Personal Finance For Students
Third-level education is becoming more and more important in terms of getting a job in many sections of the economy. Some employers are unwilling to consider applications from candidates without a college diploma, and some of those employers will only to consider applicants with diplomas from certain schools. The problem for the prospective scholar is that college education doesn’t come cheap, with tuition, course materials, travel and accommodation costs often being prohibitive for the many students who cannot attend a college close to home.
Fortunately, for the needy prospective student, the Canadian government does have a program where they fund Student Loans for eligible scholars. Eligibility is decided on a number of factors including location (both of the pupil and the learning institution), current living costs, savings and parental income. For students who fall into the bracket of eligibility, a government-backed student loan is a godsend, allowing them to concentrate on their studies free of at least part of the worry of funding their education.
A student loan, as the name suggests, does have to be paid back when the student has graduated and is earning a salary, so it’s not free money and its use has to be priority-based. These priorities are in part, much the same as those that require the attention of a home owner – keeping a roof over one’s head, putting food on the table and paying bills. Even in subsidised student accommodation, these priorities are non-negotiable and in large this helps a student prepare for life after college.
Being responsible for your own budget teaches you to look after the pennies, which becomes all the more important when there is a mortgage to keep on top of and failure to pay that may result in your home being repossessed. Having to set aside cash for tuition fees keeps the importance of your studies at the forefront of your mind, reminding you why you’ve taken this step. When there are parties to attend most nights and a level of freedom beyond what you’ve known in the parental nest, it’s easy to feel that student life is all about the social side of things. But without responsible financial behaviour you could end up having to drop out and, without doubt, the restrictions of living back at home are felt all the more when you’ve lived without your parents for a spell.
If you don’t qualify for a government-backed student loan, there are still options available. Private student loans are one such option. Although they are not quite as secure an option as a government loan – being based on credit and therefore often necessitating that a parent acts as a co-signee- they are given by lenders at a low rate of interest and tend to be generous enough to cover the important costs of student life. Then, depending on the intensity of your course, it is possible to take on a part time job – which will often provide adequate money for as many toga parties as you want to attend.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Canadapersonalfinancewebsite.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on Jan 25, 2009.
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