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Financial Planning

The pursuit of higher education comes with its costs, but we’re here to remind you there are financial aid, supports and resources that can help offset some of those costs.

We know every student is unique and has their own life circumstances, and so has different financial needs from their peers. You may already know the differences between scholarships, awards, bursaries and loans—and if you don’t, then you’ve come to the right place—but these options are only one part of the whole equation. Have you ever explored supplemental sources of income for students? Or tried calculating an estimate of your costs per term, to help you budget for the school year? This is the place to start.

We'll guide you through the financial paths you can take on your educational journey!

Our financial aids and supports

Learn about the different financial aid and support options you'll have access to at SFU. Go

Your income opportunities

Explore ways to finance your education with income opportunities through SFU. Go

Know your costs

Understand the differences between the fixed and variable costs you'll typically incur. Go

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Our financial aid and supports

Learn about the different financial aid and support options you'll have access to at SFU. Go

Your income opportunities

Explore ways to finance your education with income opportunities through SFU. Go

Know your costs

Understand the differences between the fixed and variable costs you'll typically incur. Go

 

Undergraduate cost calculator

Punch in some numbers in our calculator to determine an estimate of your costs and to budget your term. Go

Speak to an Advisor

Connect with a Financial Aid Advisor over the phone, or schedule a 30-minute in-person or remote advising session with them. Go

 

Undergraduate cost calculator

Punch in some numbers in our calculator to determine an estimate of your costs and to budget your term. Go

Speak to an Advisor

Connect with a Financial Aid Advisor over the phone, or schedule a 30-minute in-person or remote advising session with them. Go

Our Financial Aid and Supports

You can find opportunities to fund your education through a variety of scholarships, awards and bursaries available to all eligible SFU students. Different financial resources have different eligibility requirements, so take some time to explore your options below!

Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded to students in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements and are available to Canadian and international students.

Learn more

Awards

Awards are given to students in recognition of their leadership, social or athletic achievements, or contributions and involvement in the community; awards are available to Canadian and international students.

Learn more

Bursaries

Bursaries provide funding to students with demonstrated financial need and are available to Canadian and international students.

Learn more

STUDENT LOANS & GRANTS

Students enrolled in eligible programs can apply to a variety of government assistance, including student loans and grants (non-repayable funding).

Learn more

Canadian Indigenous Students

Additional financial assistance opportunities are available to students who identify as "Indigenous peoples of Canada" (specifically to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples).

Learn more

Students with Disabilities

Students with a disability may be eligible for additional grants and/or bursaries available through the federal and provincial governments.

Learn more

Did you know?

OPEN SCHOLARSHIPS FOR CURRENT STUDENTS

Each term, the Undergraduate Open Scholarship recognizes and supports undergraduate students who are highly qualified academically. No application is required—all current students are eligible!

Learn more

ENTRANCE AID FOR FUTURE STUDENTS

Entrance scholarships, entrance awards and entrance bursaries all support new undergraduate students entering SFU. Each type of aid recognizes different achievements or needs, with varying levels of academic requirements. Find out which ones you’re eligible for!

Learn more

FIND YOUR FINANCIAL AID AND AWARDS FUNDING

There are over 728 undergraduate scholarships, awards and bursaries found in our Financial Aid and Awards Database!

Want to know exactly which of SFU’s financial aid and supports you’re eligible for? Narrow down your search using different criteria:

  • Type of assistance
  • Faculty
  • Term awarded
  • Citizenship status
  • Recipient (e.g. Indigenous, mature students, etc.)

Search for Financial Aid

FIND YOUR FINANCIAL AID

There are over 728 undergraduate scholarships, awards and bursaries found in our financial aid database!

Want to know exactly which of SFU’s financial aids and supports you’re eligible for? Narrow down your search using different criteria:

  • Type of assistance
  • Faculty
  • Term of study
  • Citizenship status
  • Recipient (e.g. Indigenous, mature students, etc.)

Search for Financial Aid

Your Income Opportunities

Paid opportunities on campus or through Co-op can earn you supplemental income that you can use towards funding your education or necessities in your lifestyle. They’re also ways to gain valuable experience and make connections across the SFU community.

Work-Study

The Work-Study Program gives students with financial needs the opportunity to work in their field and participate in research-based projects that are offered part-time and on-campus.

Learn more

Co-Op

Co-operative Education integrates academic study with relevant, work experience in the field, such as business, industry, government, not-for-profit and community-based organizations.

Learn more

Jobs on Campus

Various opportunities are offered on campus, from teaching and research assistant positions to producing for SFU’s media platforms, to retail positions at the SFU Bookstore or around UniverCity, to name a few.

Learn more

Know Your Costs

Budgeting is an essential, yet often-overlooked step in a student’s educational journeys. To properly budget for expenses as an undergraduate student, you should consider of the various costs you might incur during your university years.

We suggest you take a few moments to think about the most obvious—and not so obvious—costs in your daily life before you start using the budget calculator in the next section.

Fixed costs vs variable costs—what's the difference?

Fixed costs are expenses that don’t change very often. But when they do, it usually happens over time due to inflation or other economic factors beyond your control. With that in mind, you can more or less expect to pay the same amount month-by-month or term-by-term over the next year or two. Compared to variable costs, you can think of fixed costs as somewhat “non-negotiable” in terms of how they fit in your life as a student.

