Sources of Funding
Post-secondary education is expensive. It is one of the largest and most valuable investments you will ever make. Recent estimates for the cost of a full-time student living away from home are $17,000 per year, depending upon individual living styles. This estimate includes tuition and student fees, residence, meal plan, books, personal living expenses, travel and entertainment.
As costs continue to rise families are forced to find alternative means of paying for their child’s education. It is important to research the various sources of financing post-secondary education or training. The best options are those that you don’t have to repay. Look into those sources that you don’t have to repay first before looking at those sources where you have to repay.
The Government of Canada’s CanLearn website (http://www.canlearn.ca) contains many great tools and information to help individuals save, plan and pay for post-secondary education. Some of the sources of income listed on the site are below:
If your child has a part-time or summer job, encourage them to save a certain percentage of their earnings for their future education.
Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP):
- Is a special savings plan.
- Helps families start to save early for a child’s education after high school.
- Is registered by the Government of Canada.
- Allows saving for post-secondary education to grow tax-free and can also gain government money through special grants.
Government Student Loans:
The Canada-Saskatchewan Integrated Student Loans program provides assistance to help pay for post-secondary education. Student loans are intended to supplement and not replace the financial contribution expected from the student and family.
Visit http://www.aeel.gov.sk.ca/student-loans/ for more information.
Government student loans are more than just a loan. Saskatchewan’s Student Financial Assistance programs offer a range of non-repayable grants and bursaries for learners. This means that there is money for school that you won’t need to pay back – ever. In 2010, 65% of all provincial assistance provided to learners was non-repayable.
Other Grants & Bursaries: Both the provincial and federal governments also give grants and bursaries for students enrolled in full-time studies based upon financial need. Students are automatically considered for these awards when they apply for a student loan.
Government student loans are cheaper than bank loans. A bank loan or line of credit charges interest from the time the loan is taken. A government student loan is interest-free while the student is studying. After graduation, the interest rate on Saskatchewan student loans is at prime. The Graduate Retention Program offers up to $20,000 in tuition rebates to students who remain in Saskatchewan after graduation. That will reduce the amount and number of your loan payments!
It’s easier than you think.
Recent changes to Saskatchewan’s Student Financial Assistance program allows students to:
- Earn more. A student can now earn as much as they choose while going to school without affecting the amount of their student loan.
- Own more. The value of the student’s vehicle no longer affects the amount of student loan.
- Apply online.
Funding given to students is most commonly awarded for academic excellence, financial need, volunteer/leadership involvement or a combination of these.
- Scholarships are available for first year and returning students.
- Scholarship money does not have to be paid back.
- Scholarships are sponsored by numerous sources: government, First Nations’ Bands, private/public businesses, parents’ employers, students’ employers, high schools, individual post-secondary institutions, religious groups, cultural groups, social groups, etc.
What is needed to get a scholarship?
- Keep good grades – although some scholarships are based on other qualifications, good grades are important too. Most post-secondary institutions have guaranteed scholarship offerings based on academic entrance averages.
- Get involved in athletics, volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities both at school and in your community.
- Do your research and complete the necessary documents.
- Apply, apply, apply!
Where to look for scholarships/bursaries?