In School

Education Shouldn't Be a Debt Sentence!


This week, the Canadian Federation of Students launched its campaign to bring down the ever-growing costs of getting an education.

The campaign is aptly called "Education Shouldn't Be A Debt Sentence" and we at the Student Finance 101 Society have lent our support as partners. Use this link to the campaign site to see the latest facts and how to take action!

Surviving School: Week 3, 4 and 5 -- Way Too Much to Do!


Editor's note: Given his heavy load, this may be the conclusion to Christopher Sun's back-to-school blog, so be sure to read all of his earlier posts. Aside from being fun to read, they provide practical tips to help you cut the costs of school! Thanks, Chris - and good luck in your finals!


It's barely been a month and I want to have a large bonfire for all my school junk. Junk is what it feels like now that I’m falling behind.

Should You Save or Borrow for School?

This Finaid calculator shows you how much difference saving can make!

While Finaid is a US website and most references on this and other Finaid web-pages don't work with Canadian student loans, this US calculator would work in any country.


Cold Turkey Buys a Year of Free Tuition

If You Quit Smoking, how soon could you save up a year's tuition at your preferred school? This Health Canada calculator knows:

Education Cost Planner

Here's another helpful Finaid [US] tool. The Education Cost Planner is a money-planning tool that lets you see how much money you'll need for university – by combining your saving and borrowing.

This alternative version of the above lets you set an amount you can pay each month.

CanLearn's Education Cost Calculators

Have you used the simple Education Cost Planner above? Now get the tools that will let you work up a budget based on the real costs of education in Canada.

How Much Debt Can You Pay With Your Career?

This Finaid tool helps you see if you'll be able to pay your student loan working in the occupation you're training for.

Again, Finaid is a US website, so this calculator uses American starting salaries. Until Debt 101 can find a replacement based on Canadian salaries, this calculator should do because salaries are similar between both countries.

But remember... Most references on this and other Finaid web-pages (such as Stafford loans or US ads offering loans) don't work with Canadian student loans.

If You're In School


Dana won a scholarship to study far from friends and family. She’s 18, so her parents had to co-sign her student loan. They trust her because she’s always been responsible. Dana felt deprived all through school, unable to afford what the other kids had. But now, like magic, she can borrow thousands of dollars in student loans and credit cards. She’s trying to resist, but…

Surviving School: Week 2 -- How Did It Get So Complicated?


I am such an idiot.

After spending hours and hours searching for the cheapest textbooks online, waiting days in anticipation for them to show up and hesitantly purchasing the odd expensive textbook from bookstores, I’ve just learned that I could have got them for free.

Well, sort of.

Surviving School: Week 1 -- Cutting the High Cost of Textbooks!


Hunting textbooks for my fall semester this week, it hit me that provincial governments have the power to control tuition costs (currently Quebec, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland have tuition freezes), but there's no controlling the escalating costs of textbooks. 

Today, a single textbook can set you back $200. If you take a full course-load, you could easily spend more than $1,000 a semester on your textbooks.