What Does College Really Cost?

When you’re budgeting for college you need to think beyond tuition. We know that a roof over your head, food and some fun actives are things you plan to have and do….plus there are always those ancillary fees that you may not have considered.

Well don’t worry The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development in Ontario has thought of this too and, with help from this website, we’re going to help you figure out how much college really costs.

Tuition: Programs are roughly $2000 for two terms, however, this will vary from college-to-college and program-to-program, so remember to verify your tuition costs.

Ancillary Fees: These fees can range from health insurance to student union costs, and a few things in-between. Once again these costs vary college-to-college, but some of these fees can be opted out of, for a refund. Review what you are paying to the college and ask questions.

Books and Student Supplies: The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development says to expect roughly $1000 per-year for books and school supplies. Some courses will cost more some will cost less; this is just a ballpark number. If you want to save money look into renting your text books or buying used. Also ask your professor if an older edition of the textbook would work.

Cost of Living: Rent is expensive, choosing one of the six Northern Ontario colleges can help you save on rent, compared to the cost of some Southern Ontario locations. If you are choosing residence the costs are fixed, which has it’s benefits, such as water, heat, hydro, internet and cable are normally all included, and the cost is consistent so there are no surprises.

If you are looking to live off campus rental prices differ city-to-city, however, according to the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (2014 costs) one bedroom apartments are roughly $700/month, across all five of the major cities in Northern Ontario (Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins and North Bay). If you are looking for a roommate you could save a lot, as according to the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (2014 costs) average monthly costs of a two bedroom apartment is $900, across the five major cities in Northern Ontario. Divide that by two and rent is only $450 a month!

Transportation: Some of the colleges offer bus passes as one of their ancillary fees and some offer discounted prices for bus passes, so before you go buy a pass, look into this. If a bus pass isn’t part of your ancillary fees and you need one, according to The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, you should expect to add $100 per month to your budget.

If you own a car, and never plan to take the bus, check if you can opt out and use the funds towards parking, which can cost anywhere from $150-$350 a year depending on your college.

Additional Costs: Food, fun, cleaning supplies and toiletries all add up. Take time to look through flyers and get a feeling of how much these additional costs are. From there you will be able to make a budget that will help reflect your lifestyle.

College isn’t free but it’s one of the best investments you will make. With a solid understanding of how much college really costs you can prepare yourself for your financial future.