How Do I Estimate My University and College Costs?

Author
Date
Category
university and college costs, coffee and textbooks
Photo by Element5 Digital via Unsplash

Tuition

Depending on the school or program, a student attending CEGEP, trade school, college or university full-time today can expect to pay between $2,500 and $8,000 per year or more for tuition alone.

Tuition may vary for different reasons:

  • Program choice – Some programs charge more than others so you might want to investigate costs upfront.
  • Co-op – Co-operative education programs usually last longer and cost more than regular full-time programs. However, the benefits of co-op programs may outweigh the higher costs—co-op students are generally paid for their work terms and gain valuable work experience.
  • Class type – The format of lectures, lab time and, the number of teaching assistants may affect tuition fees.
  • Student Fees – Some schools include fees in tuition costs to fund certain services, clubs, and events.
  • Other factors – The school’s location (urban vs. rural setting), the type of institution, and the years of schooling required are other factors that can also influence costs.

Books/Supplies

The cost of books can influence the overall amount of money that you’ll need for school. Several options are available to you with regards to books.

  • School bookstore – Buying new books each semester can be an expensive choice, though you benefit from the most recent editions.
  • Second-hand books – With the right amount of time and patience, buying used books can be a much less expensive alternative. Visit used bookstores or look for signs and pamphlets around campus advertising used books.
  • Borrow books – If you know someone who has taken the same course, simply ask to borrow the books.
  • Buy books online – You can get both new and used books online. But be patient: shipping may take a while. You may also want to see if you and some of your fellow students can negotiate a discount by buying your books together in bulk.

Living Expenses

Living expenses can make up a big chunk of the money you’ll have to pay out during school. For example, residence fees can be upwards of $8,000 (including a meal plan). This can double or, in some instances, triple post-secondary expenses. 

If you are going away to school, housing (i.e. rent or residence fees) will form a large part of your living expenses, but there are others to consider.