Kids in college/university

Mendalla

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Well, as discussed in Room for All a couple times, I'm about to see my boy off to university this coming Autumn. He has decided on University of Ottawa and has officially accepted their admission and residence offers. That means he'll be moving about a six hour drive away from us (and he has checked and says its about eight by bus or train).

So, I figured I'd get a thread rolling on being the parents (or grandparents, or whatever) of college kids. We can discuss the cost of education, what to expect, how to help them from hundreds or thousands of km away, hot tips, and so on. Both current university parents and those who've been there, done that are welcome (and, of course, those still not quite there, yet).
 

Mendalla

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So I've been reading over the CRA student guide and I see they've cancelled the Education Amount (which goes back to at least my time) and Textbook Amount (which was fairly new, IIRC). Makes things simpler when he does (or, more likely, I do) his return but also means fewer deductions for students and parents. You need to be a bloody accountant to figure out some of this stuff, though.
 

Jae

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Well, as discussed in Room for All a couple times, I'm about to see my boy off to university this coming Autumn. He has decided on University of Ottawa and has officially accepted their admission and residence offers. That means he'll be moving about a six hour drive away from us (and he has checked and says its about eight by bus or train).

So, I figured I'd get a thread rolling on being the parents (or grandparents, or whatever) of college kids. We can discuss the cost of education, what to expect, how to help them from hundreds or thousands of km away, hot tips, and so on. Both current university parents and those who've been there, done that are welcome (and, of course, those still not quite there, yet).
My middle son went to Sault College in Sault Ste Marie for Auto Mechanics. He's now working at a tire shop here in Etobicoke. My ward is in grade 10. He wants to go to university eventually, however isn't quite sure yet to which or for what. I'm personally in seminary, expecting to graduate next spring.
 

BetteTheRed

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My adult daughter is planning to start Civil Engineering Technology at Georgian this fall. Nice thing is that she's already done the dumb stuff, happy enough to have a cheap place to live.
 

Carolla

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One thing we learned, is that if you have RESP funds it can be helpful to withdraw it all & save/invest so you can use it as needed. If they change programmes, move to part time etc. there can be issues with accessing RESP funds & lots of paperwork to do.
 

Carolla

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Amazon.ca is your friend (I also like well.ca). You can order stuff they may need or want, and have it sent directly to them. Usually a better deal than purchasing locally & mailing it.

We shipped stuff to BC using the bus - much less expensive than mailing big boxes. But presumably he'll be home for Xmas etc. so you won't need to worry about that stuff :)
 

Mendalla

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Amazon.ca is your friend (I also like well.ca). You can order stuff they may need or want, and have it sent directly to them. Usually a better deal than purchasing locally & mailing it.

We shipped stuff to BC using the bus - much less expensive than mailing big boxes. But presumably he'll be home for Xmas etc. so you won't need to worry about that stuff :)
Actually, my neighbour's son-in-law (I was chatting with them the other night after my neighbour helped me take down some dead bushes), whose son went to college in Edmonton, did much the same thing with Costco (and we do have a membership). But Amazon is a good option, too.

One thing we learned, is that if you have RESP funds it can be helpful to withdraw it all & save/invest so you can use it as needed. If they change programmes, move to part time etc. there can be issues with accessing RESP funds & lots of paperwork to do.
Interesting approach. There's a limit of $5000 on the initial withdrawal of the EAP (government grant + accumulated investment income) so did you wait until second semester or something?
 

Jae

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Amazon.ca is your friend (I also like well.ca). You can order stuff they may need or want, and have it sent directly to them. Usually a better deal than purchasing locally & mailing it.
Amazon.ca is also a great way to save on the cost of textbooks. I've saved a lot of money by purchasing as many as possible for Kindle. Then I can read them online, on my computer, on my phone, and on my Kindle device.
 

