimates, 70 percent of jobs now require a degree, another reason obtaining a post-secondary education is so important.
The current cost of university education is forcing many parents to save for their children’s future education as soon as possible. Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) are one intelligent way to invest in a child’s future education and are offered through organizations like Children’s Education Funds Reviews (CEFI). Providers like CEFI are experienced in matching families with the correct type of RESP to fit their financial needs.
Another way to help cover the cost of tuition is to apply for a student loan. Canadian students can begin the process of obtaining financial assistance by completing an application form and submitting it to their province of permanent residence. The student is then assessed for both federal and provincial student loans and/or grants.
It’s important to note that once the loan is approved, it can take up to two months for the lender to send the money to you or the university. That means it is best to start searching for the right type of financial assistance as early on in the planning process as possible.
Investment stools like RESPs can make an impact on how effectively families save for future education costs. Still, a lot of university students may find themselves with debt following university. After graduation, factors such as living expenses and added bills can delay students from paying back their loans. Since coursework can take up the equivalent time of a full-time job, it can be difficult for some students to balance school with a side job, further adding to the delay.
The reality is that the cost of higher education in Canada has increased over the past decade. This makes it all the more important for families and students to use as many tools as possible to save for higher education; this also makes it important for families to follow one of the golden rules of saving – start as early as possible.