Ultimate guide: Financing your education

Student with credit card in hand buying something on their laptop

Written by Desana (she/her), student

Picture this: you’re sitting at your computer and you hear that familiar "bing" that signals a new email. You check your inbox and see that it’s an email from the university you’ve been dreaming of. And there it is in big, bold letters. You’re in!

You’re over the moon, as you should be. However, as you scroll down, you notice the tuition fees, the living expenses, and a bunch of other numbers with dollar signs. As quickly as you were excited, your heart drops.

How will you afford this?

Unfortunately, many high school students get stressed out because they don’t know how they’ll afford their education. It’s true that the cost of going to university can be overwhelming. However, it shouldn’t stop you from getting the degree you’ve always wanted.

Another great way to finance your education is by choosing a co-op program. On average, students can earn between $42,000 and $90,000 cumulatively during their co-op terms, which can really make a dent in all those fees! Plus, you’ll get amazing hands-on experience in a number of interesting fields. Learn more about Waterloo’s unique co-op program and all of the different subjects you can combine with a co-op option.

For most students, the first year of university is the toughest. You have to navigate through your classes, learn how to live on your own, and still figure out how to budget your finances. Sounds exhausting, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be!

See? We got this! Now that you have your university expenses covered, sit back and relax. Maybe order a pizza. But wait, you have no cash on you right now. That’s okay because we have tips on how to make quick cash for when you find yourself in a situation just like this!

Also, if you’re planning on coming to University of Waterloo (which I highly recommend you do!), you’ll want to explore the city without breaking the bank. Since the city of Waterloo has a large student population, there’s always something to do on the cheap!  


That’s everything! University is meant to be enjoyed and full of fun, new experiences — your finances shouldn’t get in the way of that.