When it comes to planning how you will finance your legal education, it is important to think ahead! Preparing a realistic budget early on will help you feel more prepared and ease some of your financial concerns.
Although your circumstances will likely change during your time in law school, we recommend giving thought to all three years early on, and making adjustments annually as you have a better picture of your actual personal and financial situation.
Estimated Budget for Academic Year
|Basic Expenses – Single Student||On Campus (Osgoode Chambers)||Off Campus (Not at Home)||Off Campus (At Home with Parents)|
|Books and Supplies||$900||$900||$900|
|Rent (including utilities)||$7,328||$10,920||$0|
|Basic Cable ($45/month)||$360||$360||$0|
|Internet (free wireless access in Osgoode Chambers)||$0||$480||$0|
|Food (estimated at $328/month for renters, and $164/month for students living at home)||$2,625||$2,625||$1,313|
|Health and Dental Plan||$255||$255||$255|
|Transportation (Student TTC Pass, plus other transit)||$896||$896||$896|
|Other Costs: (personal care, clothing, interest payments, travel home, entertainment, estimated at $350/month)||$2,800||$2,800||$2,800|
|TOTAL BASIC COSTS||$41,737.40||$45,809.40||$32,737.40|
Expenses will vary from student to student, especially for those with dependents and other unique personal circumstances, so we encourage you to use this as a rough guide only.
- Separate your needs from your wants – Give careful consideration to what are necessary expenditures and what you could do without. For example:
- Could you share accommodation, or live with family to reduce costs?
- Do you need a car or could you depend on public transportation?
- Might you bring your lunch to school and avoid dining at restaurants?
- Do you shop wisely and take advantage of lower prices and sales?
- Consider all available resources – Be sure to exhaust all available sources of financial support. Reviewing the information on our How to Fund Law School page is a good first step!
- Be realistic – There’s no point in downplaying expenses. Although it may seem daunting to list all of your expected expenses for the next three years, being honest and accurate will help you to prepare a realistic plan.
- Take advantage of financial help – It is a great idea to speak with professionals at your local financial institution to help you plan your finances. The Office of Student Financial Services is also happy to meet with you to discuss your budget.
- Review and revise your budget regularly – As you move through law school, your situation will no doubt change. Make sure to review your budget regularly to account for new or changed expenses, new sources of income or other resources (summer employment, bursary or scholarship funding etc.) and changes in your personal and family circumstances.