Assessing your education-savings needs

How much will post-secondary education cost you? The answer to this question will depend on many factors. To come up with a reasonable assessment, look to your advisor for help.

Whether you’re saving for your own children or those of a relative or friend, or are planning to go back to school yourself, count on your advisor's financial expertise to help you accurately assess your education-savings needs. With this information you can decide what is a reasonable goal given your situation, and then plan accordingly.

Examine your expectations
Your costs will depend on the number of children involved and their ages, whether they will be able to live at home while going to school, the length of time of the program and the institution attended. Through this process you may discover that studying abroad is beyond your means but attending a local school is easily affordable.

Similarly, you may have other sources of financial support, such as inheritances or contributions from relatives, friends or even your employer, that can help make your post-secondary education goals achievable. In addition, there may be potential for scholarships, bursaries and other forms of financial aid.

Sharing information with your advisor
The Tallying up the costs checklist PDF document  can help you assess your current expectations for post-secondary education and your potential savings needs. By sharing this information with your advisor and discussing your options, you can decide what is realistic and determine a reasonable estimate of your projected education costs.

Keep in mind that the total you come up with is only an estimate and should be refined with your advisor’s assistance as your education-savings needs become more clearly defined.

Investing in education pays off
How valuable is a post-secondary education? According to Statistics Canada, it’s an excellent investment that can translate into stronger employment earnings. The average annual income for Canadians holding a university degree far exceeds that of those with a lesser education.

Higher education translates into higher earnings

Level of education Average annual income
High-school diploma $28,038
College degree $36,785
University degree $57,495

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

TOOLS:

Tallying up the costs PDF document

To best estimate the potential costs, you'll need an accurate picture of your education goals.

Getting good advice
Getting good advice
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