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Students funding their own higher ed, poll

Most kids are now paying for their own education, according a BMO report - File
Most kids are now paying for their own education, according a BMO report
— image credit: File

With classes now underway in the new school year, a recent poll reveals that two-thirds of students have been working and that the top source of funding to cover tuition and expenses for post-secondary education is the money students have earned and saved themselves.

The total cost for a post-secondary education - according to research from the federal government, including tuition, school supplies, housing and other expenses - amounts to an average of $14,500 a year.

The BMO 2012 Student Poll, conducted by Pollara, showed the multiple sources of funding to help cover the costs:

•  Two-thirds (67 per cent) of post-secondary students have been working;

paying for school is the number one reason to have a job

•  For nearly two-thirds of students (62 per cent), the money they've saved

is the top source of funding for school

•  Just over half (52 per cent) receive funding from parents or family, and

49 per cent rely on student loans

•  Nearly half (45 per cent) of post-secondary students receive funding

from scholarships and bursaries

Students with Jobs

The student study also revealed:

•  One-quarter (23 per cent) are working full-time, while 43 per cent are

working part-time

•  Students with jobs are working to pay for school (75 per cent), have

spending money (65 per cent), get work experience for future employment

(61 per cent) or pay down debt (22 per cent)

•  Regionally, student employment rates are highest in the Prairies (81 per

cent), Alberta (79 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (78 per cent)

"Attending university or college is a hefty investment, so it's essential that students and parents are on the same page for funding a post-secondary education," said Su McVey, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Leveraging Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) - to which both parents and grandparents can contribute - can help pay for tuition. Beyond that, parents and students need to work together to establish a comprehensive budget ahead of the school year to manage ongoing expenses."

Anyone, including grandparents, can invest in a child's future by opening up or adding to an RESP, an account designed to put aside funds for a post-secondary education. Amounts invested in an RESP, will grow over time through compounding interest and the funds provided by the Canada Education Savings Grant. For example, investing $200 per year from the time your child is born until the age of 18, he/she could have up to $11,000 saved for his/her post-secondary education.

McVey added that students should make use of online resources available to them, such as the BMO Student Budget Calculator - a free tool available on BMO.com that allows students to create a budget for the school year. In addition, BMO Online Banking's BMO MoneyLogic financial management tool can help students stay on top of their budget with customized spending and savings goals.

The Pollara online survey was completed between July 19 and July 26, 2012, with a sample of 1018 post-secondary students. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

 

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