Financial Questions to Ask Before Going to Post-Secondary School
Are you planning on going to post-secondary school this year or next? There are a lot of matters to consider, from the typical issues high school graduates encounter, to the unchartered territory of the COVID-19 world. When it comes to finances, there are a number of important questions to answer before you embark on your journey. Make sure to consider the positives, negatives, and many possibilities and repercussions of a post-secondary education now or in the near future.
What will it cost? First consider tuition. But then also calculate the cost for transportation, books, materials, devices, and living expenses. If you are planning to attend now, make sure these are comfortable numbers. If later, start preparing a plan to be ready for these expenses.
What money could I or will I receive? Fully research scholarship opportunities and how much you could get from OSAP or other government assistance programs. Talk to your family about how much they might be contributing to your education.
Will I work? Part-time employment can really help with the day-to-day expenses and saving up for tuition. If you are working now, consider if you will continue and can handle the job along with your coursework. Also seek out the many new remote work options that have come about due to COVID-19.
Will I live on campus? The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many courses being taught online this year. There is a chance this could continue in the coming years. By remaining at home, you can save a significant amount of money.
When will I start? The sooner you start, the sooner you can graduate and work. However, it might be more fiscally responsible to work full-time for a while to build up some savings before starting school. Or perhaps you have other plans for the time being as the COVID-19 pandemic plays out.
How will I be spending my summers? The summer semester is an ideal chance to work full-time to save up for the coming year. Conversely, if you are able to, you can budget to use the summer for travel or other interests.
Why do I want to go? Post-secondary schooling is not for everyone. If you have clear goals for after you graduate or a strong passion for the subject you are studying, that will help you work harder to budget, find work, and keep yourself afloat financially.
What comes next? You might not know what you want to do once you finish at college or university, but it is an important question to consider. The post-pandemic world is hard to predict, but will likely involve more remote work along with less stability in careers and the economy. Start acclimatizing yourself to a lifestyle that will match your income, whatever it might be.
A post-secondary education is a wonderful opportunity to learn, meet new people, and greatly benefit your career. But you want to make sure that it makes fiscal sense for you. By pondering these questions, you will get a better idea of when to apply, how to go about it, and ways to make the most of your time. By planning it right, you can gain an education, build your savings, and be on the right track for your professional life.
Kong, Stacy Lee. “Going to college? The best advice for new students.” Maclean’s. https://www.macleans.ca/education/college/going-to-college-the-best-advice-for-new-students/
Morin, Sarah. “Post-secondary students worried about making rent, paying for groceries.” CBC. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/post-secondary-students-financial-concerns-1.5526099