Paying for Post-Secondary Education

Whether you are thinking about a post-secondary education or you’re a parent concerned about your child's/children's education journey, it's important to start planning early. Read this article to learn more about the typical costs associated with post-secondary education and some ways to pay for it.


What costs are typically involved with a post-secondary education?

It is important to understand some of the typical costs that come with pursuing higher education. The TD Student Budget Calculator calls out some key expense areas related to post-secondary education and can help you put together an estimate of the typical costs you might incur.

1. Tuition fees:

The cost of tuition can vary depending on your program of study as well as the institution you are planning to attend. That's why it is helpful to check out several programs and several institutions to get a broader view of the possible differences in expenses that you might face.

2. Housing:

You will need to consider the cost of accommodations, which can vary based on whether you are planning to live on or off campus. If the plan is to live off campus, you will need to consider potential additional costs beyond rent, such as utility bills, insurance, cell phone bills. Although rental costs off campus might initially appear less expensive, these additional costs could add to your total housing expenses. In comparison, living on campus might appear more expensive, but you need to check whether additional costs, such as meal plans, are included to be able to ensure a fair comparison.

3. Books and required technology:

Many courses have textbooks that you may need to purchase. Depending on your proposed field of study, you may also need to purchase specific devices in addition to your laptop and printer. Make sure these possible additional costs are factored into your expense planning.

4. Transportation:

If you are thinking of living off campus, the cost of getting to school will be an important consideration. Whether you take public transportation or your own personal vehicle, transportation costs can be significant and are an important part of any budget for post-secondary education.

5. Food:

If you are thinking of living on campus, you may have a few meal-plan options to consider, while if the plan is to live off campus, you will need to factor in the cost of groceries on a weekly or other regular basis.

6. Other Miscellaneous Costs:

As you put together your estimate of typical costs, consider making some room for a little entertainment, or hobby-related expenses, since everyone needs a little break from their studies now and then. 

How to help pay for post-secondary education and typical expenses:

1. RESPs and student loans: If your family have been contributing to a formal savings plan, such as a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), this can be a valuable resource to help cover your post-secondary education expenses. Another possibility would be applying for a a government student loan or even a student loan from your bank.

2. Scholarships and grants: Scholarships and grants could also help offset the costs of a post-secondary education. There are a variety of different types of scholarships available, including academic scholarships, sports scholarships and scholarships tied to extracurricular involvement. Governments may offer grants or bursaries, so be sure to explore what is available and your eligibility well in advance. Speaking with your high school/CEGEP school administrator is a good place to start.

3. Student Banking Products: Be sure to look into banking products and services available specifically for students. For information on student banking solutions and student loan options at TD, please check out the TD student section on

Wherever you are on your post-secondary education journey, a TD advisor is ready to help you move forward. 

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