Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Post 32: Making Finances Easier: The Graduate Student Tuition Income Offset Plan

I didn't hear about this until last year, I think, when I somewhere along the way stumbled upon the Graduate Student Tuition Income Offset Plan. Essentially, you can arrange to have your tuition payments paid in 4 equal payments over a semester, for an entire year (3 semesters), instead of having to pay your tuition in one giant schwack right at the beginning of each term. It only costs 25$ to set up the payments, and requires one void cheque (unless you know your financial institution information).

According to the form, it's "intended to better align... to the receipt of fellowship and employment income" that many grads get. I'll agree with this, and say that I found my finances a lot better to plan knowing what my regular monthly payments would be, and when they would be taken out of my account.
For our dose of local plants and colour: Gorse (Ulex europaeus), which smells so divinely like coconut! 

Now, I know that I read somewhere, some student financial advice that doing the monthly budgeting is smarter financial planning but can't for the life of me find that any more (didn't think at that point earlier in the summer that I would be posting about this, apologies), but making the monthly payments is a bit better, says someone out there! :)

You can start in any of UVic's three semesters, though the dates very according to the term. Make sure to get this form in by September 15th for this semester; for January, it's also the 15th; or for the summer semester on May 15th. All coverage would go until the end of August. And, as I've found out from this year, you renew the form and again pay the 25$ to set it up for another year.

Hope this helps!

Updated note: I should also mention that very very helpfully my department sent out an email the day before I wrote this post, which I hadn't noticed because I hadn't opened it yet, but I'm glad that they did send it out! As grad students, we should definitely know about these kinds of helpful resources, and I'm grateful that my department is helping to raise awareness about them.

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