Going back to school isn’t always the easiest financial decision to make. Hopefully, you find these options helpful as you begin to consider going back to school.
- Student Loans: The most common way to fund your education in the west is usually through student loans. They can be paid back with over a period of years and you do not need to worry about paying it back till you finish school. In addition to that, the interest on the repayment is tax deductible.
- Student Line of Credit: Similar to student loans, lines of credit only begin to accrue interest when you actually borrow the money. You can however take out just what you need at a given time. Think of lines of credit as credit cards with lower interest rates. Unlike student loans, the interest payments are not deductible for tax purposes.
- Financial Aid, Grants and Scholarships: If you are eligible, apply to as many grants and scholarships as you can. It is also worth exploring the scholarships and financial aid options available at an institution before you decide you want to study there. Explore, research and know all that may be available to you. More information on Canada Student Grants.
- Employer continuing programs or loans: Some employers have provisions for continuing education for their employees. There could sometimes be clauses that require you stay at the company for a given amount of years post the completion of your program or must have spent a minimum number of years at the company before you are eligible for this benefit. The downside to this is you may not be able to go to school full time and would still have to juggle work and school work. Some employers also have low interest loans for employees who need to buy a house, or go to school or something -this is worth exploring.
- Becoming a Teaching Assistant: While you go to school, you could consider being a teaching assistant or find a research job in your area of study that could help with your living expenses.
- Paid Summer Internship: When school isn’t in session, usually during the summer months, you could consider getting a paid internship that not only gives you work experience but also helps you fund a part of education.
- Side Hustle: You could pick up a side hustle that helps pay some bills while you go to school. Depending on how much your side hustle brings in and the effort you need to put in, you might be able to fund part of your tuition or school related fees.
- Savings: If you would like to go back to school in the nearest future, you could start saving and investing a fraction of your income to fund that in the future. You can consider setting up a separate fund and automatic deposits into the account each period.
- Study Abroad: There are some countries with cheaper education costs and/or costs of living compared to the United States, Canada or the UK. Consider looking into programs over there that could be of interest for a cheaper cost. The downside to this though is your degree may not be easily recognized in other countries.
- Take out a loan from your RRSP under the Life LongLearner Program: The government of Canada allows you to take out a maximum of $10,000 annually from your registered retirement savings plan to fund full time studies for either you or your spouse. You do not need to record the money you take out as income in that year. However, you have to repay the amounts when they are due under your repayment period otherwise, they are treated as income in the year it was due. Read more about this here.
That’s it from me. I hope this helps as you make the decision to go back to school.