4 ways to help ease student financial stress

For post-secondary students, making time for studies and achieving academic goals are top priorities. So adding money and financial management to the mix can be a challenge and create added stress.

Fortunately, if your child is in college or university, there are many ways they can help manage financial stress through the school year. Here are some tips that can help:

Gamify the budget. A budgeting app can help students budget wisely. Some come equipped with interactive gaming technology, offering tips, reminders and fun virtual rewards when financial goals are met.

Using RESPs. If your child will be receiving money from a Registered Education Savings Plan, it is important to make sure money is budgeted to pay tuition instalments when they are due and to pay for expenses throughout the entire school year.

Get good advice. If your child requires additional funds to help cover costs during the academic year, a great place to start is campus financial aid offices. Financial aid offices can help students identify various sources of funds, such as scholarships, student awards, bursaries, loans and provincial programs such as the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).

Minimize debt. If your child needs to take on a student loan to attend post-secondary education, it is important to understand what payments will be required and when. While some student loans only require repayment upon graduation or the start of full-time employment, it is important to make sure you understand the repayment terms of your student loan and remember the sooner the debt is paid off, the better.

Part-time employment may be an option for some students.