Cost of Education

How Much Will My Education Cost?

Know the Costs of Your Investment

Your education plan should account for a variety of expenses as you work your way towards your credential.

Types of Expenses

  1. Tuition - How much will your program cost you? Figure this out by the semester or by the month, and for the entire length of the program. Understand your long term expenses. Find information on tuition estimates of programs in the Search Database. Costs can vary greatly due to:
    • Program choice - some institutions and programs have higher fees than others. Compare the cost of tuition between not only institutions but also programs.
    • Co-op – programs with co-op options may be less because during your co-op semester you will earn a wage that can be used to offset tuition.
    • Class format - courses that have labs in addition to lectures, or programs that are taught using a hands-on or simulation format may have higher tuition costs.
  2. Student Fees – All institutions have student fees that are used to support student services. Most institutions offer medical coverage and bus passes. These may seem like additional fees, but they can also help you save money.
  3. Books & Supplies - Some programs only require you to purchase books, while others will require you to purchase tools, work boots, art supplies or specialized computer software. Some disciplines, such as nursing, have expensive textbooks. See Money Tips for how to save on books & supplies. EducationPlannerBC provides estimates of what your books and supply costs will be. Note that open textbooks can be a way to significantly reduce student textbook costs. Open textbooks are available online to be freely used by students, teachers, and members of the public. They are an affordable, flexible alternative to traditionally-published textbooks.  
  4. Living Expenses - Outline what it will cost for you to live while attending post-secondary. Are you able to live at home with your parents? If not, will you live in on-campus housing, or will you rent a place? Do you have a mortgage, or do you require child care? Rent and child care vary greatly throughout BC, so you should do some research into where you will live and what it will cost. Don’t forget to include expenses like food, power, transportation, telephone, internet, and entertainment. Take the time to make a realistic budget before you start your education and reduce your stress! 
Education Plans include Budgets