The average graduate takes 9.5 years to pay off their student loan! By grade 11 most students know whether their parents are able to pay for their tuition or not. By that time most parents have made it known whether there are RESPs or other things in place for their child’s education. However, unfortunately for the many students there isn’t any money or there isn’t enough.
What options do you have besides working?
I suggested to my son that instead of working part time while in high school to save to contribute to his education he could instead use that same time to get a scholarship. He would reallocate his time and instead invest more time studying getting his marks up to the highest he can possibly get them and also to make time to volunteer in an area that is of interest to him. You see if you are able to get one of the many scholarships that are available you can possibly get much more for free than what you could earn on your own. Most teens want that job in order to gain a level of independence but really the immediate gratification is not worth the long term gain.
So which makes more sense working part time making $10 per hour in order to save for tuition that costs over $5000 per year or, putting that time into improving your marks and getting as much volunteer experience possible as well. Students need to weigh all their options and early because if their parents are not paying 100% for their education, planning and preparation is definitely needed.
There are many organizations that will offer a scholarship due to a person’s involvement in that organization or in the community. Some organizations students can look into are United Achievers, Junior Achievement, the Toronto Dominion Bank or checking out the Community Unity Alliance- Directory of Black Scholarships and Awards.