The year 2008 was a pretty tumultuous year for me. I got laid off, and it was the first year my eldest went off to University. This is a rather raw early perspective on paying for school, while without a job.
So along with dealing with a possible severance package and possibly having my income terminated, the bill arrived for my daughter’s fall term at the out of town University she wishes to attend. The bill along with the purchase of her books is a little lower than we expected . The bill included her residence costs as well. What interests me is that with this she gets a Health and Dental group insurance. This means my daughter will have health benefits, even if the rest of the family doesn’t.
The bill is not a shock but it asks an important question: do I tell my daughter that she must stay in town to save the family money? My answer is in the next paragraph. I have friends who have said, that is the prudent thing to do. Never sign up for a large expense that may be detrimental to the family purse, if there is a chance there is no income in the future. Education is a valid exception to that rule.
I have not even discussed this with my daughter. We will find a way to get her to school this year, and if things really go south, she can then benefit from O.S.A.P. or other support systems. I am willing to “gamble” on my abilities to find a job, if it means my daughter will attend the school she wants to attend. We have the money now (in RESP’s at least for the first little while) and I feel this is a good investment.
We also found out that my daughter missed out on a scholarship by 1.2 points (she had an average of 81.3 and she needed 82.5), guess it’s not an “aces” week financially for us, but we’ll get by.
As you may read in other articles from me, the gamble paid off. My daughter graduated, with no added debt. We found a way to pay for all the schooling. She helped as well, working hard in the summers in between. Education is a worthwhile investment, especially for your kids.
I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and your recent post on tuition costs and RESPs (“University Costs – Tuition Bill Arrives”) in particular caught my eye. Not sure where your RESP investments are, but have you heard of Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation? It is a group plan provider that may be of interest to you as a good resource on education savings and available government grants that boost RESPs.