When it comes to getting a post-secondary education, Canada is home to some of the top universities and colleges in the world, and deciding which post-secondary institution to enroll in can be daunting. Saving for your child’s education can also feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are Federal and Provincial education plans designed to make obtaining a Canadian post-secondary education affordable. The catch is that Canadian newcomers need to be aware of the different programs in order to participate in them. In Canada, there is no federal department of education or national system of education. Instead, each province or territory has its own system. While the education systems are very similar, there are some variations.
While there is no cost to attend a public elementary, middle, or high school, you are responsible for covering all costs associated with a post-secondary education, which includes tuition, books, and extracurricular costs. If your child is living on campus they will need to pay for their living expenses, like accommodations and food. When it comes to post-secondary education, there are different types of schools. Some are “recognized” which means they can grant degrees, diplomas, certificates, and or other qualifications. At most of Canada’s post-secondary institutions, there are two main study terms per year: September to December and January to April. Most post-secondary schools also offer summer courses. If you’re new to Canada, it’s important that you know about the many great savings plans, scholarships, and provincial grants that can help you save for your child’s education.
Canadian Registered Education Savings Plan
The best way to start savings for your child’s post-secondary education is to open up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). An RESP is registered by the Government of Canada and is a special savings plan that helps you save, tax-free, for education after high school. Through the RESP, you can contribute $2,500 annually and up to a maximum of $50,000. How can you get an RESP? You will need your own valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) and you must have one for your child. There is no fee to obtain a SIN, but you will need to provide certain documents, like a birth certificate or permanent resident card. You do not need to be a Canadian citizen to open an RESP. You can open an RESP for your child if you are a permanent resident or landed immigrant. After that, you simply need to find an RESP provider, like Global RESP Corporation (GRESP). Anyone can open an RESP account for a child: parents, guardians, grandparents, relatives, or friends.
When you open an RESP, the child automatically becomes eligible for government grants that get added to your contributions. These government grants can increase your RESP investment by over 30%. When you open an RESP, the Canadian government will, through the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), match up to 20% of any RESP contributions until the child reaches the age of 17. This means an additional $500.00 added to the RESP annually, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200. The Canadian government provides further grant money for those who come from low-income and middle-income families through the Additional CESG. This grant money is in addition to any money they receive through the basic CESG. Through the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), the Government of Canada will deposit $500.00 directly into the child’s RESP account. If they qualify, the recipient could also get an additional $100.00 annually until they turn 15. That translates into an additional $2,000 of free money through the Canada Learning Bond program. Best of all, you don’t need to spend any of your own money to get the CLB.
Accessing Provincial Grants
Depending on where you live, your child could also qualify for additional free grant money from their respective provincial governments.
If you live in Quebec, annual RESP contributions of up to $2,500 are eligible, through the Quebec Education Savings Incentive (QESI), for a tax credit of 10%, or $250.00.
Lower-income families are eligible for a 5% to 10% increase ($25.00 to $50.00) on the first $500.00 contributed annually to the RESP. The lifetime maximum you can qualify for through the QESI is $3,600.
In British Columbia, the provincial government offers the British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG). All eligible children will receive a one-time grant of $1,200.
The government of Saskatchewan provides a grant of 10% on contributions to an RESP. The maximum your child can receive each year is $250.00 per year up to a lifetime maximum of $4,500.
Global RESP Corporation, Helping Canadian Newcomers Save for Their Children’s Post-Secondary Education
If you’re new to Canada and want to learn more about saving for your child’s post-secondary education and all of the available programs, talk to your nearest GRESP representative. Why choose GRESP over one of Canada’s big banks? One simple reason: GRESP’s Dealing Representatives specialize exclusively in RESPs.
With regional offices in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, and hundreds of independent representatives across the country, GRESP is one of the fastest growing companies in the RESP industry in Canada. We are also one of the few companies that administer all provincial and federal grants available.
On top of that, GRESP is the primary distributor of the Legacy Education Savings Plan and the Advanced Education Savings Plan. These plans that allow you to save for your children’s post-secondary education, with the goal of providing steady and consistent returns on investment.
In addition to providing flexibility and a wide range of investment opportunities, GRESP also has the lowest administrative fees in the market and no minimum plan contributions.
If you’re interested in getting started with an RESP Plan, find a Global RESP Corporation sales representative in your area. Or fill out a form and a Global RESP Corporation sales representative will contact you.