funding your education

Many financial institutions offer special lending products for students, with lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than other loans. They hope to attract your business and make you life-long customers.

Banks don't have to lend you money - they can reject you based on what program you're studying (which can be a predictor of your future ability to repay the loan).

You can use a bank student loan to purchase anything.  You'll have to start making interest payments immediately but, similar to government loans, you only start repaying the principal after graduating.

Federal and Provincial government programs, like government student loans / grants, help students fund their post-secondary education.  Government student assistance is assessed based on financial need.

You can use a government student loan to purchase anything and won't make any payments until 6 months after you graduate / stop studying full-time / leave school. 

Meet Sandra. She just graduated high school. 

Sandra has been accepted into an engineering program at a good school. She knows she'll need to take on student debt to help pay tuition and is afraid of making such a big financial commitment.

She also works part-time as a barista and, as an alternative, is considering that as a full-time career. If she's good at it, one day she may become a store manager.

​You are Sandra's close friend and she asks you for advice. Luckily, you recently stumbled upon this tool that can read people's financial futures... 

​​Click here to view the rest of this interactive story.

Is it worth going into debt for a post-secondary degree?

Next, consider government student assistance

Still short?  You may qualify for a bank student loan

Students may qualify for special loan offers and benefit from "free money", like academic scholarships, grants, and bursaries.

First, look at non-repayable support

Academic scholarship, grants, and bursaries are "free" sources of money, you don't have to pay them back. 

  • Scholarships are awarded for academic, sporting, or community achievements. 
  • Grants are usually given for a specific purpose, like for research in new fields, or to support minorities / disenfranchised groups.
  • Bursaries are awarded based on financial need. 

All awards are usually worth a fixed amount. Some can only be spent on certain things (like tuition, housing, research, or food) but most can be used to purchase anything.