How do I use the Financial Planning Calculator?

The financial planning calculator is an exploratory tool that anyone can use, from high school students to family members to prospective and current U of T students in any program or division. Use it to plan your upcoming year and get a idea of what it costs to study at U of T so there are no surprises.

Before you begin, you should have a general idea of what you will be studying during the upcoming academic year and what your income and savings will be from all sources. This can include summer job savings, expected job earnings for the upcoming academic year or any financial assistance and awards you have received or expect to receive.

  1. To begin, go to the Financial Planning Calculator and click ‘Start Planning’.
  2. Provide background information by selecting options that currently apply to you, or if you are exploring your options, simply select which options you think apply to you. You can always change them later to see how your expenses will change. Click ‘Continue’ to proceed to the Estimated Expenses section.
  3. Estimate your various sources of income to the best of your ability. The more accurate your income estimates are, the more accurate our calculations and financial recommendations will be. If you have no income to enter for a particular field, you may leave it blank. If you want more information about what belongs in each expenses field, hover over (or tap, on a mobile device) the label you are curious about. Click ‘Continue’ to proceed to step 3.
  4. Based on the background information you provide, we calculate expense estimates for your upcoming academic year. We use educated estimates and calculated averages for many of these values, but feel free to change them to represent your individual situation more accurately. To see information about how each estimate was calculated, hover over (or tap) the label you are curious about. Click ‘Continue’ to proceed to the Summary page.
  5. On the Budget Summary page, you will see a graph displaying your income, expenses and a third bar indicating whether you are projected to be in a budget deficit or surplus.
  6. Below the graph you will find a list of personalized resources and next steps that you can take to find ways to save money or receive more financial support, depending on your situation. If you have a budget deficit, these resources will give you a few approaches to getting back on track.
  7. Want to see what it would cost to switch programs? Live away from home or on campus? Eat out at restaurants a little less and cook more? Use the “Jump to Step” menu to go back and change the information on the form.
  8. If you change any of your initial inputs, click ‘Recalculate Budget’ and you will be taken to the Budget Summary page with an updated budget summary and set of resources reflecting your changes.

If you have any comments on how you used this calculator or suggestions on how to improve it, please let us know via the “Send Feedback” button at the bottom of the calculator.


Where do the expenses in the Financial Planning Calculator come from?

The Financial Planning Calculator is meant to provide a quick way to approximate what the upcoming academic year will cost, so many of the expenses used are educated estimates or averaged values. Costs for off-campus housing, groceries, entertainment and personal care are estimated based on costs of living while studying at University, while tuition, on-campus housing, transportation and meal plan costs are calculated by drawing from more precise data provided by the University and current public transit prices.

What is the Financial Planning Calculator?

The Financial Planning Calculator is an online tool that will help you estimate what it will cost to attend the University of Toronto for one academic year. It will be coming to ACORN in the future, but at the moment it is a standalone publicly-available tool.

Who can use it? Anybody who wants to learn more about costs associated with attending U of T. This includes current U of T undergraduate, graduate and second-entry students, prospective students (high school and potential transfer students), parents, staff or guidance counsellors.

This is purely an exploratory planning tool for you to use; any information you enter will not be associated with you or your financial status at the University.

Read about how to use the Financial Planning Calculator, or watch this three-minute video.