In School

Fundraise for Your Degree!


Maybe you didn’t land a summer job this year. Or maybe you need to supplement that income. In that case, consider other ways to raise cash.

We’ll look at more of these later, but for now let’s consider how a personal fundraiser might help you cover some of your school costs next term. After all, you have more resources for fundraising these days. And you can use social media to extend your reach to those friends of friends of friends.

Education Policy in the House of Cards

You may have noticed that I don't say that much about education policy on the 'Debt 101' website.
Usually, I just explain how the system works. And suggest ways for students and grads to survive it.
But of course, I'm very concerned about our higher education policy. I care about equal access and quality -- and the destructive effects of loading students up with debt.
That's wrong on so many levels - from moral to macro-economic. 

A Lesson from Quebec Students

To those in other provinces, Quebec students may seem to have it comparatively easy.
Ok, they don't have the greatest repayment aid system. But for years, they've had Canada's lowest tuition fees.  
Now how did that happen?
Is it because Quebec is the richest province? No. 
Is it because universities in Quebec don't have similar costs to those in, say, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Alberta? No, no and no. 

Back to School? Advice on Student Loans, Textbooks, Schedules & More!

Starting school next term? Check out Christopher Sun's great blog series in this website: Surviving School.
Chris' back-to-school blogs are a fun read. You'll also learn some tips for dealing with the issues and dilemmas of your new life as a university, CEGEP or college student.
Here to start with are Chris Sun's 2 first Surviving School blogs:

Student loan $874/month

diane.jsmith - Thu, 11/18/2010 - 04:57

My husband just finished his Masters in Dec, He had got a loan for about 40,000. in January we received a bill for $250 then a couple months later aces said we now owe $500/ i paid that. Then a month ago i got a bill from Nelnet for $ i was now paying $750/month. Now just a couple days ago Nelnet now says we owe $374/month. We called and they said we can’t consolidate or defer the payments.. Does this seem right?

Hey Freshers - Watch That Easy Credit


Summer holidays are over and school is starting tomorrow.

This fall, Student Finance 101 will add new articles about provincial student loan programs, plus more tips on saving money and cutting student debt. 

Many of these articles and tips will help people who have already finished university or are still in high school.

But today's message is for those of you who start your first year of post-secondary school tomorrow:

Watch out for the easy credit!

Summer Vacation: Hang Onto Your Money!


I recently spoke with Emily Minthorn at about how students can save money over summer.

Let's face it - it's hard these days to make big money during summer. Unemployment rates are still high enough that many students end up with a summer full of only part-time or occasional work. And wages are often low for student jobs, especially if your province has a low minimum or "training wage."

More Hidden Costs of School


 In a sequel to yesterday's blog post, Hidden Costs of School, here are 3 things that could mess up your school budget if you don't prepare for them:


1) Other interest costs.

In yesterday's post, I discussed the interest on your student loan. But now we're talking about the interest costs on credit cards, a car, private student credit lines and so on.

Some of these products have very high interest rates, like store and credit cards. Unless you can pay them in full every month, your debts could snowball fast.

Hidden Costs of School


Student Finance 101 often fields media requests for information related to students or higher education. For example, we recently provided student summer savings tips to (on an article we'll link when it appears).

This week I talked to Jon Tattrie of Metro News about the hidden costs of education. 

The idea isn't to scare students from getting their education - quite the opposite. We just want to make sure they're prepared, by having a good understanding of the costs beyond tuition. 

'Debt Sentence' Campaign Followup 1


The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) continues rolling out developments in its "Education Shouldn't be a Debt Sentence' campaign.

The campaign was launched October 20 to focus attention on the growing problem of student debt in Canada. Tuition fees and student debt continue rising faster than inflation.

Across Canada, BC seems to be facing the most extreme rise in student debt.