Graduating high school is a big milestone, and the next step for most is post-secondary education. For many students in Ontario, the cost of post-secondary education – including tuition, residence fees, textbooks, and more – can be daunting.
With a little planning and preparation ahead of time, you will be able to put yourself in a better financial position when it comes time to pay for your first year of college or university.
The most important step in any financial plan is creating a budget. This means knowing exactly how much money you have coming in every month from all sources of income. This will allow you to see clearly how much you have remaining for rent, food, transportation, entertainment and other essentials.
There are several student loan options available to help cover the cost of post-secondary education. The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is the most common and accessible program that offers both grants (which don’t need to be repaid) and loans (which do need to be repaid). In addition to OSAP, there are also private student loans available from banks and other lenders.
It pays to do your research on these different options because interest rates can vary widely depending on who offers the loan and what your financial needs are.
Many schools offer their own grants and scholarships that can help offset the cost of tuition. These grants are often based on academic performance or financial need – if you think you might qualify for one of these programs then it’s worth taking the time to apply for them!
Additionally, there are also government grants available specifically for post-secondary students that are creatively based and depend on essay writing. There are so many local grants that go unclaimed each year simply because no one applies for them!
In addition to government grants and school scholarships, there are also many local scholarship opportunities available through charitable organizations or businesses in your community. These scholarships may not always be widely publicized but they can be incredibly helpful when trying to offset the cost of tuition since they usually don’t require repayment as traditional student loans do. Take some time to research what local scholarships may be available near you!
Starting early saves money in the long run when it comes time to pay for post-secondary. Graduating high school is an exciting achievement – and making sure that you have everything prepared financially will ensure that this transition goes smoothly.
For any additional financial questions, Keenans Accounting is your trusted local team of experts handling personal and business bookkeeping. For more information, call us at 705-526-7628.