Recently, I had a post about a discount on tuition for Ontario students. It got me thinking about my schools day, and how I got through school without going into any debt.
Now, a few disclaimers:
- I graduated in 1999. So, it’s been a while.
- I did a B.A. So, while not as cheap as college, it certainly didn’t cost the same as medical school.
- I didn’t pursue any further education after the B.A. I only have an undergraduate degree. I am the least educated member of my family.
So, how did I get through school without going into debt?
- I worked during high school. I started babysitting regularly as soon as I was old enough to, and then got a job at Shopper’s Drug Mart, and later on at McDonald’s. I was absolutely appalled when my first year tuition bill arrived – it was as much as I’d saved up while working at McDonald’s! I didn’t always enjoy working there, so I was determined not to waste my money partying away my first year and flunking out.
- I got an entrance scholarship. If I’d kept my high school average (which was pretty much impossible to do once I reached university), I could have kept it, but it helped defray my first year costs, which was great.
- My parents chipped in. Generally, they covered living expenses (with the idea that they’d be covering them anyways if I was living at home), while I covered tuition. I’m very grateful for this – I think the fact that I had to pay for my tuition made me appreciate my education more, but if I’d had to pay for living expenses as well, I’d have really had to struggle, and probably had to borrow money.
- I did a co-op program. So, that was 4 months at school, then 4 months at work, then back at school, etc. It was a bit disruptive (I moved 10 times during university!), but it helped me save up money for school, and gave me great world life experience. I highly recommend a program that has co-op or internships. My last co-op job led to my first full time job. It was great not to have to job hunt during my last semester!
- I inherited money from my grandmother when I was 19. For the most part, I didn’t tough the money – I didn’t need to, and for the most part, I wasn’t a frivolous sort. But in my last year, when I decided I wanted a car, I dipped into that money and bought my oh so practical Chevy Cavalier. Which I promptly scraped the side of less than 6 months after I bought it.
So, as you can see, there were a variety of factors that enabled me to graduate without debt. It was really nice to started my working life without debt, and I’m very grateful to my parents and my grandmother for the financial support they provided. I’ve tried to pass it along, by giving money to my nieces and nephews as well as some friend’s children, to put aside for their education.
Did you graduate with debt? If so, how did you deal with it? If not, how did you manage it?
I was just listening to the radio in the car this evening, and heard something about 30% off tuition for students in Ontario. Now, I’m a little past my student days, but I figured this would be a great topic to check out and blog about.
According to the nifty Ontario government web site, it’s “Money you don’t have to repay for students entering a public college or university from high school. If you’ve already applied for OSAP, you’ll be automatically considered for the 30% off tuition grant, too!” And it’s not too late to take advantage of this program for 2012-2013!
Sounds pretty awesome, eh? Want to learn more? Okay, here’s the run down. You could be eligible if:
- You’re a full-time student at a public college or university in Ontario
- You’ve been out of high school for less than four years
- You’re in a program you can apply to directly from high school (e.g., undergraduate level)
- You meet the citizenship and residency requirements
- Your parents’ gross income (total before taxes) is $160,000 or less.
It seems like if you’ve applied for OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program – or, other, less flattering names, some of my friends used while paying off their loans ), then you are well on your way – but you’re not out of the running if you haven’t applied for OSAP. It’ll just take a little more work. You’ll need your SIN number, as well as your parents, and some information from their tax return.
There are some things to keep in mind though, such as:
- You’re not eligible if you’re going to school part time
- the 30% of tuition covered is based on the average tuition, not your tuition specifically. So if you’re in a very expensive program, it won’t necessarily come to 30% of your tuition
- You’re not eligible if you’re a graduate student or a mature student
- You aren’t eligible if you’re attending a private university/college
This sounds like an amazing program. I have a co-worker whose daughter is looking at schools next year – I’m definitely going to share this information with him! Please pass this along to anyone you know with school aged kids in Ontario – as we all know, saving money is a good thing!
Woo! Please check it out- 101 Centavos has included me in my very first carnival!
I’m in the Education section. Please check it out!
It’s that time of the year – high schools kids will be graduating soon, and their parents (and the kids) will have to deal with how much school is going to cost them. While some scholarships may already have been awarded for the upcoming year, it never hurts to see what’s out there. At worst, you can pass on the information to a younger friend or relative.
Here are some ideas on how to find out about what scholarships are out there.
1. Surf the Web. There are several sites dedicated to helping you find out what’s out there. Here are a few of them:
These are both for domestic and international study, so make sure you check them out, regardless of where you’re planning on studying.
2. Contact your future school directly about what they may offer. They may just send you a brochure or information about a Web site, but it’s a good place to start.
3. See what your place of employment may offer. Large organizations may offer scholarships to their employees’ children. Students should also see what’s out there – large corporations like McDonald’s also offer scholarships to their employees.
4. Contact your current high school. They may have a list of local organizations or companies that offer scholarships.
5. Ask! Families should ask everyone they know about what scholarships are out there. A lot of scholarships are small, particularly ones awarded by local organizations, and they don’t always get taken. Try service clubs, advocacy groups, and cultural organizations.
It may seem like a lot of work to track down scholarships, but every little bit helps, so it’s well worth a shot. Good luck!
Do you have any tips on finding scholarships? Please post them!