Financial Picture

The cost of school can't be boiled down to tuition and room and board alone. Miscellaneous expenses such as books, supplies and transportation costs must also be factored into the final tab.

Miscellaneous education expenses

As overwhelming as it may seem, having a financial plan in place can help alleviate some of the angst. Ultimately, university or college can be funded from two broad sources other than one's personal financial resources: financial aid provincial and national.

Take the First Step: Do You Qualify for Aid?

In Canada, every province has their own financial aid program. No matter what province you’re in, an excellent place to start is CanLearn. Here you’ll find contact information and direct links to each province’s program, including application forms, FAQs, and aid tools like aid estimators and repayment calculators.

Another excellent resource is the CanLearn Student Financial Assistance Estimator. This tool, made for part-time and full-time course loads, helps you estimate your annual student loan and grant amounts by showing the amount of assistance you could potentially receive from the Canada Student Loans Program and your provincial/territorial program.

Loans and Grants: A Breakdown

Loans
The Government of Canada offers Canada Student Loans in most provinces and territories and to both eligible full- and part-time post-secondary students. The following province and territories do no participate in the Canada Student Loans Program: Quebec, the NorthWest Territories and Nunavut.

Grants
Students may be entitled to money in the form of grants to help finance their post-secondary education. Grants differ from loans because they do not need to be paid back. In addition, students may be eligible to receive more than one grant.

Here’s a list of grants:

  • Grant for Students from Low-Income Families
  • Grant for Students from Middle-Income Families
  • Grant for Students with Dependents
  • Grant for Part-Time Studies
  • Grant for Part-time Students with Dependents
  • Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities
  • Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities

Go here for direct links to Eligibility for Loans and Grants, Need Assessment Tables for Loans and the Student Finance Assistance Estimator online tools, as well as links to the above list of grants.