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BMO 2012 Student Poll-Students Financing Their Own Higher Education

Report reveals multiple sources of funding: jobs, student savings, parents/family, loans, scholarships



TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2012) - With classes now underway in the new school year, a poll from BMO Bank of Montreal revealed that two-thirds of students have been working and that the top source of funding to cover tuition and expenses for post-secondary education is the money students have earned and saved themselves.

The total cost for a post-secondary education - according to research from the Federal government, including tuition, school supplies, housing and other expenses - amounts to an average of $14,500 a year.

The BMO 2012 Student Poll, conducted by Pollara, showed the multiple sources of funding to help cover the costs:

  • Two-thirds (67 per cent) of post-secondary students have been working; paying for school is the number one reason to have a job
  • For nearly two-thirds of students (62 per cent), the money they've saved is the top source of funding for school
  • Just over half (52 per cent) receive funding from parents or family, and 49 per cent rely on student loans
  • Nearly half (45 per cent) of post-secondary students receive funding from scholarships and bursaries

Students with Jobs

The student study also revealed:

  • One-quarter (23 per cent) are working full-time, while 43 per cent are working part-time
  • Students with jobs are working to pay for school (75 per cent), have spending money (65 per cent), get work experience for future employment (61 per cent) or pay down debt (22 per cent)
  • Regionally, student employment rates are highest in the Prairies (81 per cent), Alberta (79 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (78 per cent)

"Attending university or college is a hefty investment, so it's essential that students and parents are on the same page for funding a post-secondary education," said Su McVey, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Leveraging Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) - to which both parents and grandparents can contribute - can help pay for tuition. Beyond that, parents and students need to work together to establish a comprehensive budget ahead of the school year to manage ongoing expenses."

Anyone, including grandparents, can invest in a child's future by opening up or adding to an RESP, an account designed to put aside funds for a post-secondary education. Amounts invested in an RESP, will grow over time through compounding interest and the funds provided by the Canada Education Savings Grant. For example, investing $200 per year from the time your child is born until the age of 18, he/she could have up to $11,000 saved for his/her post-secondary education.

Ms. McVey added that students should make use of online resources available to them, such as the BMO Student Budget Calculator - a free tool available on BMO.com that allows students to create a budget for the school year. In addition, BMO Online Banking's BMO MoneyLogic financial management tool can help students stay on top of their budget with customized spending and savings goals.

BMO offers a free* banking option to students, and is the only bank to extend this offer by a year for graduating students. A BMO Student Line of Credit, which charges interest only on what is actually borrowed, allows students to use as little or as much as needed up to their approved credit limit. In addition, students can make interest-only payments while in school and up to one year after graduation.

To learn more about how BMO can help make student life more affordable, both during school and after graduation, stop by a BMO branch today or visit here for more details.

The Pollara online survey was completed between July 19 and July 26, 2012, with a sample of 1018 post-secondary students. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

* Applies to the Kids, Teens and Students Discount Programs in the Plus Plan when a Primary Chequing or Premium Rate Savings account is opened. Recent Post-Secondary School Graduates are eligible for one year of free banking under the Student Discount Program. Customer is responsible for all the fees of any transactions, services and products not included in the Everyday Banking Plan.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Media Contacts:
Jessica Park, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
jessica1.park@bmo.com

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com
Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia (FAX)