Good Morning Green Panda Readers.  Today is my first official day back to work after my week long vacation and it is bitter sweet.  I am happy to be back in my normal routine, but I am sad that I have to wake up to my alarm clock every day at 7 am.  I really hate waking up to my alarm clock, and I always have.

Today we are discussing different ways that we can pay for college.  Attending college may be a dream for many young people; however it may not be everyone’s reality.  Money is big part of attending college, and some us spend our college years totally broke; I know that I did!  Not everyone has the luxury of having our parents contribute money towards our college education.


If you are in college, how are you paying for your higher education?


How to Pay for College Without Our Parents Money


Students can definitely afford to pay for their college education without their parent’s money. We can start saving for our college education as soon as we start earning an income; whether it is from cutting lawns, babysitting, or working part time.

Start Saving Early is the best way to pay for college without our parent’s money.  I started working at Mc Donald’s when I was 16 years old and unfortunately I never saved a dime.  I wish I knew then what I know now about saving money.  The key to successful saving is to Save Regularly and Start Saving Early.  If we contribute $25 from every bi weekly pay check for 3 years (from the age of 16 to 19) we will have over $2000 saved for college.

We can also use our RRSP savings to pay for our college education.  The Canadian Government allows us to withdraw up to $20,000 from our RRSP under the Lifelong Learning Plan without paying any penalties or taxes.  Of course this money must be repaid after graduation.  Please check with your financial institution for details.


The Best Ways to Pay for College


There is no rule that says we must attend college right out of high school.  In an effort to save money for college we can take a year off from school and work full time.  I took a year and a half off after my first semester in college and worked two jobs in order to save money.  It was a good idea for me to take some time off from college because I didn’t like my original program, but also because working full time gave me a nice financial safety blanket when I did return to college.

Many students pay for college through Student Loans and Bursaries.  Once we are accepted to college we can inquire with our Student Financial Aid Office as well as our Local Government to find out what types of Loans and Bursaries are available for Students.  A Student Loan is money that must be paid back after graduation.  A Student Bursary or Scholarship is money that is donated to students; it does not have to be repaid after graduation.

Many colleges offer On Campus Jobs that are reserved for Students. Check with your campus bar, restaurant, student services office, cafe, computer store, and library for available student jobs.


Here are the previous posts in our Going Back to College Savings series:

My College To Do List

My College Check List


Photo By Ugg Boy

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya is 30 years old and lives in Montreal Quebec. She graduated in 2005 from Concordia University, and she currently works for a major International Financial Institution. She recently launched You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaP.