Friday, May 10, 2013

How to earn, save and pay your way through college!

As an Ambassador in Humber’s International Centre I often got calls from potential students asking about the cost of studying at our college. While Humber offers one of the most competitive tuition fees, the heavy price tag of studying abroad is sometimes daunting for those with only nickels at the end of their purse strings.

“Uh…how much did you say?”

(Long, awkward pause…) *I hope he didn’t pass out.

 “Ummm, o.k. thank you.”

Studying overseas is always something you have to plan for. Being International means you have to pay full tuition fees, which today, could run you over $13,000 or more per academic year. But there are benefits to studying abroad. A recent American survey showed that students who studied overseas were more likely to land a better a job quite sooner than the average graduate!

So, before throwing in the towel (or throwing out your dreams for that matter), consider these options:

Humber’s Entrance Scholarship:

Humber College offers international scholarships ranging from $1,500 to full tuition (renewable) scholarships each year. These are offered to three (3) first time applicants with demonstrated excellence in academics and community involvement. To find out more about these scholarships visit our website at:

Loan from are relative, friend or a lending institution:
Families and friends are also great resources for getting that extra buck you need-especially if you don’t qualify for a loan from a formal lending institution. Approach this as a business venture. Provide them with a payment plan outlining your expenses; including how and when you plan to repay the loan. And, remember to honour your promise-you never want to be the “he’s-never-getting-another-red-cent-from-me” fugitive…uh, relative that everyone avoids (or hunts)!

Charity/Scholarship Organizations/Alumni Groups:
Research possible scholarship or charity organizations (or alumni groups) affiliated with your country on- line.  The National Institute of Jamaican-Canadians (NIJC) is particularly helpful to Jamaican students in need while there are countless other organizations for international students from other countries. So Google away!
Work on (or off) campus:
All international students are eligible to work on campus while in Canada. Although you’re paid minimum wage (approximately $10 per hour), this can go a long way in closing the gap between expenses.  You can visit the college’s career website at for available job postings or view Canadian jobs on

Create a College Fund
Create your own college fund; the earlier you start the more likely you are to meet your target. In your monthly budget, include a sizable chunk for your future college tuition (once your immediate and essential costs have been covered). Keep your expenses at their minimum. It’s a tremendous sacrifice but it will be worth it in the long run; you’ll be one step closer to becoming a Humber graduate!

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