Student works on laptop at table with other University of Waterloo students in background

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


Your main costs in university will be your tuition and living expenses.

Tuition and fees

Waterloo's tuition fees vary by program and type of student.

Living expenses (for first year)

Expense Cost
Residence $7,000 to $9,200
Meal plan $5,800 to $6,700
Personal expenses (e.g., phone, clothing, Internet, entertainment; depends on your lifestyle) $4,300
Textbooks and supplies $2,500 (most programs)
Estimated total living expenses $19,600 to $24,400


Common ways to cover your costs include

Co-op = paid work experience

Through Waterloo's co-op program, you could make $9,000 to $16,000 during your first four-month co-op term alone.

The good news? Our students have four to six co-op work terms!


Budget calculator

Estimate your total first-year expenses and see how much money you have.

Ways to pay for your education

Learn how scholarships, bursaries, student loans, and part-time jobs are some of the ways to pay for university.


Bursaries for Ontario students

If you're an Ontario student applying to university or college for the first time, you can now apply for a bursary. Based on financial need, bursaries range from $1,000 to $5,000 and do not need to be paid back.

Earn up to$2,000per school term with a part-time work-study job right on campus!

Learn about part-time jobs on campus.

Waterloo co-op students can earn$42,000 to $90,000over the course of their work terms

Learn more about co-op.

85%of new Waterloo students received a scholarship last year

Learn about entrance scholarships.

More about paying for university