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Post-Secondary Education and Training

Category: Activities: Home | Age Group: 16+


Paying for Post-Secondary Education or Training


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The costs of post-secondary education and training can be challenging. However, the long term benefits last a lifetime and can significantly affect your child’s lifetime earnings. Your child may be wondering about the possibilities for their future education. This can be a good time to have a talk with them about what the costs of future education and training are, what their interests are, and, if you haven’t done so already, start to put a plan in place. There are many resources to help finance the costs of post-secondary education and training. This activity will guide you and your child in exploring some of them – and perhaps putting a plan in place to be able to afford the costs.

  • Begin with a talk with your son or daughter about post-secondary options—and what their interests are. It can be a great opportunity to explore all options university, college, training, “gap year,” entrepreneurship, etc. A key thing to keep in mind is that one of the most important factors for success is passion—doing what you love to do. The information at the following link can help you and your teen explore their future interests and options.
  • After talking about their future interest, take some time to explore the cost of the options that interest them. You can go to the Student Financial Assistance website (under Web Sites section below) for information about costs.
  • Use the chart below to write the numbers so you can compare schools and programs.
  • Next, go to the following link for a step-by-step guide to putting together a plan for how to pay for post-secondary education and training.
  • The Building Futures Guide can help you and your son or daughter learn about such things as Registered Education Saving Plans, the Canada Education Savings Grant, and the Canada Learning Bond. All of these can help in planning to pay for future education.
  • Paying the full cost of post-secondary education or training can be challenging for most families, so it is also important to explore as many resources as possible.
  • Visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website and the Student Awards website to explore sources of funding. Students can apply for, and receive, multiple awards. It is important to take the time to apply for all the awards where you fit the criteria. Many awards go unclaimed because applicants think they won’t qualify. Keep track of all the awards you can apply for and have it ready for when the time comes.
  • Explore grants that are available from the provincial and federal governments and loan programs that are in place. Look at the repayment obligation on these loans. It can often be better for your child to borrow money under a student loan program than for you to borrow money. They can often get more favorable terms from the government loan programs.
  • It is important to note that grants and awards are not repayable while loans are. If you are taking a loan be sure to budget for repayment following graduation.
  • Don’t be overwhelmed by the choices. Take your time and focus on what options will work best for your family.
  • Plan early and review often. Interests change as you grow up so your child may change their mind many times before and after entering post secondary education.
  • Review your list of funding resources and identify the ones you will try for.