For those graduating if you are moving out of your University living quarters and are moving to a new city to get a job, that is a moving expense. If your employer reimburses you for it, then you cannot claim it. The 40 KM rule comes into play here as well.
Stats Canada put out their yearly report Tuition fees (in Canada) for degree programs, 2019/2020 a while ago. It has some interesting data including the fact that Tuition Fee costs for undergrad students dropped for this year (with a caveat).
Ontario led the way with a 9.9% Tuition drop. In fact in the rest of Canada Tuition went UP? Isn’t it great how large data sets can skew things?
The last 2 investments I didn’t actually spend that much on, but the previous three I feel were mostly my investments. I did have a rule that I pay for the 1st degree (and if I pay for a degree I don’t pay for a wedding). As with all rules they have not been adhered to verbatim.
My parents invested in my education, and for that I am eternally grateful. I have had folks comment that if a child pays for their own education, they are more invested in the process. In my case, letting my parents down was actually a strong motivating factor, so I think that is a wash in terms of arguments.
I like the fact that it wasn’t a foreign investment either. I don’t think I could have afforded sending my kids outside of the country, it was expensive enough out of the city. If you are planning on helping your kids, an RESP is where you should start with your plan, and then look into CO-OP programs, OSAP and the Scholarships out there (and there are many).
My guess is if I hadn’t put the money away that I used to help my kids’ educations I would have blown it on something stupid, so I am glad I can point to something tangible for where the money went. It has also been pointed out that I didn’t do any of the work (aside from repairing a few computers). Why is this a good investment? I have always relied on the good works of others.
If you are planning on trying to help your kids out with their University costs (or other post-secondary ideas), an RESP is a must (just for the free money), however, that is not the only way to ensure you can easily help out your kids reach their educational dreams (or your dreams for their eduction).
I have learned after 8 years of paying for children’s expenses for school, that the most debilitating university costs are not tuition, it is the cost of accommodation. At one point in the 8 years I was
Paying the mortgage on my house
Paying rent of 3 separate apartments across Canada
When did I become so rich that I could afford this (you might ask)? (sarcasm alert) I most assuredly did not, the RESP money helped somewhat, but these kind of costs can almost double your family living expenses. Living expenses for your kids at school really do add up.
There are remedies for this kind of expense (luckily):
Do not allow your child to move away from home while they are going to University. Whether you really want to inflict this on yourself, is a question you must ask, but that will eliminate many of the living expenses. I know at least one set of parents that said, “I will pay for your tuition, and give you a car to use, if you stay at home. If not, it is all on you.”
Pay off your house before your kids get to University, that way you are rich enough to be able to pay for the rent on “N” different apartments (or residence rooms) (where N is greater than 1).
Make your kids pay for their living costs.
Make your kids pay the whole shot. They want an eduction, time to learn about money at the same time.
Option (2) on the list is a very good target to try to hit, but kind of hard if you are maxing out your RESP, TFSA, and RRSP savings targets as well, but still something to keep in mind!
Options (3) & (4) sound heartless, but I know plenty of folks who paid for their entire University career, because their parents couldn’t help out, and they seem to have survived.
Keep in mind, University costs are not just tuition costs.
For those of us who have kids about to return to University we are about to see the onslaught of fees that are charged by all Universities (in Canada). University fees continue to be become more and more intricate, complicated and expensive.
There are many fees being charged, but the two that caught my eye (on my daughter’s university fees bill from Queen’s University) were:
Grad Health Insurance
Grad Dental Insurance
For those who do not want to do the arithmetic, that is $500 for 4 months.
Remember that if your child is in school your health insurance plan covers both Health & Dental (if you are covered that is), so you really don’t need to pay this fee, and most universities will allow your child to opt out of the charges (which seem quite high to me). I have checked with our friends at LSM Insurance who think the fees are a little high, but not too bad. Another factor to take into consideration is that a lot of Health Plans have positive enrollment clauses (I am with SUN Life for health insurance and that is the case), where you must every year (after a child turns 19 I think) go to the Insurers web site (or send in a form) stating that your child is still at school, or the child loses their coverage under the plan.
How easy is it to opt-out of the health and dental in the university fees schedule ? At most schools, not as simple as you might think, and deciphering which fees are optional, and which are mandatory is a real quagmire of data.
I remember folks opting out of fees when I was at University, but typically those were the folks that were paying their own way, and didn’t want to pay for things they weren’t going to use.
What are some other fees from Queens University ? These add up to almost 25% of the tuition bill we are paying (note that residence or living expenses are not here either). Still think you won’t need an RESPto help your kids go to University? I’d also like to remind those with younger kids that there is no legislation limiting the fee levels (tuition yes) or how much they can increase.