Planning your finances

Planning your finances

If you don’t have a financial plan for your first year of university, now is a good time to think about money management. There are a lot of things to factor in, and you might be surprised to see how quickly it all adds up.

Your costs as a university student

As a university student, you’ll be responsible for paying tuition and student fees. If you’re applying for on-campus housing, you’ll need to include housing fees in your budget. You’re probably going to want to eat, so factor in your meal plan. If you’re going to be living off campus, you’ll need to consider your weekly groceries and rent (and remember that it needs to be paid on time). And let’s not forget all of the miscellaneous expenses such as clothing, entertainment, and your various monthly bills.

It can seem overwhelming, but UBC’s cost calculator can help you get a handle on what your money situation will look like.

Let us help you

If things still don’t make sense, contact your ESP, who will be more than happy to sit down and help you create a realistic budget for the year.

Financial planning and student loans

Financial planning and student loans

University is a costly endeavour, there’s no doubt about that. There’s tuition, books, residence fees or rent, food, monthly bills, clothing, entertainment – the list goes on. Coming up with a financial plan to manage these costs is an important first step, and UBC can help you with that.

Student loans

Sometimes, you need a little bit of extra help. If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may want to consider a student loan. The benefit to this program is that the government will pay the interest on your loan as long as you’re a full-time student. You will not be required to begin repaying it until six months after graduating (or ceasing to be a full-time student).

BC students can now apply for a loan for the 2017/18 academic year online through StudentAidBC. Students coming from another province can apply through your provincial lender. If you’re a US citizen, you’re eligible to apply for a Direct Loan. It usually takes a while for loan applications to be processed, which is why we recommend that you apply at least six weeks before the term starts to ensure your funding is available for the start of term.

Applying for a student loan is also part of the process of applying for a UBC bursary. This program is meant to help cover any unmet need if your student loan wasn’t enough. Please keep in mind that your student loan must be confirmed by September 15, so we recommend that apply for your loan by July 15.

Contact UBC for help planning your finances

There’s a lot of detail here, so if you have any questions about some of the financial aid opportunities available, please contact an Enrolment Services Professional (ESP) on the Vancouver campus. On the Okanagan campus, please email Student Services and Financial Support or call 250.807.9100.

Pay fees in the currency of your choice

Pay fees in the currency of your choice

Once you’ve accepted your offer of admission, you can pay your deposit, student fees, residence fees, and meal plan fees in the currency of your choice using international funds transfer. Through our partnership with Western Union Business Solutions, you can quickly and easily pay your education costs online, in your own currency.

Western Union Business Solutions will secure your exchange rate in advance and transfer your funds locally, so you don’t have to worry about currency fluctuations or international wire fees. Once you send your funds from your local bank, they will be credited to your UBC Student Service Centre (SSC) account in Canadian dollars within two to five business days. As you prepare to pay fees for the upcoming Winter Session, we recommend you consider paying by International Funds Transfer to take advantage of:

  • A locked-in exchange rate for 72 hours
  • No additional transaction charges from Western Union Business Solutions or UBC (though you may be charged a transaction fee by your bank)
  • Paying UBC fees in your own currency from a foreign bank account which will then be converted to Canadian dollars

Pay your deposit by international funds transfer

  1. Log into to your SSC account and select Financial Summary.
  2. Select the fees you want to pay.
  3. Select the international funds transfer payment method (by selecting the small Western Union icon).
  4. Western Union Business Solutions will contact you and provide you with a quote with an exchange rate valid for 72 hours.
  5. Follow the instructions provided directly to you by Western Union Business Solutions to make your payment before the quoted rate expires.
  6. Allow at least three business days for the funds to transfer into your SSC account before your fee payment deadline.

Pay your deposit with Interac or credit card

You may pay your acceptance deposit with Interac or credit card. Please keep in mind that UBC no longer accepts credit card payments for international tuition, housing, or meal plans, so you will need to plan ahead to make alternate arrangements for these fees.

Pay with Higher Ed Points

HigherEdPoints allow you to apply TD and Aeroplan reward points toward your tuition and fees. Sign up with HigherEdPoints and follow the steps for your loyalty program. You can find detailed information and instructions at

For more information

For general tuition inquiries, please contact an Enrolment Services Professional (ESP) on the Vancouver campus. On the Okanagan campus, please email Student Services and Financial Support at or call 250.807.9100. For questions about International Funds Transfer, please contact Western Union Business Solutions directly at or toll free at 1.877.218.8829.

Accept your offer of admission

If you have received an offer of admission, you must formally accept it by June 1.