How can you pay for post-secondary education? We break down our top tips for parents of students heading off to university or college.
5 Tips for Parents:
1. Do your homework
Parents need to assess their finances in order to establish which colleges and post-secondary programs are within their budget and whether or not they’ll need to pursue financial aid. Is there a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) already in place? If so, great; if not, there might still be advantages to setting one up – talk to your financial advisor to discuss how a RESP could work for your family.
2. Game plan with your family
Open and effective communication is essential when it comes to planning for college or university. Make sure your kids understand all the costs involved and if they will be playing a role in helping to fund their education – whether that means taking on student loans or part-time work during their schooling.
3. Look for free money
Scholarships, grants and bursaries are types of financial assistance that you don’t have to pay back. Scholarships are typically based on merit, while grants and bursaries usually take financial need into consideration as well. Check with your child’s prospective school to find out what you could be eligible for and visit sites like www.scholarshipsCanada.com to explore available funds.
4. Explore government loans
If available scholarships and financial aid can’t cover all your funding gaps, it might be necessary to consider a student loan. For more information, visit the Government of Canada Student Financial Assistance website www.canlearn.ca. Speak with a financial advisor about other options available like a student line of credit.
5. Be realistic
You want your child to have the best possible education. But it’s important to understand how to do this without putting your own finances at risk. Be willing to explore other money-saving options, such as living at home instead of living on campus.