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Post-Secondary Students Confident In Financial Knowledge: RBC Poll

Students living at home and away have different expectations when it comes to debt and managing finances

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The majority of post-secondary students (64 per cent) plan to live away from home while attending school this fall, despite expecting the cost to be about 50 per cent higher than those living at home, according to the 2013 RBC Student Finances Poll. Of those students living away, more than eight-in-ten (83 per cent) are confident in their ability to manage their finances.

"For many students, post-secondary school is the first time that they are responsible for managing their own expenses," said Melissa Jarman, director, Student Banking, RBC. "Armed with a budget and an interest in learning, many of these students are gaining a strong foundation out of the gates that can have a significant impact on their financial future. Good financial habits should be as important as study habits for post-secondary students."

Despite confidence in their ability, almost eight-in-10 (78 per cent) students living at home say that they still have "a lot to learn" when it comes to managing finances, with 36 per cent of them assuming that their parents will take care of their financial needs. Only 25 per cent of those living away from home make that same assumption about their parents.

While students who live away expect to take on 40 per cent more debt than their peers who live at home ( $30,800 compared to $22,000), the RBC poll finds that both groups expect to pay back debt in a similar timeframe. Those who live away expect to take 4.8 years to pay back their debt, while those who live at home expect to take 4.2 years.

"Whether you live at home or away, setting financial goals and sticking to them is important," added Jarman. "The results from this poll highlight the fact that students want to take responsibility for their financial health and are looking to their trusted sources, including their parents, for guidance."

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