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- TD Canada Trust Education and Finances Survey reveals only 27% relying on RESPs to fund school -


TORONTO, Aug. 24 /CNW/ - With the cost of an undergraduate degree currently estimated at $80,000*, it is essential for parents to start saving early for their children's future post-secondary education. The recent TD Canada Trust Education and Finances Survey showed that many of today's students are having a tough time managing financially - and it is taking its toll. Twenty-one per cent of post-secondary students report being stressed about their finances, saying that they continually feel like they do not have enough money. Another 36% are anxious, saying that they should be able to manage, but it will be a challenge.

"Our research revealed that only 27% of students can depend on RESPs to help fund the costs of their education, which reveals a significant lost opportunity," says Carrie Russell, Senior Vice President, TD Canada Trust. "RESPs are an unbeatable way to finance post-secondary education - they benefit from the Canada Education Savings Grant, they allow for tax-sheltered growth and they can be used for tuition at universities, colleges, trade and technical schools. If you are a parent with young children, open an RESP now - it is an excellent investment in your kids' future."

The TD Canada Trust Education and Finances Survey, which looked at the attitudes and behaviours of Canadian post-secondary students, revealed that 41% of students are spending more money than they save. Not surprisingly, most students anticipate they will be in debt when they graduate: 69% of students project they will graduate with some debt with 17% saying their debt will be in excess of $25,000.

"Amassing enough money for post-secondary education can be a challenge, but it is much more economical to save ahead than to borrow at the last minute," says Russell. "That said, if students are heading to school in the near future and have not put away enough, they should pursue all potential avenues available, such as a part-time job, scholarships, bursaries and assistantships."

How are students financing their education?

Parents are helping their children with the costs of post-secondary education, but only in part. Sixty per cent of respondents say that their parents pay for a quarter or less of their expenses and only 10% say that their parents pay for 75% or more.

Twenty-seven per cent are relying on RESPs to help finance their education, and 44% plan to rely on student loans or lines of credit.

"If students have explored other options, such as part-time jobs and scholarship programs, but still cannot get ahead, they should talk to their bank about student financing options. These are specifically structured for students and generally have more flexible and generous financial terms than standard loans or lines of credit."

Student income

Seventy per cent of students are working during the summer with the majority of those students earning between $2,500 and $7,499 (60%). Half (49%) will use the money to pay for their education, but only one-quarter (24%) say it will cover all of their expenses.

To fill in the gaps during the year, many students have part-time jobs (36%), take out student loans (26%) or borrow from their parents (18%). Only 8% rely on their savings and another 6% rely on scholarships.

Surprisingly, among students borrowing from their parents, 41% say that they are expected to pay them back. Another 43% say they won't have to pay their parents back and 16% haven't yet broached the subject with their parents.

Financial expectations after graduation

Will the long years at school pay off? The majority of students (62%) expect a starting salary of less than $50,000. Only 13% have loftier expectations, hoping to make more than $60,000. Another 17% don't know what to expect their starting salary to be.

Although 57% of students are anxious or stressed about their finances for school, 37% of students believe that they will be rich some day. The definition of rich varies; three-in-ten define "rich" as having more than $1 million in the bank, but 60% say that they will be rich by having less than $1 million.

Online resources available for students from TD Canada Trust

TD Canada Trust offers a variety of online resources for students and recent graduates such as TD Money Lounge on Facebook ( TD Money Lounge discusses the financial side of student life and offers information about banking products and services for students, contests, giveaways, and helpful advice. As well, follow TD Canada Trust on Twitter at For more information about student banking at TD Canada Trust visit

About the TD Canada Trust Back to School Offer

From now until October 1, 2010, students will receive $50 if they sign up for the TD Canada Trust Student Bundle. The bundle includes a no-monthly fee Value Plus Account for Students, a TD Canada Trust Credit Card and one of the following: sign up for the Simply Save program or complete 2 bill payments via EasyWeb, EasyLine or ABM by October 31, 2010.

About the TD Canada Trust Education and Finances Survey

The TD Canada Trust Education and Finances Survey is a national survey of 1,001 adults aged 18-24 who are currently enrolled, plan to be enrolled or were previously enrolled in the past two years in post-secondary education. This data was collected by Environics Research between July 13-23, 2010.

About TD Bank Financial Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 18 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$574 billion in assets on April 30, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

* In 2009, the cost of a four-year undergraduate degree was more than $80,000 for students living away from home, according to TD Economics.

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