How Crowdfunding Can Help You Cover the Cost of College

men and women in a group on a park bench
| 4 min read Financial Assistance

By the time parents in Canada send their children to college, they will have already spent an average of $44,400 on education alone. Then comes the cost of college, which has skyrocketed over the last four decades.

Annual costs for students at a public university average of $6,500. More than two-thirds of Canadians reported being worried that they would use up their savings (68%), would have trouble paying for their current expenses or for next year’s tuition (51%), or would have to acquire additional student debt (54%).

In recent years, more parents and students have turned to crowdfunding to avoid debt as they pay for college. College crowdfunding fundraisers allow family, friends, and communities to come together in support of young people trying to reach their dreams.

Some facts about college tuition

Tuition is often the single biggest college expense. 

  • If you are a Canadian student, you can expect to pay an average of CA$6,463 per year for an undergraduate degree, and CA$7,056 per year for a graduate degree.
  • Half of Canadian students who graduated in 2015 held student debt, owing a median of $17,500 at graduation. By 2018, almost two-thirds of these graduates still had outstanding debt.
  • For Canadians looking to study outside of Canada, it is going to cost more. Statistics gathered by the College Board for the 2017-18 academic school year show that the average tuition for non-resident students at a public institution was $25,620, and it went up to $34,740 at private not-for-profit schools. 

The cost of college room and board

Many college students have never lived on their own before, and the cost of room and board (i.e., housing and food) can be intimidating. Housing costs vary greatly depending on the campus and city. At many schools, housing and food can roughly equal the cost tuition. Many students opt for on-campus student housing in their first year. At some schools, students live in dorms for all four years. While this can sometimes be more expensive than off-campus housing, it can help build community—and students know what to expect and don’t have to worry about dealing with the rental market.  

  • The three main types of student accommodation (homestay, university accommodation and private accommodation) vary considerably in costs, with students paying around CA$3,000-7,500 for on-campus accommodation each year. Private shared accommodation can cost around CA$8,400 per year plus bills.
  • The average Canadian student spends over $2,400 per year for food on campus and groceries.

The cost of studying abroad

Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences for a college student. Although the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture is invaluable, it does comes with a price tag.

  • The cost of studying abroad varies widely between school-sponsored programs and private ones. According to the Institute of International Education, the average cost of study abroad for one year is around $20,000, but students could wind up spending much more (or less) depending on the country and program of study.
  • Factor in the cost of taking weekend trips or travelling after your program ends. Your estimates will depend on the predicted exchange rate and cost of living. Look for student and youth hostels.
  • Compare the costs of different transportation options (planes, trains, buses, etc.). Look for shuttles or special student deals.

Textbooks and technology costs

Textbook publishers often charge shocking sums. Savvy students can find ways around retail pricing by looking online and searching used bookstores. But when budgeting, don’t count on getting a great deal every time.

Most students will need to own a computer and phone during college. There are deals to be had on both, and some schools provide laptops to students. One way to justify the expense of a quality mobile device is that it may help offset textbook costs by serving as an e-reader.

  • The College Board estimates that the average cost of textbooks sets an undergraduate back $1,200 per academic year.
  • Laptop Magazine determined that the average cost of a PC laptop is $484, but students majoring in subjects such as film or graphic design may need a more sophisticated (and pricy) machine.
  • Leave room in your budget for basic school supplies and miscellaneous costs. Whether you need to purchase art supplies, transportation to events, or printing, remember that academic expenses aren’t always limited to books.

Crowdfunding for your college education

Sure, the cost of college can be daunting, but college fundraising is here to help you bridge the gap and make this happen. From what we’ve seen, friends and family welcome the opportunity to help students succeed. Your college crowdfunding fundraiser page gives people a way to support you emotionally and financially. If you need help offsetting high college costs, launch a free college fundraiser today.

Start a college fundraiser