Examples of your fixed costs:

  • Tuition – Varies with your program of study and department, plus the number of courses you take that term.
  • Student fees – e.g. Student Services, Student Activity, Recreation-Athletics fees
  • Housing – e.g. off-campus rent or SFU Residence fees (plus meal plan), renter's insurance
  • Fixed utilities – e.g. mobile, internet, cable TV or streaming services
  • Fixed transportation – e.g. transit fares (including U-Pass or monthly passes), parking pass, car insurance

Variable costs are expenses that can vary each month, and depending on your personal consumption for that period, can go up or down with less predictability. It’s easy for anyone to underestimate the money spent here and there, but it can quickly add up. The good news is, with proper budgeting and sticking to a financial game plan, you can not only predict but also cover these costs.

Examples of your variable costs:

  • Textbooks + school supplies – This varies with each course; plus, the number of courses you take that term.
  • Documents - e.g. student visa, study permit, travel insurance, English language proficiency tests and other documentation
  • Variable utilities – e.g. gas, heat, electricity or hydro
  • Food – e.g. groceries, dining out, meal subscriptions, delivery app fees
  • Health + wellbeing – e.g. gym memberships and fitness classes, mental health care, personal care
  • Transportation – e.g. gas, car maintenance and repairs, bike tune-ups
  • Shopping – e.g. clothing, electronics, furniture and houseware, gifts
  • Entertainment – e.g. social activities, events
  • Travel – e.g. ticket fares, accommodation, tour package fees
  • Pets – e.g. food, pet care, vet visits, pet insurance

As you can see, variable costs cover all areas of your life; some are essential to your health and wellbeing, including food, while many others fall under “wants” or “nice-to-haves” rather than “needs”. Considering all your fixed and variable costs together, try to think about the things you can and can’t do without when budgeting for your undergraduate studies.

Food for thought

Food security is a real concern for many university students, since food and grocery expenses can quickly add up. Take advantage of these on-campus resources to alleviate some of your food-related costs:

  • SFSS Food Bank Program
    The food bank program gives food bank vouchers redeemable at certain locations to students in need, once per term.
  • Embark Sustainability's Food Rescue
    The Food Rescue program champions food justice and reduction of food waste by redistributing items to SFU students for free or by donation.
  • SFU Food Pantry
    The pantry is a food bank for students in need of emergency food and hygiene supplies, made possible through a network of local charities across the Lower Mainland.
  • SFU Community Free Fridge
    The Free Fridge is a low-barrier and nonjudgmental way for you to access food and reduce food waste. Think of those little free libraries you see around town—but with food!
  • SFU Student Meal Plans
    Meal plans offer a convenient and cost-effective way for you to get fresh meals daily, with a variety of plans to suit your dietary needs. Did we mention it’s all-you-can-eat?

Undergraduate Cost Calculator

Now that you’ve had some time to think about your fixed and variable costs, it’s time to crunch in some numbers! Remember, this undergraduate cost calculator only provides an estimate of your expenses per term and isn’t meant to compute exact figures down to the cent. Take your time to fill in your answers—the more information you provide, the more representative the results will be of your expenses in reality.

Use this as a starting point in managing your financial expectations, as you plan your undergraduate studies at SFU.

Calculate Your Tuition

I am a/an...


Will you be taking courses and/or doing co-op this term?

Note: A typical course = 3 units

Calculate your Living Costs

This includes your rent or SFU Residences fees, utilities, etc. Single occupancy rooms in Residence range from $3,200 to $3,800 per term ($800 to $950 per month). $
This includes your groceries, dining out and/or Dining Hall meal plans for students living in Residence. Meal plans range from $2,500 to $3,000 per term ($625 to $750 per month). $
Include your other fixed or variable costs not already covered, to get a more accurate estimate.



+ Add other monthly expenses (for example: internet fee, transportation, etc.)

Did you know?

One option available to students facing financial difficulty during university is the Tuition Payment Plan. Your account will be considered in financially good standing for the term signed up, and 2% monthly interest will be applied to the outstanding balance.

Read more

TIP #1: 

Think about some of the examples of fixed and variable costs in the section listed above to paint a more representative picture of your expenses per term.

TIP #2: 

Don't forget to look for student pricing when signing up for video or music streaming services, or student discounts when attending events or buying apps/software and computer equipment. Student banking services and credit cards also exist, so do a bit of research when shopping around for anything!

TIP #3: 

As an SFU student, you have access to many on-campus services and supports for your personal wellbeing at no extra cost, such as the Rec Centre and Health & Counselling. For your academic wellbeing, check out the Student Learning Commons!

Speak to a Financial Aid and Awards Advisor


Call or Email Us

SFU's Financial Aid and Awards Advisors can respond to your questions about government-issued student financial assistance, as well as questions you may have about SFU-based bursaries, scholarships, awards and other funding opportunities. For inquiries:

  • Call us at 778 782 6930 from Monday to Friday, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm and 1:30 - 3:30 pm
  • Email us at fiassist@sfu.ca

You can also schedule an appointment with one of our Advisors for a more in-depth advising session.


Schedule a 30-minute advising appointment

If you're a current student and have an SFU computing ID, sign in through Advisor Link to book an in-person or virtual advising session with an Advisor from your success team.

Sign in to Advisor Link

If you're a future SFU student, we can book you in for an in-person or virtual advising session with a Financial Aid and Awards Advisor by filling out a quick form.

Request an appointment