How Am I Going to Pay for School?

Last week, I finished my second and last residency for school. (Hooray!) But if you imagined me putting on my cap and gown, think again. From now until July 2012, I have 8 more classes to complete, before I will be done my degree. And with each class comes a price tag.

On Friday, I made my third-to-last tuition payment of $705. On December 1 of this year, I have to pay another $1,410 and then I have to pay $1,410 again on March 1, 2012. While the dollar amounts may not sound like too much, try to imagine saving this kind of money when your credit cards are nearly maxed out. To say I have been stressing about it would be an understatement.

For the last month or two, I have seriously considered getting a second job. (Yes, most likely at Starbucks!) But the idea of working full-time, going to school part-time, and picking up a second part-time job. Well, if that sounds appealing to anyone, I might call you crazy!

Cue my good friend Krystal. Last week, she asked if any of her followers had ever used the Lifelong Learning Plan and it was like a light bulb had turned on. Hellooooo! Why haven’t I used the Lifelong Learning Plan yet!? The LLP allows you to withdraw money from your RRSPs to pay for school; it’s tax-free and all you have to do is repay it (back to yourself, that is) within 10 years.

As soon as I saw her tweet, I emailed my financial planner and setup an appointment to discuss it. I went to the bank for our appointment on Friday at 4pm, and by 4:15pm, I had signed the papers and was walking out the door. I am withdrawing ~$3,500 from my RRSPs for these final three tuition payments. Once I get the money, which should be within 7 business days, I’m going to make my final tuition payments.

And then that’s it! Other than textbooks, I will be done paying for school! And even though it has to be repaid within 10 years, I will have it paid back within 2-3. You can’t even imagine the weight that has been taken off of my shoulders. No more loans, no more worries. By mid-September, after giving my parents the $752 I still owe them, my university education will be completely paid for.

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