Money Talks

Posted by Sam on November 26, 2015


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This past Tuesday, York University’s Student Financial Services team commandeered the Vari Hall Rotunda for the first ever Financial Literacy Fair on our campus. The event, which also featured outside experts on student money matters, aimed at assisting students with their questions about financial aid, scholarships and general financial health.

Just in case you weren’t able to go see for yourself, we asked Karen Warner, York’s Manager of Scholarships & Bursaries, if she could provide her top three financial tips for students. Here’s what she had to say:

To recap:

  • Begin applying for scholarships and OSAP as soon as you can.
    • Lucky for me, a blogger colleague, Jamila, already posted on the topic. Take a look to get the inside scoop.
    • Speaking from personal experience, I can say that you’d be surprised at what you can achieve in terms of scholarships and grants by simply taking two minutes to submit a Student Financial Profile.
  • Know your dates.
    • That post I mentioned a couple of seconds ago on student awards? Go back to it. Jamila, being the kind soul that she is, also covered the topic of timeliness. It’s definitely worth a read . . . . There’s nothing worse than applying for a necessary student loan only to find out you missed the deadline, or having to pay for a course you decided to drop because you didn’t do so on time. I have a friend who had to postpone the beginning of his undergraduate studies because he did not submit the required documents by the due date.
  • Create a budget for yourself.
    • Understanding what you’re able to spend on a monthly, or even weekly, basis can significantly help extend your funds. Know what you have, and keep tabs on what you spend where.
    • Whether you do your own groceries instead of eating out all the time (or maybe just limiting yourself to one or two bought meals a week) or take public transit instead of paying for gas, it’s the little things that make a big difference.
    • My superstar blogging cohort Megan in the summer created a number of valuable posts on student financial matters. Hear her cover the basics of financing university, give you pro tips on creating a personal budget and make some suggestions for all you international readers of the YU Blog.
  • Be aware (personal note)
    • This one ties in with all the other tips here, and it seems fairly obvious, but you can avoid so much trouble by simply being aware of your financial situation.
    • Whether it is knowing your account balance, deciding whether or not you should opt out of York’s automatic health insurance (if you’re already covered under your parent’s health plan, for example) or understanding that interest builds on your tuition every time you are late in making the minimum payment, make sure you have a general grip on your finances. That is the best advice I can offer after four years of being a student here at York.

Do you have any financial advice you would like to give your fellow Lions? Comment below, or tweet us at @YorkUStudents.


Sam recently graduated with an Honours BA in Communications.

See other posts by Sam