Debunking Excessive Educational Costs – My Moneyville Article

by Mike Holman

I wrote an article for Moneyville (Toronto Star blogging site) about the scary post-secondary educational cost estimates that you see in the media from time to time.  While it is expensive to go to college or university, things are not as bad as they seem. 

Please check out the article – Debunking 8 myths about university costs.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Canadian Couch Potato

Good piece, Mike. We’re approaching this life stage now, as are several of our friends. From what they’ve told us, and from our own research, a child living away from home will cost about $15,000 a year including tuition, books, residence and a meal plan. That sounds like a lot, but remember, parents are already paying a lot of expenses for their teenagers now (food, activities, etc.). As you say, summer jobs should defray a bit of the cost, too.

Parents who put away even $100/month starting when their kids are young will be just fine.

2 Mike Holman

Thanks Dan.

Great point that some of the ‘away’ costs exist even if the child lives at home. Food, for example.

3 BeatingTheIndex

Great post Mike as it reminds me of the approach that was used to push me into RESP contributions. The sales woman spent some time on her slide that estimates university costs at 100k+ per year per child ( i got twins)! That did not sink in with me and I only signed up for 5 years of RESP contributions as she failed to impress me really. I will reevaluate the plan once I pay the 5th year.

4 Mike Holman

Thanks Mich.

Sounds like you signed up for a group plan. I would definitely recommend not continuing past the 5th year. Just open up a self-directed account after that.

5 BeatingTheIndex

@Mike, Are you familiar with Universitas trust funds? it’s these guys. What annoys me the most with them is not having online access to my accounts!

6 brod1

Good introduction to a difficult problem. Note that for most “professional” degrees, your costs are already above 20K$ per year (living away from home). That includes business, medicine, law, engineering, nursing, etc. Also the inflation rate for tuition/residence is in range of 8-10% based on our experience over 3 years. With future downloading costs onto provincial governments that is only going to get worse. Other than staying at home to cut costs it looks pretty tough for these kids and their parents ( and yes parents have to carry the major part of the load)!

7 Canadian Dream

Way to go! Glad you got a chance to write an article for them. Thanks again for the talk.

Tim (who is really behind on his reading so hence the late comment).

8 Mike Holman

@Mich – No, I’ve never heard of them.

@Tim – Thanks!

@brod1 – You make a good argument for the rate of tuition inflation to stay high.

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