The Necessity of Education Savings

Posted 07 Sep 2016 by Natalie LeBlanc

The price of a good education has skyrocketed over the past few decades, leaving recent graduates buried in debt. Making an effort to plan and save for these expenses ahead of time is certainly the best way to alleviate future costs, but do we even know how much to save?

You won’t have to go very far to find a recent university graduate to tell you about the rising costs of tuition. According to Statistics Canada, the average for annual tuition for an undergraduate degree in Canada (and tuition alone) is a whopping $6,191, and this doesn’t include shelter, food, or school supplies!

When you do add it all together, the final number can be quite painful. Consider a student attending university for eight months of the year, and living at home for the other four months. If we assume $600 per month for rent (including utilities like power and water), $300 per month for food (which is on the low end for Nova Scotia), $1,000 per semester for textbooks (which could be higher or lower depending on your studies), and $150 per month for internet and cell phone service, that’s almost $8,300 for just one semester. Not to mention the other miscellaneous things that 19-23 year-olds spend money on, like alcohol, takeout, travel, and gas and/or car payments. 

The Costs of Going Back to School


One Month

One Term

One Year

Four Years

Tuition (average)

 $     773.88

 $  3,095.50

 $    6,191.00

 $            24,764.00


 $     600.00

 $  2,400.00

 $    4,800.00

 $            19,200.00


 $     300.00

 $  1,200.00

 $    2,400.00

 $              9,600.00


 $     250.00

 $  1,000.00

 $    2,000.00

 $              8,000.00


 $     150.00

 $     600.00

 $    1,200.00

 $              4,800.00


 $  2,073.


 $  8,295.50

 $  16,591.00

 $ 66,364.00

That’s $66,400 for the necessities during an undergraduate degree, assuming you don’t live in residence, will live at home during the summer term, and don’t travel at all. In reality, the costs are much higher.

These figures should be a bit of a wakeup call to those who haven’t been keeping up with the rising cost of post secondary education, and is hopefully the motivation you need to start saving for your child’s education today!