Mendalla

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Amazon.ca is also a great way to save on the cost of textbooks. I've saved a lot of money by purchasing as many as possible for Kindle. Then I can read them online, on my computer, on my phone, and on my Kindle device.
eBooks are likely shaking up the textbook industry. Most universities will buy back and resell textbooks, too, at least for courses where there isn't a new edition or a change in text.
 

Jae

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eBooks are likely shaking up the textbook industry. Most universities will buy back and resell textbooks, too, at least for courses where there isn't a new edition or a change in text.
In my experience, ebooks are the way to go. The Tyndale bookstore will buy some textbooks back, but overall using ebooks is still a better savings.
 

Pinga

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We bought a meal plan for first year, but being a healthy eater he preferred to cook his own.
 

Pinga

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The hardest part was when I knew he was struggling, primarily with one prof (not the subject). It seemed they were trying to get graduating numbers down. Hard to hear his frustration and recognize he was an adult and would get throughout. Made me sad as I knew of his struggling
 

Jae

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We bought a meal plan for first year, but being a healthy eater he preferred to cook his own.
Was it not possible for him to eat healthy using his meal plan? My school's meal plan offers plenty of healthy options.
 

revjohn

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Mendalla said:
So, I figured I'd get a thread rolling on being the parents (or grandparents, or whatever) of college kids. We can discuss the cost of education, what to expect, how to help them from hundreds or thousands of km away, hot tips, and so on. Both current university parents and those who've been there, done that are welcome (and, of course, those still not quite there, yet).


Oldest has no interest in University, might do a trades course if we can find one for him. He likes baking and would love to get back into a bakery again. Right now he is learning the tricks of Mary Brown's Chicken here in St. Anthony. They get him on the fryer once a week or so and he seems to be enjoying it.

The cutting chicken, not as much.

The dogs love when he comes home on those days smelling of blood. The hound, in particular, is very eager to check him over completely.

Middle child is our academic star, following in her mother's steps. Because of the collective agreement at Brock children and spouses of faculty get a tuition break after the faculty member has served a year. Grace had to pay for her first semester of tuition herself, we had an RESP which covered that and then the rest of her undergrad was free. She applied to the Master's program and it looks like she will apply to a Ph. D program after that.

Because of her academic achievement she was granted a scholarship for her Master's degree and she is pulling in some work as a TA which supplements the scholarship.

Youngest didn't really know what she wanted to do and so her time at University was without direction or even a lot of passion. She withdrew at the end of her second year. Courses that she did not pass she was required to reimburse Brock for cost of Tuition. She is now happily the mother of a 3 month old and quite enjoying that role.

Which doesn't come as a real shock.
 

Mendalla

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Because of the collective agreement at Brock children and spouses of faculty get a tuition break after the faculty member has served a year.


Western FA has a scholarship instead, which is usable at any institution. So even though he's not going to Mrs. M's school, he'll get some help from them.
 

ChemGal

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So I've been reading over the CRA student guide and I see they've cancelled the Education Amount (which goes back to at least my time) and Textbook Amount (which was fairly new, IIRC). Makes things simpler when he does (or, more likely, I do) his return but also means fewer deductions for students and parents. You need to be a bloody accountant to figure out some of this stuff, though.
Scholarships are non-taxable though. That changed while I was in university.
 

Carolla

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Interesting approach. There's a limit of $5000 on the initial withdrawal of the EAP (government grant + accumulated investment income) so did you wait until second semester or something?
I don't recall there being a limit at that time - it was quite a while ago. Or maybe I've just forgotten! With out oldest, I do know we took some out the first year & then when returning for the second withdrawal the next year there was an issue as she had changed programmes. So when our next went to school, we quickly just took it all out! Both our kids also had Cdn Scholarship Fund accounts set up by their grandfather shortly after they were born - my daughter was able to use hers, with difficulty too due to the programme change; son didn't get to use his because he went into a trade & his classroom stuff did not qualify under that programme.
 
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