How to Save Money to Pay for College or University
When you start thinking about attending college or university, it can seem like an expensive task. Tuition, books, and residence fees add up to a pretty hefty price tag, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There’s a lot you can do when you’re still in high school to save money toward paying for college or university.
Start Saving as Early as You Can
The sooner you start saving money for school, the better. The best way to do this is to open a separate savings account at your bank, where you can deposit money you want to save for school. This way, your money will also earn some interest for you.
You should also work out a budget of what it will cost to attend the college or university program of your choice. Schools and programs will vary in cost, but by looking at a wide variety of schools you will have an average price range to use as your savings goal.
Once you know your goal amount, make sure you put money into your savings account as often as you can. A little bit at a time is all you need, such as money from your allowance or birthday and holiday gifts. You’ll see – it will add up pretty quickly.
Earn Money Working Part-Time or During Summer
Many students have part time jobs in high school. If you’re already working, then you can easily save money by putting some money into your savings account immediately after each paycheque. By doing this first thing each payday, you can make sure you save before you spend it.
However, not every student has the opportunity to work during the school year, whether due to family obligations, sports and clubs, or parents who prefer you focus on academics. The thing to remember is that there are always breaks, such as spring break and summer vacation, which are an ideal time to pick up some work.
There are many flexible jobs for students, as well. These include retail, food service, babysitting, camp counsellor, yard work and snow removal, washing cars, and even dog walking, to name just a few options.
Start a Registered Education Savings Plan
Known as an RESP, these are specific bank investments designed to help families save money for a child’s education. These plans enable parents and other family members to contribute to pay for school, and the younger the child is when the RESP is opened, the better.
These investments offer benefits with taxes, as well as government matching of contributions up to a specific dollar amount each year. This makes an RESP a valuable way to save for school.
Apply for Scholarships and Grants
While not saving money per se, scholarships and grants are a great way to offset the costs associated with college and university. There are many scholarships for whatever program you want to study. The qualification requirements will vary, meaning you will always be able to find something to apply for. Some scholarships can even be applied for as early as your third year of high school.
Scholarships and grant opportunities can be found all over, from local businesses and organizations in your town or city, as well as province-wide and Canada-wide.
It’s not always possible to save the entire amount you will need to cover the cost of your education – and that’s okay. Student loans exist for exactly that reason: to ensure that students who want to attend college or university can do so.
Many banks offer student loans for educational purposes, and there are also government student loan programs, such as the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). These programs are valuable resources for students to help finance their education. The terms of the loan will vary depending on the source, but often include better interest rates and different repayment options than a standard loan.