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Funding Options

Sending your son or daughter off to university or college can be a very expensive endeavour. The average cost of post-secondary education in Canada can top $80,000, and that’s without factoring in books, rent, food and other expenses for the school year.

Fortunately, there are many funding options to help you cover or offset these costs. Here’s a quick overview of the different types of student loans and other financial vehicles available for your consideration.

Loans and line of credit
  • Canada Student Loan Program – full or part-time students may be eligible to receive up to 60 percent of the cost of tuition in federal loans, up to a maximum amount. Upon graduating, the student will owe the loan amount plus interest back to the government.
  • Government student loans – these are given by the federal or provincial government, and interest payments are deferred until sometime after the student graduates.
  • Student line of credit – available from financial institutions, these require the student to pay interest on the amount borrowed while in school.
  • Provincial and territorial school loans – if a student maxes out their federal benefits or is denied federal financial assistance, they may be able to find support from their own province or territory.

Funding options that don’t have to be repaid
  • Scholarships – these are awarded from the government and schools, and sometimes through non-profit organizations, to reward academic achievement.
  • Grants – all applications through the Canada Student Loans Program are automatically considered for the Canada Student Grants Program. Grants may be given out based on financial need, academic achievement or athletic performance, as well as for disabled students or students who are supporting children while attending school.
  • Bursaries – depending on a student’s academic merit and financial need, bursaries may be awarded to cover the cost of tuition.
  • RESPs – if you already have an RESP set up, your son or daughter can begin withdrawing funds once they begin their post-secondary studies and will be taxed at a lower rate according to their tax bracket.

Additional resources

For more information on some of the funding options available to you and your child, click on the links below.

Scotiabank Scholarships

Compare Government Student Loan vs. Line of Credit

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