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Financing your education

male student in QNC

No question – university is a big investment. The money you and your family members contribute is the foundation for your financial plan, but you may need more to cover all of your costs.

Financial aid, like scholarships and bursaries, and government assistance programs can help to close the gap and make your Waterloo education possible.

Take a look at how real Waterloo students are paying for their first year:

Pie charts showing financial resources four students used to pay for first year

Here's an accessible version of this chart.

Be debt-free faster: If you’re in co-op, you’ll have a huge advantage when it comes to paying for your education. You’ll make anywhere from $33,000 to $73,000 over the course of your studies – money you can apply to your fees or use to pay down loans.

It's a fact: Waterloo students are able to successfully repay their OSAP loans more often than students at other Ontario universities*.

5 ways to help bring your Waterloo future in reach

  1. Find free money. Learn about Waterloo scholarships and bursaries, and other financial assistance you don’t have to pay back. This year, 87% of our first-year students received an entrance scholarship or bursary.
  2. Earn while you learn. If you’re in the regular system of study, our Centre for Career Action can help you find part-time, summer, and work placement positions.
  3. Save cash. Find tips for saving money on entertainment, food, and travel. Skip that daily macchiato and you could save $300 by the end of term!
  4. Find more free money. Explore scholarships provided by businesses, cultural groups, service clubs and more at sites like or
  5. Build your plan. Use our budget calculator to start planning for your education costs.

* Source: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

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