There’s a lot to consider when preparing for your child’s post-secondary education. And tuition is only part of the cost. By the time your child is ready to attend university or college, the cost will be very different from today. An understanding about costs associated with post-secondary education will help you determine how much to save.

How much will university cost in the future?

On average, tuition costs about 40% more than it did 10 years ago. The average undergraduate paid $6,571 for the 2017-2018 year − that’s a 3.1% increase from 2016-2017. And it’s projected that the total tuition costs for a four-year university program could rise to $84,000 by year 2036! And this amount, doesn’t include other expenses such as textbooks, living and transportation.

What are compulsory fees and how much will it cost?

In additional to rising university tuition costs, students also face a growing pile of compulsory fees, no matter what post-secondary program they pursue. These typically cover the cost of student associations, athletics or student health services. These additional fees are often overlooked and they’re rising as quickly as university tuition fees. In 2017, students were paying approximately $880 in additional compulsory fees − nearly 3.8% more compared with the previous year. These mandatory costs are an added expense to consider in the university budget.

What are the other costs I should budget for?

Living, food, transportation, books, textbooks and entertainment are examples of other expenses you’ll need to consider when planning your budget. CST has done some number-crunching and found that by 2036, it could cost $146,000 for a four-year university degree for a student living away from home. This estimate includes the cost of tuition, compulsory fees, room and board, entertainment, transportation and books.

Managing these finances can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. You can take advantage of government grants by investing in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to help you save and receive additional money.

In the blink of an eye, when high school graduation day arrives and it’s time to select a post-secondary institution, you’ll be better prepared to pay for the rising university tuition and any of those extra fees.

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