Make a Money Plan
Are you ready to finance your future? Being financially ready for college will play a big role in your success. Learn about the resources available to help you understand the cost of coming to NSCC and how to pay for it. Make a money plan – it will pay off!
Want to assess your financial readiness? Download our guided notes page (PDF 573KB) and use it to help you get started! It will also support you in applying for NSCC student awards as the financial information you gather on our guided notes page contains everything you need for our online application!
- Coming to College
- Costs of education
- Paying for your education
- Creating your financial plan
- Tips for parents, partners and other supporters
Coming to College
Choosing to come to college is a big decision – one that can have a huge impact on your current and future financial situation. That’s why it is really important to have a strong sense of your overall financial picture. Before making any major financial decisions (and coming to college is a big one), it is important to step back and consider the things that matter most to you and how they will impact your choices in life.
There are a lot of great tools and resources out there to encourage you to consider your own personal beliefs, values and attitudes – especially before making a major financial decision like this one. Check them out!
- Investigate your values and beliefs about money using the Values Quiz
- Take time to identify your Financial Needs vs Financial Wants
- Visit onyourown.org to find out how personal experiences shape your financial experiences
Costs of Education
Tuition Fees and Other Costs
Tuition is not the only fee you will be required to pay to attend college. There are a number of costs that are mandatory for all students (like tuition and student fees), but some are only suggested program costs. These include things like calculators, USBs or tools which do not need to be purchased if you have them already.
Know your program fees and review them so you understand which are mandatory and must be paid, and which are optional and include them in your budget so there are no surprises later on. Also included on this page are two other important pieces of information – the fees payment deadline and how to make payments.
Living costs are broad and can vary greatly depending on your situation. Make sure to account for things like living away from home, childcare, and medical expenses to name a few:
- Housing – If you are living away from home while you complete your studies, get a head start by searching for housing options early. As the options become fewer, the costs can sometimes rise. NSCC has partnered with Places 4 Students to help you in your housing search.
- Childcare – The cost and availability of childcare can have a tremendous impact on your family's wellbeing while you are pursuing your education. Start your search early to avoid unnecessary stress later. Several NSCC campuses have on-site child care centres. Find out more about child care services (PDF 72KB) at your campus.
Paying for Your Education
Apply for a Student Loan
Apply Online through Nova Scotia Student Assistance.
Consider an Education Line of Credit
While the more economical decision might be to apply for a student loan, you should weigh all options to determine which suits you and your personal circumstance the best. Speak to your financial institution about student lines of credit so that you can consider the pros and cons.
Apply for Student Awards
NSCC offers many types of student awards as a way to help students succeed. Take the time to prepare an application.
There are also many external scholarships, bursaries and/or grants you might be eligible to apply for. Look into your community (churches, organizations, government, legions, etc.), ask members of your family to check with their employers, and check with places you have volunteered for opportunities.
Budget Planning Tools
In order to create a budget (or financial plan) that will actually work for you while you are a student, the first step is to determine how you spend money right now. Start by tracking your expenses (even for just one week) and breaking them down into one of two groups – fixed expenses or variable expenses. Fixed expenses are ones that don’t change very much (like rent, insurance, car payments, etc) while variable expenses are typically those that can change based on your spending decisions (i.e. groceries, clothing, eating out).
It’s important to look at your costs in these two areas because not knowing how to balance both with the money you have coming in can lead to significant challenges. By spending too much on variable expenses (or costs within your control) you can leave too little money to cover the costs that remain consistent each and every month.
- Visit MyMoneyCoach to find resources related to budget building and expense tracking.
- Financial Literacy month offers a variety of tools to help you build your financial skills, including a daily expense tracker.
The hardest part about making a budget is knowing where to begin. Use this step by step guide (PDF 121KB) to create a realistic budget. Start planning your finances early so you know what to expect.
Online Workshop on Student Finances
Watch the Financial Literacy: Smart Money Skills for College & Beyond video for smart tips on how to develop good financial management skills.
Tips for Parents, Partners, and Other Supporters
A strong support system is a huge benefit to students as they begin their college experience. Providing financial support is not just about giving money – there are a number of ways you can offer support related to financial success. Check out this video for some suggestions!