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Most students working this summer but earnings won't cover school costs:CIBC

TORONTO - While most Canadian students are working this summer, most of them won't make enough money to cover their college or university costs.

That's according to a new study by CIBC, which estimates that 65 per cent of college or university students currently have a paying summer job, and that most plan to spend their earnings on school.

But among those who responded to a Leger online poll conducted for the bank, 73 per cent said they will need to work during the upcoming year to support their university or college expenses.

Of the 500 people who took part in the poll, a majority of the students who are working this summer expected to earn between $1,001 and $5,000, and about one-quarter expected to earn between $5,001 and $10,000.

The poll found that 45 per cent of the students were making $11 per hour or less, and 60 per cent were working part-time hours.

Another 20 per cent of those surveyed said they had been looking for summer work but were unable to find anything, as well as 10 per cent not working for the summer and five per cent who are working at a volunteer or unpaid position.

"The reality is that many students rely on their summer earnings to help pay for their college and university education," says Christina Kramer, executive vice president of retail and business banking at CIBC.

"Given the cost of post-secondary education, as well as all the other expenses students have, they will need to watch their spending carefully so they can stretch those summer dollars as far as possible."

Kramer says it's crucial for students to create and stick to a realistic budget while working in the summer to make it easier to manage expenses once back at school.

She also suggest tracking transactions and balances in real time, or using one of the many online tools available to set a budget limit on each spending category on their credit card. That allows them to be notified by phone, email or online message when they go above the customized budget.

Banks also tend to offer accounts for students with free unlimited banking transaction fees and no monthly fees.

The CIBC report is based on an online survey of 500 Canadian university or college students, conducted between July 11 and 17. The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.

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