Are you ready for post-secondary schooling costs?

Are you ready for post-secondary schooling costs?

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The thought of post-secondary education can be terrifying for parents. The idea of their children leaving the nest and becoming adults, coupled with the fear of the, potentially, enormous education bill makes any parent concerned. As we all know, the cost of post-secondary education increases annually. If your child is currently five, the cost of his or her 4yr University degree is estimated at $142,992 including expenses.

Many parents are familiar with the incentives the Federal Government offers to encourage RESP savings. Although the same can not be said about the time-sensitive British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG). 

The BCTESG is a unique provincial grant that provides a one-time payment of $1,200 for a child’s RESP, with no matching contributions required. 

A child is eligible for BCTESG when they turn six, up until the day before they turn nine. To qualify for the BCTESG, a B.C. resident must open an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) and prove their B.C. residency. 

Parents or guardians can contact an RESP company, a bank or financial institution to fill in a straightforward application. Also, it’s not just parents who can open an RESP. Other family members or family friends can start an RESP if they have the necessary information to open the account that’s best for the child.

There really is no draw-back to getting this fund for your child or a child you know. The grant can be used for a wide range of educational programs, including vocational schools, apprenticeships, trade schools, colleges, universities, and other certified institutions. Once the beneficiary is enrolled in full-time or part-time studies at a qualifying post-secondary educational program, the BCTESG is withdrawn from the RESP by the way of Education Assistance Payment. The grant may also be used for full-time education outside of Canada (a program at a foreign educational institution which is at least 13 weeks in duration). The grant also doesn’t need to be repaid if the beneficiary doesn’t graduate, as long as the Education Assistance Payments were made towards a qualifying post-secondary education or training program.

So there you have it, we are very fortunate in B.C. to have this additional funding from the Provincial Government. As one of only three provinces (B.C., Quebec, and Saskatchewan) to provide a Provincial Grant, the BCTESG gives parents/guardians or just caring adults an opportunity to help children get access to post-secondary education. 

This article was brought to you by Children’s Education Funds Inc.

Children’s Education Funds Inc. has helped Canadians save for their children’s post-secondary education for over 29 years. CEFI offers a great selection of RESP plan choices – totally customizable to you. Plus earn AirMiles Reward Miles by investing in our RESPs!

Feeling better prepared? Take the Children’s Education Fund Inc. RESP Quiz to see how much you know now and be entered to win a $300 Toys R Us gift card! 

* Source: Actuarial Report on the Canada Student Loans Program as of July 31, 2011, Office of the Chief Actuary, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada, 2012.




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