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How to cover the costs for your education

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Education is crucial to most Canadians’ success, but unfortunately, not everyone can manage the inevitable expense that comes with it. Some individuals may qualify for financial aid if they are unable to cover their tuition, but there are specific factors involved. Normally, being eligible requires a minimum grade average that demonstrates being a quality student. Building up an RESP or obtaining student loans are additional options to help fund your education.

Scholarships, grants and bursaries

Scholarships, grants and bursaries are all financial awards provided to specific students. They are most commonly distributed by the schools themselves or a government organization; however, there are also some agencies and private donors who select a particular individual or a few whom they feel are the most deserving of financial assistance. Unlike a government or bank loan, this compensation is more comparable to a gift rather than money that must be paid back.

Whereas scholarships are awarded solely for demonstrated quality grades and aptitude, bursaries are awarded solely on financial need. Grants, meanwhile, may be awarded for either of these, or a combination of both, or resulting from research projects related to academics. Scholarships are the most varied, but the most known are entrance scholarships—awarded when an individual begins university based on the grades with which they applied and were accepted—and national scholarships, which are awarded across the country.

Student loans

Student loans are also helpful for individuals to ensure they have enough money for their education. Not as ideal as a scholarship or RESP, securing a loan from a reputable financial institution should be a last resort option. All other forms of funding should be exhausted before introducing debt. Speaking with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for debt help, however, can also help ease some of this potential burden.

Canadian citizens or permanent residents who demonstrate the need for financial assistance can apply to receive a student loan if they have at least a 60 percent course load as a full-time student or at least 20 percent as a part-time student in an eligible program. Individuals seeking a student loan over the age of 22 for the first time must also pass a credit check. They must also maintain good grades.

Registered Education Savings Plan

When financial aid is not possible, an RESP is another effective method to help students save up money to cover their post-secondary or graduate schooling. While many people open an account for another individual, particularly a family member, individuals can start their own RESP simply by naming themselves the beneficiary. Either way, you will likely be required to make regular contributions to the account in order to avoid penalties.

RESPs are most commonly set up with a bank, but can also be done through a mutual fund company, credit union, or group plan or investment dealer. Upon opening the account, you can decide to put the money in a no-risk savings account or low-risk GIC, or otherwise invest in mutual funds that vary in risk level. Speaking with a financial advisor for debt help in Vancouver often provides helpful clarification general assistance on helping to cover the expenses of education.

Speak to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for Debt Help

If you have questions about how to save for your education or are wondering how you will pay off your student loans, contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee from Abakhan & Associates in Vancouver and across the Lower Mainland for advice. Call us for a free consultation.

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