How Do I Estimate My University/College Costs?
In addition to tuition, students need money for books, housing, utilities, food, transportation and other expenses. Full-time students in Canada paid $14,500 on average to cover a year of post secondary expenses in 2003-2004. That's roughly $58,000 for a four-year program.
The Investor Education Fund’s University Cost and Debt Calculator is a great place to start when estimating your university/college costs. Simply select the province, school and program you’re interested in and the calculator will tally your costs (including living expenses) over your 3-year or 4-year program.
Depending on the school or program, a student attending CEGEP, trade school, college or university full-time today can expect to pay between $2,500 and $8,000 per year or more in tuition alone.
Tuition may vary for different reasons:
- Program choice - Some programs charge more than others so you might want to investigate costs upfront.
- Co-op - Co-operative education programs usually last longer and cost more than regular full-time programs. However, the benefits of co-op programs may outweigh the higher costs—co-op students are generally paid for their work terms and gain valuable work experience.
- Class type - The format of lectures, amount of lab time needed and number of teaching assistants may affect tuition fees.
- Student Fees - Some schools include fees in tuition costs to fund certain services, clubs and events.
- Other factors - The school’s location (urban vs. rural setting), the type of institution, and the years of schooling required are other factors that can also influence costs.
The cost of books can influence the overall amount of money that you’ll need for school. Several options are available to you with regards to books.
- School bookstore - Buying new books each semester can be an expensive choice, though you benefit from the most recent editions.
- Second-hand books - With the right amount of time and patience, buying used books can be a much less expensive alternative. Visit used bookstores or look for signs and pamphlets around campus advertising used books.
- Borrow books - If you know someone who has taken the same course, simply ask to borrow the books.
- Buy books online - You can get both new and used books online. But be patient: shipping may take a while. You may also want to see if you and some of your fellow students can negotiate a discount by buying your books together in bulk.
For more tips about buying textbooks, please see the following Studentawards articles:
How Do I Know Whether I Need to Buy Textbooks?
How Do I Know Which Edition of a Textbook to Buy?
How Do I Know When to Buy Textbooks?
How Do I Save Money on Textbooks?
Living expenses can make up a big chunk of the money you’ll have to pay out during school. For example, residence fees can be upwards of $8,000 (including a meal plan). This can double or, in some instances, triple post secondary expenses.
If you will be going away to school, housing (i.e. rent or residence fees) will form a large part of your living expenses, but there are others to consider. Below are links to some money-saving tips that can help reduce living expenses.
Money-Saving Tips – Technology
Money-Saving Tips – Food and Drink
Money-Saving Tips – Wardrobe
Money-Saving Tips – Personal Care
Tips for Saving Money on Transportation
Money-Saving Tips – Transportation
Money-Saving Tips – Entertainment
Vacation Money-Saving Tips
Cost of Post-Secondary Education
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Hi, I was also considering this for my first year of university in Sept. 2013. I think that if I stay at home, I will have regrets later on. I think that staying on campus would also allow you to focus more on school.
Posted on May 08, 2013 at 12:53
I have been debating whether I should go away for university or not, and i feel that its the best to stay home for me, so I can focus on school without the worry of extra costs, I could incounter on my own, LOL. |
Posted on Aug 10, 2012 at 10:59
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