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What is Tuition and How to Manage it

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    uition, for those unaware, is a fee for instruction at a college, university or private school. The cost can be extremely high, even astronomical! Tuition fee rates can be dependent on multiple factors such as tax rates, the type of higher education, the kind of program and program requirements needed to meet admission into a particular program or post-secondary institution. 

    Tuition fee costs have increased significantly in Canada. In 2016, it was announced that undergraduates paid 40 per cent more in tuition fees than they did 10 years ago, according to Statistics Canada. For the 2020/2021 academic year, the average cost of tuition has increased again, up by 1.7 per cent from the previous year for undergraduate programs and up by 1.6 per cent for graduate programs. 

    For many students, paying off a government loan or post-secondary tuition can hinder them from successfully completing their program or add a lot of stress to an already busy work schedule. Here are some ways for you to manage paying off your tuition fees:

    Keep Track of Your Loans

    It goes a long way to be aware of how much money you are borrowing. As the cost of learning has increased over the years, so has the amount of expenses and finances borrowed from government and non-government sources. 

    Be aware of how much money you owe from the moment your loan request has been approved. This can give you enough time to plan how much money to save, spend and earn during your years as a student. 

    Make a Pay Off Plan 

    A little goes a long way. If you depend on student loans to pay your tuition fees, make it a habit to pay off your debt with one small payment at a time. Creating a yearly payment plan can help you anticipate upcoming expenditures and help you plan accordingly. For example, you can choose to make loan payments twice a year or more. This helps decrease your loan amount by the time you prepare to graduate, making any remaining loan amounts more manageable than overwhelming. 

    If you are dependent on work income to pay your tuition fees and prefer to stay clear of loans, setting aside money every paycheck to put into tuition fees will make you more confident in your spending choices and will help you keep track of how much tuition you can afford. 

    Manage Your Expenses 

    It may not seem like much but tracking and limiting your daily or weekly expenses can make a difference. Overspending can be a problem many of us are aware of, but are unsure of how to overcome. In a 2019 CNBC report, it was cited that 79 per cent of consumers, who reported to have a budget, fail to follow it, which imminently leads to overspending. 

    If you experience similar difficulties, try sticking to a realistic budget. You can’t force yourself to do something you really cannot do. Instead, review your necessities, spending priorities and how much money you are willing to set aside for the expenses you want to make. 

    If online shopping is a weakness, try leaving items in your cart for at least 24 hours before you purchase, and see if that helps you decide on what purchases you truly want to make or are mere results of impulsive tendencies. 

    We hope these tips will help you manage the unfortunate increases in tuition fees for post-secondary education. For more tips to help you become more financially independent, check out our blog on how to effectively save money as a student.  

    A student writing on their notebook.

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