Financing Your Education
Investing in your education is one of the most rewarding, but costly investments you can make. It is important to be aware of ways to financially prepare yourself to be able to afford school costs (tuition, textbooks, and school supplies), but also budgeting for other costs (commuting, going out for lunch with your friends, and living expenses like rent or your cell phone bill).
At Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), there are many ways to help finance your education:
- Ontario Student Assistance Program, external link (OSAP)
- We also have TMU-specific OSAP information available on our website.
- Awards, scholarships and bursaries
- Visit AwardSpring, external link, opens in new window, TMU’s one-stop award, scholarship, and bursary application. Fun fact: TMU has over 1,200 awards, scholarships, and bursaries, which means a lot of money available to students.
- Out-of-province government financial assistance programs (for Canadian non-Ontario residents)
- U.S. Loans (FAFSA Direct Loans) (for American students).
- Talk to your bank for student loans and line of credit options.
Some loyalty program points can be converted to money toward tuition. Visit HigherEd Points, external link for details.
There are many ways to help save money when paying for school. See below for our top five tips for students.
It can be really easy to spend more than you realize (especially when you go to school across from the Eaton Centre). For example, if you have class on campus five days a week and buy yourself a cup of coffee every day for $3.50, that works out to approximately $210 a semester! It is okay to treat yourself, just know what is in your budget and stick to it.
To keep within your budget, you can make small changes to your routine to help save costs:
- Invest in a travel mug to bring your own coffee to campus. If you’re in need for a refill, many coffee shops will give you a discount for using your own mug
- Pack a lunch instead of buying lunch. You can make this a game for yourself: for every nine times you pack a lunch, you can treat yourself to purchase lunch next time. When you do buy lunch, use your OneCard - many restaurants around campus will offer discounts to students!
- Resist temptation. If you spend your break between classes walking around the Eaton Centre, it will be much easier to spend money. Find new areas to walk around campus, or get your exercise at the Recreation and Athletic Centre or Mattamy Athletic Centre, which is free for full-time students with your OneCard!
You can download a budget form from HigherEd Points, external link, opens in new window to budget for your school year. Try to create a budget well ahead of the school year and monitor your budget routinely to make sure you are on track. There are also many phone apps you can download to monitor your budget. Browse your phone’s app store for more information.
Many TMU students commute to campus. If you use the TTC, you can apply for a Post-Secondary Student Monthly Metropass, external link, opens in new window. If you take GO Transit, the Go Transit Student ID Card provides eligible full-time post-secondary students with discounted fare using your PRESTO card.
Buying brand new textbooks can be expensive, but there are ways to save. Digital textbooks are often cheaper. There are also used bookstores near campus, and many textbook groups on various social media platforms (such as Facebook) where you can buy and trade used textbooks.
The TMU Library has a program called the Textbook Collection, opens in new window that allows students to take out their textbooks for a short-term loan for many textbooks.
Your student ID, your OneCard, will give you the opportunity to save money around campus, such as free admission to TMU Bold home games and free access to the Recreation and Athletic Centre and Mattamy Athletic Centre for full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Beyond campus, many restaurants and shops near TMU offer discounts to students who show their student ID.
The Student Price Card (SPC), external link, opens in new window gives you access to discounts to many restaurants and stores around Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (especially near campus!) There is a small upfront cost, but the long-term savings will make up for it.
The International Student Identification Card (ISIC), external link, opens in new window is your “passport” to access student discounts in Canada and around the world.
If your schedule allows it, it is helpful to have a part-time job on top of your school schedule. If you apply for OSAP or other government student financial assistance, this typically isn’t enough to cover all your educational expenses and living costs, so it’s helpful to have the extra income to cover costs.
TMU has an on-campus job program called Career Boost. Career Boost provides full-time undergraduate students with the opportunity to work part-time on campus. The benefit with working on campus is that most employers are very flexible, which means you can spend that four hour break between classes earning some money!
There are also full-time Career Boost positions available during the spring/summer semester.
You can also reach out to the Career and Co-op Centre, they can help you find off-campus work as well.